News From Our Leaders

Rewrite the Script: Substance Use and Opioid Use Disorder

October 12, 2020

The hot topic on last week’s episode of The Wrap, Michigan Medicine’s podcast, was substance use during COVID-19. The Wrap interviewed Dr. Paul Hilliard, Medical Director for Institutional Opioid and Pain Management Strategy. Dr. Hilliard is a member of the Rewrite the Script team, a project working to help patients and community members manage opioid use disorder. The episode digs into the changes the state has witnessed in opioid overdoses and addiction care since the beginning of the pandemic. According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), there has been a significant increase in opioid overdoses; between April and June of 2020, opioid overdoses have increased by about 30% in the state. 

“COVID has widened the gap in what resources we had for patients with a substance use disorder”

With the pandemic calling attention to the lack of resources for those living with addiction, Rewrite the Script has been working diligently to expand awareness and access to treatment. The team has engaged with Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Practice Transformation Incentives in their primary care clinics. Of the primary care clinics Rewrite the Script works with, about 87% have at least one provider who has their DATA 2000 Waiver and can now prescribe Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD). “[The providers] have received training because many of these providers have no specific background in Addiction Management,” Hilliard noted, “but we have been able to connect them with resources such as Michigan Opioid Collaborative.” 

“Michigan Opioid Collaborative provides at-elbow support for these providers whenever they have a clinical question or they’re not familiar with how to treat these patients.”

Dr. Paul Hilliard


To hear more about Rewrite the Script’s efforts in Michigan to support addiction treatment and services, check out The Wrap podcast

Dr. Lewei Allison Lin on Michigan Radio

October 1, 2020 

Michigan Radio interviewed MOC’s Principal Investigator, Dr. Lewei Allison Lin, in a recent article discussing the state’s efforts to combat the opioid crisis. Michigan will be receiving approximately $80 million in federal grants to fund programs with goals of harm reduction and treatment improvement. The Michigan Opioid Collaborative and the Michigan Opioid Partnership are two programs that will be receiving funding to continue our education, support, and treatment initiatives.

“As a state in particular, we have to think about how can we grow and sustain programs to make it easier for patients to get needed and effective treatments”

Dr. Lewei Allison Lin