89.1 WEMU

Opioid Crisis Discussion Held In Ann Arbor

May 15, 2019

The Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Regional Chamber hosted an opioid crisis discussion Wednesday at Weber's Inn. 89.1 WEMU's Jorge Avellan was there and has the story.

"We really need to combat the stigma that comes along with addiction."

A three-member panel discussed the importance of educating the public about the opioid crisis.  Last year, 81 residents in Washtenaw County died of an opioid-related overdose.  That's the highest since 2011 when the county started collecting data on the topic.  

Dr. Michael Englesbe is the co-director of the Michigan Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network and was part of the panel.

"Among opioid naive patients, people who are not on opioids who have some kind of acute event like dental care or surgical care, upwards of 6% of those people, so six out of 100 will continue to use those opioids long term," said Englesbe. 

The Washtenaw County Health Department plans to launch an opioid awareness campaign later this year to help address the crisis.

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— Jorge Avellan is a reporter for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him javellan@emich.edu