In 2011 Washtenaw County saw
29 opioid overdose deaths
In 2013 there were 46. The trend continued to accelerate.
In three years the number of deaths more than doubled.
65 opioid overdose deaths
into our community.
In our own community and across the country opioid overdose deaths were reaching epidemic levels - in 2015 more people died of an opioid overdose than in car accidents.
The Washtenaw Health Initiative (WHI) Opioid Project intends to change that. We bring together community members, law enforcement, public health, hospitals, community mental health, treatment facilities, and other providers to end this epidemic.
We use the Project Lazarus model and believe that communities are ultimately responsible for their own health. The WHI Opioid Project and Project Lazarus believe that every drug overdose is preventable. Using experience, data, and compassion we strive to prevent drug overdoses and meet the needs of those living with chronic pain.
The success of the WHI Opioid Project depends on community knowledge, support, and involvement. In recent years the Opioid Project has seen many successes in the fight against the opioid overdose epidemic. For the first time in 5 years Washtenaw County saw a decrease in its overdose rate; in 2015 the number of overdoses dropped by 25 percent. However, in 2016 overdoses spiked again to 61.
There is still more to be done...
The WHI Opioid Project believes that 61 deaths is 61 too many. So The WHI Opioid Project is calling on the community for help. Every person has a part to play in ending this epidemic in Washtenaw County. Get involved, make a difference, and help Washtenaw discover change.
Email us using the Contact page for more information about getting involved in one of the WHI Opioid Project workgroups.
Opioid Project Workgoups
(modeled after the Project Lazarus):
Addiction and Treatment
Hospital Emergency Department Policies
Patient Pain Support
About the Washtenaw Health Initiative Opioid Project
WHI Opioid Project Co-Chair
Program Manager of the Washtenaw Recovery Advocacy Project at Home of New Vision
Sara Szczotka manages the Washtenaw Recovery Advocacy Project through Home of New Vision. She is a Certified Peer Recovery Mentor through MCBAP and is a state certified trainer for MDHHS’s Peer Recovery Coach certification program. Sarah holds a Bachelor’s of Science from Eastern Michigan University.
WHI Opioid Project Co-Chair
Community Mental Health Partnership of SE Michigan
Program Manager - Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders
Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation
Matthew Hill is a program manager for the Center for Health and Research Transformation. He manages all Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and Mental Health related programs that fall under the Washtenaw Health Initiative (WHI). In doing so, Matthew supports the WHI Opioid Project, a community based coalition that aims to help address the opioid epidemic locally, as well as the Washtenaw County SUD System Transformation Initiative.
Prior to joining CHRT, Matthew managed the Washtenaw Recovery Advocacy Project, a recovery community organization that worked to eliminate the stigma surrounding SUD, provide community education, and create a recovery oriented community in Washtenaw County. Matthew holds a bachelor’s degree in biopsychology, cognition, and neuroscience from the University of Michigan.
Alyssa Tumolo is a Grants Coordinator for Community Mental Health Partnership of Southeast Michigan. She has experience in working with both Federal and State grants in youth prevention, gambling disorder prevention, and substance use services grants. Alyssa holds a Bachelor’s of Science from Ferris State University.
LOCAL TREATMENT PARTNERS
Ann Arbor Treatment Services
Page material references the following sources:
Project Lazarus. (n.d.) About Project Lazarus. Retrieved from http://projectlazarus.org/about-project-lazarus
Washtenaw County Michigan. (2016). Opioid and Heroin Overdose Data. Retrieved from http://www.ewashtenaw.org/government/departments/public_health/opioid-and-heroin-data/opioid-and-heroin-data