Skip to main content
Bridge Michigan
Michigan’s nonpartisan, nonprofit news source

Watch Bridge’s Lunch Break on Michigan opioid epidemic

  • On Wednesday, experts joined nearly 100 participants to discuss how Michigan can and should spend its $1.5 billion in opioid settlement money
  • The funds are designed to help with treatment and prevention of opioid addiction, which has killed thousands of Michigan residents

Bridge Michigan’s monthly Lunch Break series returned Wednesday with a sobering look at the toll of Michigan’s opioid epidemic and a discussion of how the state can use its $1.5 billion in opioid settlement funds most effectively to stem the crisis.

If you missed this live Zoom event, you can stream it below. 


Panelists included Amy Dolinky, technical adviser of opioid settlement funds at the Michigan Association of Counties, Cara Anne Poland, associate professor at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine, and Jonathan Stoltman, director of Opioid Policy Institute. Bridge reporters Robin Erb and Ron French moderated the discussion.

The conversation focused on the scale of the opioid crisis in Michigan, how the opioid settlement funding is being split between the state and local municipalities, the timing of dispersing these funds and how decisions are made for how the funds are used, the importance of transparency in how these dollars are spent, how other states are using their funds effectively, and more.

The event followed a Bridge Michigan series about transparency and urgency questions surrounding the settlement, as many local governments have yet to spend hundreds of millions of dollars meant to help users.

The chat in today’s discussion included many helpful resources and thought-provoking questions. To read a full transcript, visit this document.

Watch the recording of the discussion:

The Ethel & James Flinn Foundation, the Michigan Association of Health Plans, the Michigan Health & Hospital Association, and Michigan Health Endowment Fund support Bridge Michigan’s health reporting.

Bridge’s Lunch Break monthly series focuses on timely topics facing our state. Previous discussions have included examinations of efforts to educate students for careers in Michigan, solutions to gun violence in Michigan, the long-term impact of pollution from Michigan’s automotive industry, youth mental health in Michigan and ideas for growing the state’s population.

Become a Bridge Club member to be notified of future events from our nonprofit newsroom and receive member-exclusive benefits such as free Bridge event tickets, copies of our bimonthly Bridge Culture Club selections and more. Member support allows us to offer engagement opportunities like this Lunch Break series.  

To stay up-to-date on upcoming events and Bridge Michigan’s reporting, sign up for any of our free email newsletters, including our weekly Health Watch newsletter.

Our Lunch Break series will resume in March with an event on Michigan’s disappearing winters. We look forward to seeing you at our next event, which will be announced soon.

How impactful was this article for you?

Only donate if we've informed you about important Michigan issues

See what new members are saying about why they donated to Bridge Michigan:

  • “In order for this information to be accurate and unbiased it must be underwritten by its readers, not by special interests.” - Larry S.
  • “Not many other media sources report on the topics Bridge does.” - Susan B.
  • “Your journalism is outstanding and rare these days.” - Mark S.

If you want to ensure the future of nonpartisan, nonprofit Michigan journalism, please become a member today. You, too, will be asked why you donated and maybe we'll feature your quote next time!

Pay with VISA Pay with MasterCard Pay with American Express Pay with PayPal Donate Now