University of Michigan, Harvard focus on Detroit poverty, opioid problems

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A study finds that despite the ability of medication-assisted treatment drugs like methadone and buprenorphine to save the lives of people who've overdosed on opioids, they continue to be underutilized.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The University of Michigan and Harvard University are teaming up to tackle poverty and opioid addiction in Detroit.

The schools announced Wednesday they will work with the city to identify steps to improve low-income residents’ livelihoods. The effort pairs Michigan’s ongoing Poverty Solutions Initiative with Harvard’s statistical and computational research into forces influencing economic success or failure.

The universities also will share what they and other experts know about the opioid epidemic and plan national summits in the Detroit and Boston areas.

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel says he called Harvard President Lawrence Bacow (BACK’-ow), who grew up in Pontiac near Detroit, after learning of Bacow’s interest in working on national problems. They discussed areas of potential collaboration, and poverty and opioids rose to the top of their lists.

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