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Nationwide Opioid Epidemic Brings Tragedy to Utah

Nationwide Opioid Epidemic Brings Tragedy to Utah
June 03
14:13 2016

One person dies everyday in Utah from a prescription medication overdose. Every other day, someone succumbs to a heroin overdose.

As U.S. Attorney John Huber observed, “There is an insatiable appetite in Utah for pain pills and heroin.”

Some point to the LDS Church as a trigger. Church High Priest Dan Snarr, who lost a son to an overdose, said,”The LDS church is a big part of it, They make people feel they should be perfect.”

A treatment counselor agrees with the High Priest, “There is a belief among LDS members that you need to be perfect. It’s keeping up with the Joneses times ten.”

The church bans alcohol use, but people think because prescription drugs are legal that they don’t violate any church mandate.

One-third of Utahans have a prescription for an opioid painkiller, mainly OxyCotin. Last winter, the state legislature passed a resolution declaring opioid abuse an epidemic in the state.

It is estimated that between 26.4 million and 36 million people abuse opioids worldwide, with an estimated 2.1 million people in the United States suffering from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers and an estimated 467,000 addicted to heroin.

Overdose deaths involving prescription opioids have quadrupled since 1999, and so have sales of these prescription drugs. From 1999 to 2014, more than 165,000 people have died in the U.S. from overdoses related to prescription opioids.

Today, at least half of all U.S. opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid. In 2014, more than 14,000 people died from overdoses involving prescription opioids.

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