LANSING, Mich. (WILX) Michigan is doing a better job of dealing with the opioid epidemic than most states.
On Thursday, Governor Rick Snyder rolled out a plan to attack the problem, starting in the doctor's office. He announced plans for the Michigan Automated Prescription System (MAPS).
MAPS will allow doctors to check and see when and what painkillers have been prescribed to a patient. The idea is to keep addicts from constantly switching doctors to get a fresh supply of drugs.
The governor said Michigan doctors prescribed 180 million opioid pills in 2007. By last year, the number grew to 690 million.
Governor Snyder said, "Folks, in 9 years things shouldn't have changed to that level. There's a lot more pills out there than likely we should need and we need to do something about it."
Under the new program, doctors would have to give patients information on the dangers of addiction and the proper way to dispose of prescription drugs. They'd also be limited to prescribing a 30-day supply of opioids for people with chronic pain, and a seven-day supply for someone with an acute injury or pain.
Governor Snyder said, "If you're getting enough prescriptions where you feel no pain you might want to ask the question is that a good thing. Again, you don't want undue pain but if you don't feel anything are you taking more than you actually need or how long do you need it for?"
The package of bills also require schools to include opioid and addiction information in their health education classes.
Michigan had nearly 2,000 opioid-related deaths in 2015. That's fewer than all but 16 states.