(LANSING, MI.)–As the opioid abuse epidemic worsens, the new State House Pharmacy Caucus met for the first time yesterday. Democratic State Representative Scott Dianda of Calumet is co-chair of the bipartisan group, sharing responsibilities with Republican Hank Vaupel from Fowlerville. Dianda says he’s looking forward to working with pharmacists to control the unauthorized use of opioids, which include prescription painkillers such as OxyContin, Vicodin and codeine, as well as heroin. Michigan healthcare providers wrote 11 million prescriptions for such drugs in 2016. That’s more than one for every man, woman and child in the state. Meanwhile, the University of Michigan is putting its resources into finding a way to reduce the opioid problem. The effort was announced by university president Mark Schlissel this week. Schlissel said it will combine the efforts of experts in a number of fields from across the university.