Addiction to opioids knows no boundaries and affects every demographic in Oakland County, Michigan and in the U.S. Unfortunately, what often begins as prescribed recovery from an injury or surgery all too often has had tragic consequences for friends, family, neighbors and co-workers.
In the last 20 years, the Centers for Disease Control reports that more than 645,000 people in the nation have died from an opioid overdose. In the past 10 years, 2,600 people, including 180 in 2021, have died in Oakland County from drug abuse and overdoses.
Currently, Oakland County has many substance use prevention, harm reduction, treatment and recovery efforts underway, including free Narcan vending machines and ‘Save a Life’ stations highlighted on a new, interactive map; the first Harm Reduction and Syringe Service Program clinic in Oakland County; prescription drug disposal locations via Operation Medicine Cabinet; substance use prevention programs for schools and community organizations; and medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for inmates at the Oakland County jail.
Oakland County was one of the first counties to sign on to a class action lawsuit and now is estimated to receive approximately $35 million over the next 20 years because of settlements reached in the lawsuits filed against opioid prescription drug manufacturers and pharmacies.
Oakland County is hosting a series of community-based opioid listening sessions aimed at gathering input from Oakland County residents about the impacts of the opioid epidemic; resources needed to prevent opioid misuse and supports needed for people in treatment and recovery; and how to best use funding from opioid settlements. Opioid Listening Sessions are open to people who live or work in Oakland County and are 18 years and older. Session locations, dates and times are listed below and are open-house style. Registration is recommended, but not required, at oakgov.com/health or by calling Nurse on Call at 1-800-848-5533. Walk-ins are welcome.
- Waterford Town Hall, 5200 Civic Center Drive, Waterford, on Sept. 12, 11 a.m. – noon
- Affirmations, 290 West Nine Mile Road, Ferndale, on Sept. 13, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
- Pontiac Public Library, 60 East Pike Street, Pontiac, on Sept. 13, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
- Southfield Public Library, 26300 Evergreen Road, Southfield, on Sept. 18, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
- Costick Center, 28600 Eleven Mile Road, Farmington Hills, on Sept. 19, 10 – 11 a.m.
- White Lake Public Library, 11005 Elizabeth Lake Road, White Lake, on Sept. 21, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
- Oakland University, 318 Meadow Brook Rd, Rochester, on Sept. 26, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.