Sen. Brandenburg supports legislation to fight prescription drug abuse
According to an interim report recently released by the president’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, 142 Americans die every day from a drug overdose. More than six out of 10 drug overdose deaths involve an opioid.
The Michigan Senate passed a package of bills to fight opioid abuse in our state earlier this summer. One provision limits prescriptions for acute pain to seven days to help reduce the chance of unused pills.
Other provisions crack down on “doctor shopping” and “pill mills” by requiring physicians to have a bona fide prescriber-patient relationship and consult the Michigan Automated Prescription System (MAPS) before prescribing certain controlled substances. The legislation also requires someone treating a patient for an opioid overdose to provide them with information on substance use disorder services to address the addiction as well as treatment options. The bills have been sent to the House for consideration.
Fighting the threat of Asian carp
Efforts to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes are moving ahead on two fronts.
The state recently launched a global search for ways to stop these invasive fish from reaching the Great Lakes. Called the Invasive Carp Challenge, the program is accepting proposals through Oct. 31, 2017 to develop new solutions to this looming threat. One or more solutions will share up to $700,000 in cash awards. Visit www.michigan.gov/carpchallenge for more information.
In addition, the Army Corps of Engineers has now recommended a tentative plan for Brandon Road Lock and Dam in the Chicago Area Waterway system to prevent the inter-basin transfer of aquatic nuisance species. The plan includes nonstructural measures, complex noise, water jets, engineered channel, electric barrier, flushing lock, boat launches and mooring area. Find more information and submit comments online at http://glmris.anl.gov.
Mackinac Bridge closed to vehicle traffic Labor Day morning
Thousands of people enjoy great exercise and camaraderie at the annual Labor Day Mackinac Bridge walk. This year — aside from official walk shuttle buses and emergency vehicles — walkers will have the bridge to themselves as safety concerns will close the bridge to car and truck traffic from 6:30 a.m. to noon. More information about this popular event is available at www.mackinacbridge.org.
Report fish and wildlife observations on new DNR app
A new computer application developed by the DNR consolidates 15 separate fish and wildlife observation forms onto one site. The Eyes in the Field app includes forms for reporting diseased wildlife, tagged fish, mammals such as cougars and wolves, fish such as invasive carp and sturgeon, and more. The site does not replace the Report All Poaching (RAP) hotline (800-292-7800) although it provides a link to the web-based RAP complaint form. Check it out at www.michigan.gov/eyesinthefield.