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Michigan health organizations get $6 million to combat opioid epidemic

hands holding a pile of pills
Daniel Foster
Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Health organizations in Michigan just got some more ammunition in the fight against opioid abuse.

The Michigan Health Endowment Fund has awarded nearly $6.5 million dollars in grants to health programs around the state in an effort to address the opioid crisis.  

Becky Cienki, the MHEF's senior program officer, says the grants were made through the fund's behavioral health initiative. The 16 projects that received grants are focused on either substance abuse disorders or mental health.

"In Michigan we're experiencing a 10-fold increase in the number of deaths involving opioids since 1999, and it's really having an impact on a lot of sectors -- including first responders, the criminal justice system, child welfare, education and employers, just to name a few," Cienki said.

Cienki says the MHEF received 63 proposals for the grants. Of the 16 that were selected, 11 are new projects and five are renewal projects that were previously funded in 2016.

The awards range from just over $100,000 to $500,000 and went to programs in every region of the state, from Southeast Michigan to the western Upper Peninsula.

"No community or demographic is immune -- Upper or Lower Peninsula, urban or rural, wealthy or economically struggling. We must develop evidence-based solutions that work across boundaries," Cienki said.

You can see the full list of programs that received grants here.

Rebecca Kruth is the host of All Things Considered at Michigan Public. She also co-hosts Michigan Public's weekly language podcast That’s What They Say with English professor Anne Curzan.
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