(CBS DETROIT) - Whitmer signed an executive order on Thursday, Sept. 29, that adjusts the membership of the Opioid Task Force she created and adds 10 local government representatives.
The local representatives will be required to hold four public meetings a year, and they will be given the power to direct money received from settlements and bankruptcies.
"We need to continue working together to tackle the root causes of the opioid epidemic and help families get the relief and resources they deserve," said Governor Whitmer. "Today's adjustments to the Opioids Task Force will bring in local voices and authorize the group to direct money received from settlements and bankruptcies. In 2019 alone, the Michigan Opioids Task Force found that opioid overdoses claimed the lives of 1,768 Michiganders-an average of five a day. Getting this done will help resources get out the door and into the community more efficiently to treat opioid use disorder and support our neighbors, family, and friends in treatment and recovery. If you or a loved one need opioid addiction treatment, there are resources to help."
Officials say that these changes will help the state secure $37 million from Mallinckrodt Pharmaceutical, one of the largest opioid manufacturers in the United States.
"The company aggressively pursued the expansion of its market share through certain doctors and pill mills," as stated in a news release from Whitmer's office. "It was sued by thousands of plaintiffs because of its aggressive actions and, as a result filed for bankruptcy. The $37 million represents Michigan's share."
With the new addition to the task force, the state will be able to continue distributing bankruptcy funds to local governments, which will help backs efforts to fight the opioid crisis.
View the executive order, here.
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