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opioids

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The Utah County Commission passed a resolution Tuesday to pursue legal action against the manufacturers of opioids. They’re now the second county in the state to do so this week.

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Utah’s opioid crisis is prompting Salt Lake County officials to pursue legal action against pharmaceutical companies.

Whittney Evans

A Justice Department program that tackles heroin, prescription drug abuse and violent crime is coming to Utah.

Erik Neumann / KUER

Officials have announced that a small-scale Medicaid expansion request in Utah was approved by the federal government. For lawmakers focused on difficult problems like homelessness and drug addiction, it was a time to celebrate. 

Erik Neumann / KUER

The Park City Hospital hosted a free naloxone training this week. That’s the drug used to reverse an opioid overdose. The event drew a big response from Park City residents. 

Erik Neumann

Todd Allen is the medical director of the emergency department at Intermountain Healthcare. Last month, he announced that Intermountain would reduce prescription levels of opioid painkillers by 40 percent by the end of 2018. Allen recently spoke with KUER about how they plan to do that. 

Nicole Nixon

Law enforcement authorities are warning that the dangerous narcotic fentanyl is becoming a more common street drug in Utah.

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A state lawmaker is working on new legislation to curb pain pill addiction in Utah. This one starts at the doctor’s office.

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Members of Congress met in conference Wednesday to hash out an agreement on comprehensive legislation to address the opioid epidemic. While the parties disagree about funding, Utah advocates say the need for help is urgent.

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White House Drug Control Policy Director Michael Botticelli was in Salt Lake City Thursday to talk with community leaders about efforts to address opioid addiction.

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Intermountain Healthcare announced an effort Thursday to reduce drug overdose deaths by increasing access to an antidote called Naloxone. Utahns can now visit any Intermountain community pharmacy in the state and buy Naloxone without a prescription from a doctor.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

This week several laws went into effect intended to address Utah’s addiction to pain pills and opioids. Lawmakers this year approved legislation that will allow for the creation of a needle exchange and for anyone to distribute a drug overdose antidote called Naloxone. KUER's Andrea Smardon talks with Sam Plumb, whose brother died of a heroin overdose. Plumb and his sister Jennifer together started an organization last year called Utah Naloxone at University of Utah Health Care.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

A former St. George doctor has been sentenced to more than eight years in prison for illegally prescribing pain pills.

Law Officers Warn of Heroin “Tsunami” in Utah

Dec 11, 2015
Andrea Smardon / KUER

Law enforcement officials are seeing an alarming rise in robberies in Utah, and they say heroin addiction is fueling it. The US Attorney for Utah hosted a press conference Thursday to call for help in addressing the problem.

https://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/Medicare-Provider-Charge-Data/OpioidMap.html

The federal government has released a new online mapping tool that shows Medicare opioid prescription claims in the United States. Utah’s claims are above the national average.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Every month, 49 Utahns die from drug poisoning. But advocates are trying to prevent more deaths by distributing a medicine they believe can save lives.