The Utah Opioid Task Force hosted a Lunch & Learn session during the week of March 6 to present what it expects to focus on in the coming year.
Hosted by Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, the session provided event attendees with four TED-style talks from speakers with experience in the opioid crisis in that state.
Reyes said it was a taste of what he hoped to take to other communities across Utah.
“We wanted to show our legislators and leaders in other communities across Utah just a little taste of a sort of road show that we want to take… from region to region throughout the state over the next couple of months,” he said. “The purpose of this event is to provide a demonstration of the types of community-based information and education seminars that our task force intends to deliver through the end of 2020.”
Bountiful Police Department Chief Tom Ross spoke about the Davis County Receiving Center, a pilot project that gives those struggling with drug addiction or mental health issues an alternative to going to jail. Located next door to the county jail, in the building that used to serve as the jail’s work-release program, the center helps connect those in crisis with help quickly. The program is funded with state, local and federal money, and is open to misdemeanor offends.
A presentation by Dr. Jennifer Plumb with Utah Naloxone helped attendees understand how to use Naloxone to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, as well as what the symptoms of an overdose are and when to use it. Plumb recommended that anyone who knows someone struggling with addiction should have a Naloxone kit on hand.
In another presentation, Anna Fondario with the Utah Department of Health spoke to what resources to combat the opioid crisis are available through her department, what the department is doing to address the opioid crisis and how to use the department’s Data Dashboard that provides an interactive presentation of opioid-related health data in the state.
Lastly, Evan Done, with Utah Support Advocates for Recover Awareness, gave a presentation about their opioid-addiction recovery support system focusing on helping those in all stages of addiction recovery connect with resources toward the goal of long-term addiction recovery.