According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose – more than the number killed by car accidents or guns. And here in Michigan, deaths from prescription and illicit opioid drugs have increased 17-fold since 1999.
Drug Plan Resources: Naloxone Coverage and Opioid Monitoring
If the opioid epidemic affects you or someone you know, the U-M prescription drug plan covers Narcan Nasal Spray and other forms of naloxone, a life-saving antidote to overdoses of opioids. Narcan can be easily administered by a friend or family member in an emergency.
To improve member safety, the university has also directed MedImpact to run a quarterly opioid review program to flag instances of potential opioid abuse since early 2016. The program alerts health care providers whose patients have claims for a high level of opioids for more than 90 days in the last six months. In 2016, over half of these members reduced their opioid use following the outreach.
Use, Maintain and Dispose of Opioids Safely
If you’ve recently had surgery or been prescribed opioids for pain, this short brochure can help you understand how to use, maintain and dispose of them safely.
And if you have leftover opioids that you’d like to get rid of, use these resources to find a nearby drug take-back location or learn how to safely dispose of pills in household trash. You can also keep an eye out for period medication take-back events sponsored on or near campus by the College of Pharmacy or Michigan Medicine Pain Research.
U-M Tools and Research Developed in Response to the Epidemic
As a national leader in research and medicine, the university is engaged in combating the opioid crisis on many fronts.
- The first project for the university’s new, multidisciplinary Precision Health initiative focuses on understanding the factors that put people at risk of long-term opioid use.
- The U-M Injury Center recently received CDC funding to study prevention of prescription drug overdoses and other injuries.
- Michigan Medicine researchers have developed a free online tool to help surgical teams decide how much opioid pain medication to prescribe for 11 common operations.
Join a University of Michigan teach-out on the opioid crisis starting December 4.
For additional information, including treatment resources, visit the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services website.