MSU Extension providing Northern Michigan Community Webinars on Opioid Misuse Prevention

Free community presentations share what communities can do to promote opioid use disorder prevention and recovery. Presenters from Michigan State University Extension: Jim Harrington, Lauryn Lin, Georgina Perry.

NMICH Opioid WebinarAccording to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, “Every day, seven Michigan residents die from an opioid overdose.  Rates of opioid misuse have increased during the COVID-19 Pandemic emergency medical service (EMS) responses for opioid overdoses increased by 33 percent from April to May of this year. Additionally, EMS responses for opioid overdoses from April through June 2020 were 26 percent higher than the same period in 2019. EMS responses for opioid overdoses increased for all regions across Michigan and nearly all demographic groups, with the exception of residents aged 65 years and older.”

To address opioid use disorder and overdose deaths across Michigan, Michigan State University Extension, Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine and the Northwest Health Department of Michigan are offering opioid misuse prevention education to Michigan communities through the Michigan Substance Use Prevention, Education, and Recovery (MiSUPER) project. The presentation is available to rural community groups and can vary in length from 30 to 60 minutes. People will learn alternatives to opioid use, recovery strategies and how to support those in recovery.

Opioid use disorder is a brain disease, not a lack of willpower. People with opioid use disorder often feel ashamed with no one to talk to.  The language we use can hinder the recovery process by stigmatizing and stereotyping individuals or it can be used to reduce stigma, improve treatment and help save lives.   The first step is to use language that is supportive of recovery and healing. Changing the way we talk about opioid use disorder can help someone with attempt recovery. When discussing substance use disorders, health professionals recommend using person first language, which is less stigmatizing and reverses harmful stereotypes.  For example, instead of referring to someone as a drug addict, abuser, junkie, or drug abuser, we can acknowledge the individual as a person with substance use disorder.

Each of us can take action to reduce a loved one’s chance of opioid use disorder, a long-term chronic brain disease. MiSUPER’s community education presentations aim to empower Michigan communities to prevent opioid misuse and support people in recovery.

MiSUPER presentations address several topics related to opioid misuse prevention and highlight stories of hope and recovery:

  • What are opioids and what impact do opioids have on the body?
  • How has the opioid crisis impacted Michigan communities?
  • What treatment, recovery, and alternative to opioid options are available?
  • How can I minimize a loved one’s risk of an opioid overdose and support their recovery?
  • What can we do to prevent opioid misuse and address the opioid crisis?

Upcoming community webinar Northern Michigan presentations:

Wednesday, December 2nd, 12-1pm: register at:

Wednesday, December 16th, 12-1pm: register at

To learn more about MiSUPER’s opioid misuse prevention efforts and to request a presentation for your community, organization, or coalition, visit the MiSUPER website at

This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. For more information, visit To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit To contact an expert in your area, visit, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).