Drug overdoses in Michigan focus of committee headed by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A committee headed by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley is expected to make recommendations this month for addressing overdoses in Michigan linked to the abuse of pain and anxiety medications.

The Detroit News reports prescription drug and opioid addiction has led to a fivefold increase in drug deaths in Michigan since 1999, a trend Calley says leaders “must come together to reverse … before more Michiganders are hurt.”

Gov. Rick Snyder raised the issue in his State of the State address in January, saying more must be done to combat prescription drug and heroin abuse.

State statistics say opioid analgesics or painkillers accounted for 1,001 or nearly 20 percent of 5,062 Michigan deaths caused by “unintentional drug poisonings” between 2009 and 2013.

The problem is one also being seen nationwide.

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