Women and opioid addiction in Utah

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The nationwide opioid epidemic is widespread. And here in Utah, it is even worse. Utah is currently seventh in the nation for prescription opioid overdose deaths, according to the Utah Department of Health.

Nathan Peterson from Riverton Hospital Community Benefits stopped by Good Things Utah studio to talk about how women are effected. 

According to Peterson, women are just as likely as men to develop a substance use disorder. He also says women may be more susceptible to craving and relapse.

“Women may use drugs to control weight, fight exhaustion or self-treat mental health problems,” says Peterson. Women may use smaller amounts of certain drugs for less time before they become addicted.”

Three ways to reduce opioid misuse:
1. Speak out: Ask your doctor if pain medication is really needed
2. Opt out: use a non-opioid pain medication alternative
3. Throw out: Safely dispose of unused medications

Peterson also recommends safely getting rid of your leftover prescription medications as they are contributing to the opioid crisis.

The pharmacies at Intermountain hospitals and clinics have secure drop boxes where you can dispose of any type of leftover prescription medication.

You can drop off any type of unused medications at Intermountain pharmacies any day during pharmacy hours. For example, Southridge Outpatient Pharmacy at Riverton Hospital is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00. Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Intermountain also recently installed a new drop box at Peterson’s grocery store in Riverton, which will be available from 6:00 a.m. to midnight.

To find a location near you where you can safely dispose of unused prescription medication. Type in your zip code at https://takebackday.dea.gov

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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