Utah taking measures to prevent opioid overdoses

Health.utah.gov published info recently indicating that Utah recognizes the problems it is facing in the fight against opioid overdoses and is doing something about it. They reported that the “Utah State Legislature passed two laws in 2014 to help reduce drug overdose deaths”:

1-The Good Samaritan Law (House Bill 11). This law enables bystanders to report an overdose without fear of criminal prosecution for illegal possession of a controlled substance or illicit drug.

2-Naloxone Law (House Bill 119)

This law permits physicians to prescribe naloxone to third parties (someone who is usually a caregiver or a potential bystander to a person at risk for an overdose) and permits individuals to administer naloxone without legal liability.

Further, health.utah.gov goes on to indicate some important facts about opioid overdose and abuse. They indicate that, “in Utah, the top five circumstances observed in prescription opioid deaths were:

  • 65% substance abuse problem (Substance abuse problems include those in which the individual was noted as using illegal drugs, abusing prescription medications, or regularly using inhalants at the time of death.)
  • 62% diagnosed mental illness
  • 61% physical health problem
  • 16% history of alcohol dependence or problem
  • 10% history of suicide attempt

Dangers of Prescription Drug Abuse:

  • Dependence
  • Slower brain activity
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Dangerously high body temperature
  • Heart failure
  • Lethal seizures

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