Utah County health­care fa­cil­i­ties speak out about pre­scrip­tion opi­ods

Serve Daily - - COMMUNITY - By Lisa May for Serve Daily

Ad­dic­tion and pre­scrip­tion pain med­i­ca­tions, also known as opi­oids, is an epi­demic in Utah and across the na­tion. For many, ad­dic­tion be­gan as a le­gal pre­scrip­tion. To ed­u­cate the pub­lic about this health cri­sis, In­ter­moun­tain Health­care, Moun­tainS­tar Health­care, Wasatch Men­tal Health, Utah County Depart­ment of Drug and Al­co­hol Pre­ven­tion and Treat­ment and the state's pre­ven­tion cam­paign, Use Only as Directed, have joined forces to en­cour­age Utah County res­i­dents to Speak Out, Opt Out and Throw Out their pre­scrip­tion opi­oids.

Leader from par­tic­i­pat­ing health­care or­ga­ni­za­tions joined with lo­cal pre­ven­tion ex­perts and Utah County Com­mis­sioner Bill Lee to un­veil a wide­spread pub­lic aware­ness cam­paign in Fe­bru­ary. The grav­ity of the prob­lem in Utah County, in­clud­ing the par­tic­u­larly hard-hit Payson com­mu­nity, is un­der­scored by Utah Depart­ment of Health data that re­ports Utah County is one of the top five hotspots in the state for emer­gency depart­ment vis­its due to opi­oid mis­use and over­dose.

Large-scale mes­sag­ing through­out the hos­pi­tals and clin­ics will ed­u­cate pa­trons to the fact that 7,000 opi­oid pre­scrip­tions are is­sued each day in Utah, in­creas­ing the chance of mis­use or abuse. It can take just seven days to de­velop a phys­i­cal depen­dency on opi­oids.

Part­ners in the ini­tia­tive are en­cour­ag­ing Utah County res­i­dents to Speak Out, by hav­ing a conversation with their doc­tor about the po­ten­tial risks of opi­oids and Opt Out of pre­scrip­tion pain med­i­ca­tions in fa­vor of other CDC rec­om­mended, ef­fec­tive al­ter­na­tives.

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