Together, we can save lives.

Legislation overview


The opioid crisis is a public health emergency that has resulted in a dramatic increase in both opioid overdose deaths and the risk of HIV and HCV outbreaks in our state.

The Michigan Legislature is already taking on the crisis through thoughtful policy changes such as Public Act 176 of 2022, which saves lives with expanded access to naloxone. There is, however, much more we can do.

As harm-reduction hubs, SSPs connect people with comprehensive care and substance abuse treatment, provide clean needles, and offer a place for needle exchange to reduce syringe litter and needlestick injuries. Syringes and other equipment provided by public health programs are not classified as drug paraphernalia under state law; however, many Michigan communities criminalize their possession without exemptions for public health services. This means that public health workers and program participants can face arrest and prosecution for legally distributing (or obtaining) life-saving materials in one jurisdiction that are prohibited in another. SSP staff, participants, and persons attempting to discard used needles safely can face criminal charges for activities that protect public health.

The next step in the harm-reduction model is to protect individuals who distribute or use SSP equipment from prosecution, as well as increase the number of syringe service programs in the state.


  • Explicitly authorize the establishment and operation of SSPs in state law
  • Clarify that equipment provided by SSPs, such as needles and syringes, is not considered drug paraphernalia under state or local law
  • Protect individuals obtaining or returning syringes from arrest, prosecution, charges, or convictions • Reduce the transmission of HCV, HIV, and other infections


  • Provide more life-saving resources
  • Lower risk of HIV and HCV outbreaks
  • Lower the chance of legal consequences for public health workers
  • Save on healthcare costs
  • Increase access to substance use treatment
  • Reduce needlestick injuries and syringe litter

Real talk about harm reduction

Expanding access to naloxone

Public Act 176 of 2022

Public Act 176 of 2022


Between 2016 and 2022, Michigan pharmacies dispensed naloxone under a single, statewide prescription by the chief medical executive of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).

Community-based organizations, however, were not allowed to purchase or distribute the medication until July 2022 when Public Act 176 took effect. The new law expands access to naloxone for individuals experiencing an opioid overdose and permits community-based organizations to purchase and distribute naloxone under a standing order. The law also protects community-based organizations from liability in any civil action that may arise out of distributing, administering, or failing to administer the opioid antagonist.


The Michigan Overdose Prevention Coalition is working to encourage community-based organizations to take on the opioid crisis by purchasing and distributing naloxone throughout the state.


  • Expanded access to naloxone, especially at a grassroots level
  • Fewer preventable deaths and more lives saved

Find Your Legislators

Use the links below to look up your state senator and state representative:

Get involved

Join our mailing list to receive updates and resources to advocate for safe SSPs and continued support of wider naloxone distribution in Michigan.

Advocacy toolkit

Community leaders around the state are advocating for policy reforms to increase access to evidence-based harm reduction strategies. Here are some resources you can use to help advocate for safe SSPs and continued support of wider naloxone distribution in Michigan.

Harm Reduction Educational Flipbook PDF

Harm Reduction Educational Flipbook

Michigan Harm Reduction Legislative Summary

Naloxone and Syringe Service Program Talking Points

SSP Content for Social Media

SSP Content for Social Media