A new website launched by the state of Michigan is a positive step toward educating Michiganders of the dangers of opioid addiction. The website, Michigan.gov/opioids, was announced by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley Tuesday.
“I’m happy to see Lt. Gov. Calley and the state of Michigan working to create a comprehensive resource that details the dangers of opioid addiction and provides resources for those suffering from addiction, however, as I’ve stated before we need to work on prevention as much as awareness and education.” said State Rep. Joe Bellino (R-Monroe). “I’m urging the Legislature to take a big step toward ending this epidemic by passing House Bill 5857.”
House Bill 5857, introduced by Bellino in April, is currently awaiting a vote in the House Health Policy Committee. The bill would require addictive opioids and Schedule II drugs to be stored in locking prescription vials. These vials will prevent teens from pilfering; sneaking a small number of pills hoping it will go unnoticed, from the family medicine cabinet.
“Each year 960,000 young people across the country begin the dangerous cycle of prescription drug abuse by pilfering from the family medicine cabinet,” said Livingston County Sheriff Mike Murphy. “Requiring addictive medications to be stored in locking prescription vials will reduce pilfering, save lives and save millions of dollars in healthcare costs.”
Oct. 21 through Oct. 27 is also Opioid Addiction Awareness Week in Michigan.
“Opioid Addiction Awareness Week is a perfect opportunity for Michiganders to call their state representative and urge them to join their friends in law enforcement and the public health community and support House Bill 5857,” Bellino said.
House Bill 5857 would replace an outdated law put in place nearly 50 years ago. The childproof locks on prescription medication seen today were meant to keep children under the age of 5 from accessing flavored aspirin. Today, medications 80 times stronger than morphine are stored in those same childproof vials.
“Passing House Bill 5857 would prevent 200,000 Michigan teens from abusing prescription pain killers over a 10-year period,” Bellino said. “The longer we wait to pass this important legislation the more teens will begin this dangerous cycle of abuse.”