The Opioid Crisis: Utah’s rising epidemic

Kelty Dagley

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The Opioid Crisis: Utahs rising epidemic

The United States is facing an increasingly problematic issue that poses a major threat to many people. Recently though, teens have entered the scene and it proves troubling for many.

The Opioid Crisis has significantly been rising in the past few years. So where does Utah enter into this? Utah has ranked top 10 in the country for overdose deaths for the last ten years. The National Institute on Drug Abuse stated that there were 456 deaths related to an opioid overdose in 2017.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse also reported that, “Every day, more than 130 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids.” This is a somber fact that should inspire us to try and do something to stop the opioid crisis from spreading even more.

“From 2000 to 2015, Utah experienced a nearly 400% increase in deaths from the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs,” stated the Utah Department of Health. This has pushed Utah to take significant steps in decreasing overdose deaths from opioids.

The Utah Department of Health has received funding to address the opidemic. They have also been distributing Naloxone, which has contributed to saving lives. The department has funded community clinics, substance use treatment facilities, and community organizations.

Teens in Utah have been abusing prescription drugs that contain opioids. They abuse these prescriptions because social media portrays it as popular and normal, they are looking for acceptance with their peers, have a lack of confidence, or are simply going through a rebellious phase. Opioids can also be unintentionally abused if teens are recovering from a sports injury. They may become dependent on it so that there isn’t a lot of pain.

Teens and adults should seek out help from a trusted adult or professional counselor if they are dealing with opioid addiction. Seeking out help and gaining support from family and friends will help teens on their road to recovery.