News Article: $3 million grant to help fight opioid epidemic in Michigan

 $3 million grant to help fight opioid epidemic in Michigan

NORTHERN MICHIGAN (WPBN/WGTU) -- Michigan Works is taking another issue under its wing.

A new grant from the state department of health and human services will help 24 northern Michigan counties fight the opioid epidemic.

The grant will provide more than $3 million in funding to each of the counties below:

  • Antrim
  • Benzie
  • Charlevoix
  • Emmet
  • Grand Traverse
  • Kalkaska
  • Leelanau
  • Manistee
  • Missaukee
  • Wexford

The money will go towards hiring and training certified professional life coaches.

They are trained to assist people affected by opioid dependency.

And the number of opioid overdose deaths statewide has only increased.

In 1999, 118 opioid overdose deaths.

In 2018, there were 2,036 deaths.

That’s nearly 20 times more in less than 20 years.

"This is a great opportunity to get involved, and do our part, so that’s what we’re doing,” Regional Director of Northwest Michigan Works Lisa Schut said. “We’re partnering with substance abuse agencies, with recovery agencies, employers, training providers and we said we can do this well when we do it together.”

Michigan Works expects nearly 200 participants in this program across the region.

They expect the funding to become available to businesses within the next month, possibly even sooner.