Sen. MacDonald reintroduces opioid abuse education bill

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Michael D. MacDonald on Thursday reintroduced legislation to ensure all Michigan ninth grade students learn about the dangers of prescription opioid abuse.

“We continue to see the terrible impacts of opioid addiction in our local communities and throughout the state — where opioids take the lives of thousands of Michigan people every year,” said MacDonald, R-Macomb Township. “A key part of winning the battle against opioid abuse is ensuring parents and children know about the dangers of these highly addictive drugs. This is especially true for families with young athletes recovering from sports injuries who may be considering opioid medications to deal with pain.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 81,230 drug overdose deaths occurred in the U.S. between June 2019 and May 2020. It is the largest number of drug overdoses for a 12-month period ever recorded and an 18.2% increase from the previous 12-month period.

Senate Bill 107 would require the state to develop or adopt an instructional video regarding the dangers of prescription opioid drug abuse that is appropriate for ninth grade students and make the video available to all public schools that have ninth grade.

“My bill seeks to educate our young people about these drugs by utilizing a video developed by the Macomb County-based Families Against Narcotics organization,” MacDonald said.

“Educating our students and their families should be a top priority in our state. Parents do not know how to protect their children if they are not given accurate information on the addictive nature of narcotic pain medication,” said FAN Executive Director Linda Davis. “Watching a short video is a quick way to educate parents and students and provide much-needed information. Parents like myself, who have watched a child struggle with addiction because of a valid prescription, would have given anything to have this knowledge and avert the pain of watching a child struggle with addiction.”

Founded in Fraser in 2007, Families Against Narcotics is a grassroots organization dedicated to educating young adults, parents, school personnel, law enforcement, judges, doctors and other health care professionals about the dangers of prescription drug abuse, especially painkillers. It currently offers over 34 monthly support meetings across the state and has 22 Michigan chapters.