Bloomberg charity to help Michigan fight opioid deaths


    Bloomberg charity to help Michigan fight opioid deaths. (WEYI)

    Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's charity will invest $10 million to help Michigan fight opioid overdose deaths.

    The Bloomberg Philanthropies' funding was announced Thursday and is designed to speed up access to treatment and improve prevention.

    "This is a national emergency, but sadly our American national leaders are not addressing it with the urgency it demands," Bloomberg said..

    Projects may include expanding distribution of naloxone and medications for opioid use disorder and enhancing systems to improve data collection to help speed response.

    Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer met with Bloomberg near Detroit.

    "When we raise awareness we can break down the stigma of addiction and create a safe space for those who are suffering," Whitmer said.

    The money is part of a $50 million initiative announced last year, with Pennsylvania earlier picked to get a share of the funding.

    Opioids were responsible for more than three-quarters of Michigan's nearly 2,700 drug overdose deaths in 2017.

    Bloomberg said in a release that Bloomberg Philanthropies hopes its work "in places like Michigan and Pennsylvania spares more families the heartbreak of losing a loved one to opioid addiction or overdose."

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