LANSING, Mich., Oct. 21, 2021 — With overwhelming bipartisan support, the Michigan House of Representatives passed state Rep. Angela Witwer’s (Delta Township) House Bill 5163, which would require emergency departments that serve more than 50 patients a year to retain the necessary resources to treat opioid overdoses and ensure that those treated are connected to continuing care.

“I’m glad that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle recognize the true threat to public health that opioid addiction poses and are equipping emergency departments accordingly,” Witwer said. “Deaths by opioid overdose rose dramatically in Michigan over the last decade. One preventable death is too much, and we need to do much more than prevent deaths: We need to get those struggling with addiction the help they need.”

The bill advances on work conducted by the Michigan Opioid Partnership, which supports Michigan hospitals in developing institutionalized overdose care protocols to prevent overdose deaths. The Michigan Council of Nurse Practitioners, the Michigan Health & Hospital Association and various community-based health organizations are among the many supporters of the bill.