Detroit Evening Report: State grants aim to improve access to substance use treatment services

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The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is expanding transportation services for people accessing substance use disorder treatment and recovery services.

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MDHHS provided $2.7 million dollars in funding to 17 agencies to increase access for economically disadvantaged individuals seeking treatment, harm reduction or recovery services.

Transportation is a major barrier for people seeking treatment services. The efforts hope to reduce disproportionate overdose incidents and deaths among people of color across the state. The initiative was put together following an Opioid Settlement Survey that found one in six people were not able to get treatment because of lack of transportation.

Michigan is slated to receive nearly $1.6 billion from national opioid settlements by 2040, with half being distributed to the State of Michigan Opioid Healing and Recovery Fund and the other half being distributed directly to county, city and township governments.

“Opioid settlement funding is allowing us to better address gaps in substance use disorder services as we focus on the highest need communities in our state,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, chief medical executive and Michigan Opioids Task Force co-chair, in a statement. “The more than 4,100 rides to treatment and recovery services provided with this funding will help improve outcomes for patients.”

The grants will allow agencies to expand their capacity to transport participants to and from treatment appointments and other supportive services. Funding can also be used for the distribution of gas cards, bus passes and taxi/rideshare services.

Other headlines for Monday, April 1, 2024: 

  • Michigan’s Economic Development Corporation announced the Michigan Strategic Fund approved $22 million for the State Small Business Credit Initiative and 2.0 Michigan Small Venture Capital Program.
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency is setting up shop at the Butzel Family Recreation Center from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. until April 6 to speak with Detroit homeowners and renters interested in applying for disaster assistance for damages related to the catastrophic floods of August 2023.
  • DTE Energy, Ford Resource and Engagement Center East and the Accounting Aid Society is hosting a Home Heating Credit event for the 2023 tax year from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 12, to help homeowners offset winter heating bills.
  • State Rep. Regina Weiss (D-Oak Park) is hosting an Education Town Hall from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Marygrove High School on West McNichols Road in Detroit to hear from Detroit families about what should be included in the State budget.

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  • Nargis Rahman
    Nargis Hakim Rahman is the Civic Reporter at 101.9 WDET. Rahman graduated from Wayne State University, where she was a part of the Journalism Institute of Media Diversity.