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Prescription Drug Abuse

Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

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An astounding, even frightening number of Utahns are hooked on over-the-counter and prescription drugs. And in far too many instances, they're overdosing and dying as a result of it.

Listen to these facts:

-Utah has the highest rate in the nation for non-medical use of prescription pain killers, according to a recent federal study.
-Last year, more Utahns died as a result of over-the-counter or prescription drug overdoses than died in automobile accidents.
- Beyond those who die are the thousands more who live with their addictions and the dreadful impact that has on their families and society.

The obvious question is why is it happening? Beyond that, what can be done to combat this deadly and debilitating trend? More especially, how can it be prevented?

Too their credit, Utah lawmakers earlier this year appropriated funding and directed state agencies to tackle the issue. In response, the Utah Department of Health has announced a coordinated two-year effort to investigate the underlying causes of the problem and then formulate a prevention plan.

In KSL's view, the urgency and significance of this endeavor can't be overstated.

Even as the study proceeds, responsible physicians should evaluate their own prescribing tendencies, while patients who are given opiate pain medications should take care to use them properly. The risk of deadly addiction, obviously, is a glaring reality.

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