Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan says they are joining with partners to help curb the state’s opioid addiction and overdose problem.

BCBSM says in a release Thursday that along with the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and the Superior Health Foundation they are allocating $455,000 towards an initiative that will provide grants to projects aiming to reduce opioid and prescription drug abuse.  

Blue Cross says that projects throughout the state can receive up to $75,000. Groups in the medical and public health fields, as well as community organizations like schools and faith-based groups are eligible.

According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, between 1999 and 2014 unintentional fatal drug poisonings increased fourfold in the state, and the opioid problem has been described as an “epidemic” by Battle Creek Police Chief Jim Blocker.

For more information, and to apply for a grant, go to bcbsm.com/safetynet.

BONUS VIDEO: Chief Jim Blocker Discusses Opioid Epidemic