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Health Extension: Advocacy, Research, Teaching (HEART) is partnering locally and nationally to address the Opioid crisis and other pressing public health issues. The Health & Wellness faculty team serves the state of Utah. Five faculty are housed in nine counties where Opioid Use Disorder has had some of the most devastating effects. HEART seeks to coordinate on-the-ground efforts that advance evidence-based information, community-based solutions, and multi-sector partnerships.
HEART Team Highlights
Internship Opportunities with USU Extension

Are you or do you know any undergraduate students who want to make a difference in your local area and across Utah? The HEART initiative has several internship opportunities across the state starting this summer. To learn more about each of these positions and apply, visit Aggie Handshake. Job numbers are linked below: 

Carbon & Emery Counties (2 Positions): 36356153707619

Carbon & Various Counties3707561

Davis & Weber Counties3707590

Utah County3641189

Salt Lake & Tooele Counties3640165

Box Elder & Cache Counties: Internship opportunities coming this Fall 

Not a student? No problem! Apply on USU Jobs for other open positions like these

Duties and excellent experiences include but are not limited to: 

1. Assist in the HEART Initiative programming efforts (e.g., stigma reduction and education, resilience building, harm reduction, and strengthening community ties). 

2. Working cooperatively to address the opioid epidemic locally and across the state. 

3. Work cooperatively with HEART faculty to plan, organize, present, promote, and supervise special events (e.g., Opioid Summits, coalitions, etc.). 

4. Attend important meetings and serve on relevant coalitions to make a difference through collaborative efforts. 

5. Engage in research activities with faculty mentor, such as collaborate to review relevant knowledge base(s), create literature reviews or publish fact sheets, collect data, analyze data, and disseminate research. 

6. Other duties as assigned and based on intern interests or skills.


Learn more and visit our website today! 

Did You Know? 
Preventing Underage Drinking

The CDC states that underage drinkers consume 11% of all the alcohol sold in the US.  And when they drink, underage drinkers drink more at one time. Thirty percent of high schoolers report drinking within the last month.  First use of alcohol on average was at age 12 and first use of marijuana was at 13.  Having a first use of alcohol before age 15 puts youth at a 50% increased risk for alcohol dependence later in life.   

So what can be done?  

Boredom and having $25 or more a week of available spending money doubles the risk of substance misuse.  Teens who fear cyberbullying are more at risk and high-stress teens are twice as likely to misuse substances.  This means parents can monitor a child’s spending and get them involved in activities they will enjoy.  Parents can also check in about youth stresses, bullying, and offer support to minimize the tendency to use substances to escape.

It also makes a difference when caring adults and parents communicate concern and disapproval of substance misuse.  Youth who don’t think their parents will be very upset if they use various substances are 8 times more likely to think it's ok to use marijuana at their young age and 10 times more likely to think its ok to drink alcohol. 

For more information and resources for how to talk with your children about Substance Use Prevention, please visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website here

Community Highlight
National Prescription Take Back Day is POSTPONED

National Prescription Take-Back Day is normally on April 25th each year, but has been postponed until further notice due to current public health considerations. But you can still bring any unused prescription drugs and dispose of them safely at a designated location or drop box, which is a safe storage container that is tamper-proof and provides secure confidential disposal of unused or unwanted medications. 

Why is it a Good Idea to Properly Dispose of Prescription Medications?: 

A national 2018 survey on Substance Use and Misuse showed that 8.1 million Americans misused prescriptions or illicit substances in the past year. The survey showed that more than 50% of the prescriptions or substances were obtained from family, friends, or the home medicine cabinet (SAMHSA). Disposing of old or unused medication helps decrease medication misuse or accidental overdoses of friends or loved ones. Another study reported that 80% of people who used Heroin first started with prescription misuse (NIDA).  

Frequently-Asked Questions: 

What happens now that Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is postponed? 
There are several medication drop-box locations throughout Utah that accept and properly dispose of unused prescription drugs year-round. Even though Take-Back Day is postponed, you can still take them any time!  

My friend takes the same medications as me, can't I just give the leftovers to them?
Seems wasteful to throw my good medications away. Although it may seem wasteful, sharing medications is actually very risky. Since not all prescriptions are made in the same dosage, anyone taking medication that isn't their own may get too much of the drug's active ingredients and could have an overdose (Read more about this from the FDA).  

What's so bad about flushing my prescription drugs down the toilet?
Medicines that are flushed can end up contaminating our lakes and rivers (impacting fish and wildlife), and can even end up in our drinking water according to Utah Take Back

How do I properly dispose of Prescription Medications? 
Do not crush pills or flush them down the toilet. If desired, remove all personal information from the label of the bottle or packaging. Then, bring leftover medication to your local or closest Drop Box for disposal. Please visit the FDA website or the DEA website to find a drop box or safe disposal location near you!  

Upcoming Events 
To prevent the spread of illness, all in-person USU Extension events have been postponed through June 1st.
Carbon & Emery ONLINE Community Education Event

Tuesday, April 28th, 2020
9:00 am - 11:00 am

Click here to register & join
Event Password: coal

Email Ashley Yaugher, PhD with any questions
Community Education Dinner - Green River

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Green River
Senior Center
335 East 175 South
Green River, UT 84525

Click here to register
Carbon & Emery 
Opioid & Substance Use Coalition Meetings

First Monday of the month from 11:00 am - noon
Now held online
Please email Ashley Yaugher, PhD for meeting link 
Want more information on upcoming events?
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