Info about Utah and Opioid addiction

Info about Utah and Opioid addiction

Facts & Stats:

·Since 2000, the U.S. has seen a large increase in opioid drug misuse resulting in elevated numbers of overdose cases and deaths.

oThese numbers have reached epidemic levels and drug poisoning is currently the leading cause of deaths due to injuries for adults in the U.S. Drug-poisoning deaths have outpaced deaths due to firearms, falls and motor vehicle crashes in Utah. (1)

·Who’s at risk? Anyone who uses an opioid is potentially at risk.

oClinical studies have shown that a person taking opioids can become physically dependent in just seven days.

oAn alarming number of teenagers are more likely to have abused prescription and over-the-counter drugs than some illegal drugs.

oIn 2015, 2.9% of Utah youth in grades 8, 10, and 12 reported that they had used a prescription drug not prescribed to them by a doctor within the past 30 days (2).

oNationally, 1 in 6 parents believes that using prescription drugs to get high is safer than using street drugs. More than 1 in 4 teens (27%) share the same belief (3).

oAlmost half (47%) of teens reported that it is easy to get prescription drugs from a parent’s medicine cabinet (3).

oTeens are abusing everything from pain medicines to stimulants, sedatives, and tranquilizers (4)

Effective Prevention:

·Public education and awareness are a big first step in helping combat this problem here in Utah. The more people know and understand the issue, the more they can do to take charge of their own health care.

·It’s important to reduce the stigma and encourage patients to have conversations with the doctors and help them understand that they can take an active role in reducing the number of prescriptions.

·Our hope is to continue moving the needle through reduction of prescriptions written and filled by doctors by encouraging patients to talk to their doctors.

·Use Only as Directed is encouraging the community to “have the talk.” This is the talk we want the public to have with their doctor or dentist about the risk of opioid addiction and options for alternatives.

·Be your own advocate and take charge of your own health care by having a conversation with your doctor or dentist.

·Addiction to prescription pain medications, also known as opioids, is an epidemic in Utah and across the nation. For many, addiction began with a legal prescription.

·Physical dependence to opioids can happen in just seven days and can occur to anyone.

Parents in Recovery:

·Understanding that a Substance Use Disorder is an "illness" and not evidence of "bad parenting". 

§For Parents in Recovery from addiction, the greatest prevention for their children is to role model for breaking the often "intergenerational" cycle of addiction.  

·Parents can be honest about 'lessons learned' through their addiction stories but should be careful to not use scare tactics, including using graphic details about their use. This approach is trauma-informed, and research supports that focusing on clear rules and keeping bonds strong will give way to more prevention mileage than alarming children with stories of use.

·Parents who are in recovery can engage in early prevention efforts with their children and communities.

§Modeling plays a large role in prevention. Kids who have parents that engage in substance use are at higher risk. Mitigate the potential shame by proactively and honestly addressing the risk, but without telling details that may ignite feelings of fear.

§Be an advocate for alternatives to opioids when visiting with your doctor about pain management. Modeling the support of safe alternatives can help kids to be empowered to make similar choices.

·Those in recovery can engage in early prevention strategies that have been proven effective for all children. Setting clear rules about no substance use, combined with creating and maintaining strong and healthy bonds will help protect children from the early onset of substance use.

·One approach that works very well is communicating with our children about what their hopes and dreams are. A parent can help children understand that one of their greatest desires is to help their children reach their hopes and dreams and substance abuse can greatly interfere and often destroy those plans. Science has shown, for example, that drinking underage can interfere with healthy brain development like impulse control, decision making and memory.

·The best prevention programs in schools focus on helping kids develop healthy life skills such as how to cope with anxiety, stress, and depression. How to make goals, how to make good friends, and how to refuse when someone offers them drugs or alcohol. 


·People can go to to find pharmacies that carry Naloxone kits and links to other resources like treatment providers and recovery services.

·Pharmacists to dispense naloxone, without a prior prescription, to anyone at increased risk of experiencing an opioid overdose.

·People can dial 2-1-1 or visit to be directed to opioid treatment and recovery resources in their county.

·Dialing 2-1-1 is a simple way to find the assistance you need from organizations throughout Utah.

·Be sure to lock up medications and safety throw out medications that are no longer needed.

·You can visit to find a list of locations for drop boxes in your area where you can drop off unused medications.

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