Michigan schools, health system training doctors on opioids

(Photo courtesy of The Office of Sen. Pat Toomey)

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Three Michigan universities are teaming up with Spectrum Health to tackle the state's opioid crisis through physician training.

The University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University are working with the Grand Rapids-based health system on training more physicians as addiction medicine specialists. Officials say there aren't enough specially trained doctors to meet demand -- fewer than 200 statewide and only one in the Upper Peninsula -- as the number of opioid-related deaths has reached an all-time high.

Program organizers say they will help physicians fulfill the requirements through online courses, clinical experiences and leadership opportunities.

The doctors also will receive training to treat other addictions, including methamphetamines and alcohol.

The program has received a two-year, $1.5 million grant from federal and state sources.