Prescription Drug Abuse & Utah

“Let us all work together to stop this epidemic from spreading and killing our loved ones.”

As we all know, prescription drug abuse has become an epidemic all across the nation. However, Utah has become one of the nation’s leading states for drug abuse, ranking fifth in the nation for prescription drug overdoses from 2013 to 2015.

Since 2007, the Legislature has passed 101 laws addressing prescription misuse, monitoring prescribing practices, overdose prevention with an emergency drug called naloxone, and court-ordered treatments.

There is also a database known as Utah’s prescription drug monitoring system, which was created in 1995 to assist doctors and law enforcement monitor the use and abuse of prescribed controlled substances. Utah is one of 48 states with a system like this in place, but many other states require law enforcement to obtain a warrant or court order to access the database, however, Utah is not one of them.

In 2012, an average of 21 Utah adults each month died as a result of prescription drug use. Fatal prescription pill overdose is known more commonly in Utah than death by car crash. Most people have the assumption that just because they get prescribed painkillers from a doctor that it is safe to use anytime when in reality this is just not true and can be very fatal.

Since 2002, deaths from prescription pain medication outnumbered heroin & cocaine deaths combined. Nearly half of young adult heroin users reported having first abused prescription opioids. Only 15% of addicts get the treatment they need.

These are alarming facts about prescription drug abuse in Utah, and if you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, please reach out to a treatment center that can help you. There is no better time to get the help you need then now. With awareness and knowledge available nowadays, we can all help stop this horrible epidemic.

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