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Michigan addresses state’s opioid addiction issue

ALPENA, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced 80 million in federal funding to support prevention and treatment and harm reduction services in response to an escalating opioid crisis in Michigan.

Here in Alpena opioid numbers have increased but more programs are available for those with addiction issues.  Over the last five years Michigan lost about 8,000 people to opioid overdoses.

Alcohol and Addiction Drug Counselor Madeleine McConnell said back in the 90’s there was a push from pharmaceutical companies and doctors to treat pain.  McConnell said opioids are highly addictive and target opioid receptors that already exist in our brain.

McConnell added that Alpena is a high–risk community for opioid overdose and addiction treatment struggles but over the past five years she has seen significant improvement.

McConnell said if you are struggling with addiction issues or know someone who is there are several places to call including Catholic Human Services or Alcona Health Center Freedom Recovery.