Governor Rick Snyder is still making his way through the stack of bills on his desk after lame duck. Among the bills that have already gotten his stamp of approval is one that authorizes suspicion-based drug tests for some welfare recipients. It requires the state to establish pilot programs for screening and testing people on public assistance in three Michigan counties.
“It’s as if a well has been sunk deep into the sediment of my life, an artesian well drilled into the stratified, impermeable bedrock of the past, and every memory that is forced to the surface breeds another ten in front of my eyes.” Those provocative words come from Sting’s 2003 memoir, "Broken Music." They recall his 1987 experience with a South American psychotropic brew called ayahuasca.
Unintentional drug overdoses in Michigan have quadrupled in the past decade. Much of that has been driven by an increase in opiate usage, including heroin. Many addicts start out hooked on prescription medication, but move to heroin because it is cheaper and more readily available. The problem touches an untold number of victims and their families. Earlier this week, area leaders gathered at Michigan State University to address the growing problem.