In Michigan, prescription drug deaths are at an all-time high.
This month Michigan lawmakers addressed the issue head on with a new list of regulations tied to opioids.
I sat down with Traverse City addiction therapist, Art McGuff who knows firsthand just how easy it is to find yourself addicted to opioids.
“Most of them are a semi synthetic drug that’s used to control pain in the body,” explains McGuff.
Like many, the all-star high school athlete’s addiction stemmed from a sports injury.
“I was hit in a scrimmage and both of my knees were broken,” recounts McGuff.
“I had 10 total knee surgeries. I came out the following year and I made a commitment that I was gonna do whatever it took to get back on that field.”
What exactly did it ended up taking?
Doctors prescribed pain killers.
McGuff shares, “I think they truly want for you to be pain free. It doesn’t totally take the pain away and when it doesn’t do that people tend to take more. You know if we take one Tylenol, 2 must be better because it’s double the dose.”
Now Michigan has passed new legislation hoping to battle the potentially deadly problem.
“They’re wanting to have a relationship with the patient. There were some doctors that were handing out scripts, I’m not saying it’s right, they were very lucrative,” says McGuff.
The law also requires prescribers to use a program that McGuff says tracks what pills patients are taking, “MAPs will allow you electronically to search anyone’s previous pharmaceutical prescriptions that they’ve been given.”
McGuff hopes these new regulations can help prevent other addictions before they begin, because others may not be as lucky; “If you get hit in your car today going home from work you could be on opioids, so we really need regulation. We really need education, and we really need everybody to join in on this cause it’s killing our country.”
The new laws also require schools to include education on opioid addiction.
For opioid addiction help, click .
For a more detailed outline of the new opioid legislation, click .