Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention
Southeast Idaho Public Health has partnered with the Idaho Office of Drug Policy and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s Division of Public Health. This partnership focuses on Idaho’s issues concerning both licit prescription opioid pain relievers and illicit sources such as heroin.
National trends on opioid misuse and overdose have skyrocketed since 2000. In Idaho, 3.9% of individuals twelve years and older report nonmedical use of prescription pain relievers (2013-2014). Statistics from 2013 show that one Idaho citizen died every 39 hours due to prescription, over-the-counter, or illicit, drug overdose. Although it is currently difficult to pinpoint the specific role of opioids, we do know that, in Idaho, pharmacy dispensing of opioid medications rose 48% between 2000 and 2009. Heroin use and overdose have also risen sharply in recent years. In addition, national studies have found that prescription medications, including opioids, are the second-most abused drugs after marijuana.
Opioid misuse and overdose affects everyone regardless of age or socioeconomic status. Idaho is not exempt from the burden of nonmedical use or overdose related to opioids. Therefore, the Idaho Office of Drug Policy and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s Public Health Division sought and received funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to convene statewide stakeholders to work collaboratively on powerful strategies to address this serious, life-threatening issue.
Opioids are extremely addictive, and like many other drugs, the composition and mode of use may evolve over time. For more information, please visit: http://www.odp.idaho.gov or contact Darlene Lester at 208-239-5290.