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MSP creates prescription opioid unit

MARQUETTE — The Michigan State Police announced its new Diversion Investigation Unit, which investigates medical professionals suspected of illegally distributing controlled substances.

“We evolve as crime does,” said Col. Joe Gasper, director of the Michigan State Police. “This is a very real and potentially deadly part of the opioid epidemic. Prescribing medically unnecessary controlled substances pushes highly addictive drugs on to our street impacting public and patient safety.”

Investigations conducted by DIU have resulted in charges for two medical professionals with other cases pending statewide.

In June, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order creating the Michigan Opioids Task Force, which brings together leaders from across state government. This effort by state agencies amplifies Michigan’s efforts related to prevention and treatment of patients, education of health professionals and enforcement of prescribers.

Efforts from Michigan law enforcement include michigan.gov/opioids; other online resources for patients, health professionals and communities about prevention and treatment of opioid abuse; the Michigan Automated Prescription System, which provides real-time prescription data and resources to better assess a patient’s risk for substance use disorder; assistance with proper drug disposal of unwanted medications; state police posts serving as drug take-back sites and providing the Angel Program for individuals struggling with addiction.

For more information on opioids and the additional steps a resident can take to protect themselves and loved ones, visit michigan.gov. If you suspect prescription drug diversion by medical professionals, contact your local MSP drug task force.