Lt. Gov. Brian Calley issues executive directive establishing a multi-agency effort to combat opioid epidemic

‘Michigan Team to End Drug Addiction’ to be housed within the Office of Performance and Transformation

Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018

LANSING, Mich. – To ensure continued coordination on combatting the national opioid epidemic in Michigan, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley today issued an executive directive creating a multi-agency team that will coordinate and implement the state’s action strategy to save more lives stemming from drug addiction.

“It is no surprise that our state departments were quick to take action in responding to the opioid epidemic. However, we needed a mechanism to better collaborate amongst each other. Through the Michigan Team to End Drug Addiction (MITEDA), state departments can now work together as a statewide response effort.” Calley said.

The executive directive calls for the participation of multiple state departments, and encourages collaborations with the federal and local governments, as well as key stakeholders. MITEDA will be housed within the Office of Performance and Transformation.

“We have come a long way in fighting the opioid epidemic, but the death toll of this crisis is still far too high,” Calley said. “It’s important to ensure the cross-departmental communication, partnership, and momentum in fighting this crisis continues into the future. By working together, we will keep making progress in addressing this epidemic so that we can have more second chances and fewer funerals.”

Under the directive, MITEDA will:

  • Research, develop and propose policy initiatives to address the opioid epidemic
  • Create an action plan to implement recommended initiatives
  • Advise the Governor on the progress of the plan and produce an annual report
  • Evaluate the efficiency of current proposals and continually develop new solutions to the epidemic.
  • Incorporate recommendations from the Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force and Commission reports.
  • Explore avenues of funding for remediation efforts including federal grants, legislative appropriations and private partners.

The work of MITEDA will also have a clinical advisor with experience on this issue. Calley today named Dr. Debra Pinals to serve in this role. Dr. Pinals is the Medical Director of Behavioral Health and Forensic Programs at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and served on the Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Commission.

“As a physician who specializes in forensic psychiatry and addiction medicine, I have seen the devastating impact that opioid addiction is having on families in Michigan and other states,” Pinals said. “Those of us in public health can’t solve this epidemic alone. We need the type of coordinated approach that is being strengthened by creation of MITEDA as Michigan continues to improve prevention, treatment and recovery efforts to fight opioid addiction.”

The state is using every available tool to combat the opioid epidemic. MITEDA formalizes state agencies’ work to amplify Michigan’s efforts related to prevention and treatment of patients, education of health professionals and enforcement of anyone who overprescribes.

Article V Section 26 of the Michigan Constitution gives authority to the lieutenant governor to act as governor when the governor is out of state.

For more information about opioids and the additional steps residents can take to protect themselves and loved ones, visit michigan.gov/opioids.