Intermountain Healthcare announced Thursday that it will be donating $2 million next year to “support community efforts to decrease opioid misuse, overdose, and deaths”.
The Utah Health Department says the state is currently seventh in the nation for prescription opioid overdose deaths. In 2014, an average of 24 adults died every month from overdoses.
To fight the problem, Intermountain previously donated $3 million from 2015-2017 to address the opioid crisis.
This year they say most of the funds will go to programs of the Opioid Community Collaborative, the Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, the Utah Department of Health, Weber Human Services, Davis Behavioral Health, and other community agencies. Part of the donation will also support provider education.
The company recently announced a goal of reducing the number of opioid tablets in prescriptions for acute care conditions by 40%.
“Drug poisoning is the leading cause of death in Utah-more deadly than falls, car crashes and gun deaths,” said Lisa Nichols, Community Health Partnership Director for Intermountain Healthcare. “When we consider all the people touched by tragedies involving opioid misuse, everyone is potentially at risk and has a stake in addressing the problem.”
Every day there are more than 7,000 opioid prescriptions filled in Utah.