As Michigan’s opioid crisis deepens, treatment experts warn that proposed state regulatory changes could lead to widespread layoffs of substance abuse workers and even force some treatment centers to close.

A public hearing is scheduled Wednesday (Oct. 17) in Lansing for comments on the proposed changes, with state officials saying new regulations are needed to protect patients and upgrade standards put in place decades ago (9 a.m. at the G. Mennen Williams Building Auditorium, 525 W. Ottawa Street).

One treatment official told Bridge he found the regulatory proposals sadly ironic amid calls for broader opioid treatment across the state.

“This would either dramatically increase costs or result in us closing the program,” said Jason Schwartz, clinical director at Dawn Farm, an Ypsilanti-based nonprofit substance abuse treatment network.