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The opioid crisis isn’t just in big cities, rural communities are battling it as well

Posted: 2:36 PM, Jan 16, 2020
Updated: 2020-01-16 16:36:50-05
The opioid crisis isn’t just in big cities, rural communities are battling it as well

Opioid drug misuse is a serious problem in Utah.  And, it's not just a "big city" problem either.

Communities in rural communities are facing the opioid crisis as well.

Robin Hatch is  Prevention Coordinator for Northeastern Counseling Center, which has a coverage area of Duchesne, Uintah and Daggett Counties. She says their prevention team relies heavily on local residents, church groups, civic groups and businesses to host and promote prevention presentations.

Hatch says they've found people were hoarding medications, so they've pushed disposal messaging.  It's critical to get unused medications out of houses and even farms.

Currently they're focused on educating veterinarians and farmers with large animals.  "Our animals are prescribed opioids and need to make sure vets are mindful of the quantities prescribed and risk of abuse by humans," says Hatch.

Hatch says they've also had great success with educating the public with pharmacy bags, they've put local drop box locations up so people can safely dispose of medications.

The prevention staff has also certified instructors for the evidence-based Prime For Life education classes.  Prime for Life is available for both youth and adults to help them understand their risk for experiencing alcohol or drug problems.

Anyone wanting to partner or volunteer should contact their local coordinator.  A list can be found at dsamh.utah.gov or the utahprevention.org website.

And for more information visit: useonlyasdirected.org.