Northern Michigan Receives Up to $3M from State in Resources, Employment in Response to Opioid Crisis

The opioid crisis has impacted northern Michigan communities for years, now the state is proving resources to local communities in need.

The state recently announced up to $3 million will be given to 24 counties in northern Michigan to help provide employment and resources to those suffering from addiction.

“It’s a scary time right now,” says Sheriff Shawn Kraycs, with the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department.

Sheriff Kraycs says he and his team are finding drugs during traffic stops on a daily basis:

“I believe it’s one of the biggest issues that we have in northern Michigan right now is the meth, the opioid epidemic.”

In 2017, the U.S Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency.

However, since the pandemic, Sheriff Kraycs says the crisis has only gotten worse.

“It seemed to have only increased in frequency and it’s evident by wherever you go, you see people are strung out, like I said it’s not just this community, it’s the surrounding community and it’s an epidemic for sure,” says Sheriff Kraycs.

That’s why the state is giving northern Michigan communities up to $3 million to respond to the opioid crisis.

The goal is to provide employment and training services for people recovering from addiction.

Mark Berdan, executive director for Michigan Works! Region 7b, says, “We have a high percentage of folks who are unaware of what a big problem this is, we see it in our employers who are having trouble finding applicants who can pass drug tests and even so existing workers who can pass drug tests.”

Michigan Works! plans to provide treatment and disaster relief coaches for recovering addicts.

“We’re really ecstatic about it, we want to help our employers, we have employers out there struggling to find a workforce that is drug free,” says Berdan.

Creating a better tomorrow… because Sheriff Kraycs says recovery goes far beyond a jail cell.

“Detoxing in jail is not the answer, they need medical assistance and mental health assistance,” says Sheriff Kraycs.