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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
Professional Practice Extension Assistant
Professor of Health and Wellness

Utah State University Extension has a Professional Practice Extension Assistant Professor of Health and Wellness position open in Utah County, UT. This position is a non-tenure track, fiscal year 12-month/year appointment. Extension faculty develop, provide, evaluate, and coordinate research-based educational programs for youth and adults. Extension faculty also recruit, train and supervise volunteer leaders and serve as a liaison between local clientele, other resource agencies, and Utah State University administrators, faculty, and programs. This faculty member will have Utah County, regional, and University responsibilities. The initial focus of this position will be prevention of opioid misuse. The faculty will join four other HEART (Health Extension: Advocacy, Research, and Teaching) faculty located in counties across the state. The HEART Initiative focuses on current public health issues in the 9 counties and throughout Utah (e.g., Opioids, mental health and wellness, suicide prevention, and other pressing public health crises).

To learn more about current HEART efforts, please visit the HEART website, here. The estimated start date for this position is January 1, 2020. For more information about the position, please click here.

Did You Know? 
Opioid Settlements
The opioid epidemic has reached a new, critical stage - the stage of litigation and court settlements. As of last month, two large drug firms settled cases with payouts of $250 million to two Ohio counties. At the same time, a much larger deal involving 3,000 U.S. cities and counties, including some in Utah, is being negotiated with a proposed $48 billion settlement among the multiple drug companies involved.

As recently as September and despite a bankruptcy filing, Utah's attorney general (AG) issued a statement proposing a settlement from Purdue Pharma from the sale of OxyContin and the proposed damages that resulted. The Utah AG, Sean Reyes, was quoted in the Salt Lake Tribune as stating, "Purdue was morally bankrupt and now it is legally so."

This step toward litigation is one more attempt to move the needle on one of the most deadly epidemics in the nation's history, and sadly, in Utah as well. More Americans died from a drug overdose in 2017 than died during all of the Vietnam War. The Asian Flu in the 1950's took 70,000 lives over the multiple years of the epidemic while over 70,000 people died in a single year from drug overdoses. Americans, including local and state governments, are looking for solutions and the money to fund them.

To learn more about the opioid settlements, click here. To find additional information about Utah and the Purdue Pharma settlement, click here. For further data regarding drug overdose, click here.
Community Highlight
SHARP Survey

The Student Health and Risk Preventions (SHARP) Survey has been published by the Utah Department of Human Services, Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health for the 2019 Utah Prevention Needs Assessment Survey. The report summarizes Utah youth responses to a variety of adolescent behaviors, social and emotional health, and protective factors and risk factors, including substance use. The survey is completed statewide with youth in 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students. Results show that e-Cigarette use (or vaping) is increasing in our youth, which is concerning given the health consequences from its use. Protective factors in youth include family attachment and getting involved in prosocial or positive activities, among others that we can encourage in our youth to make a positive impact today!

You can see the report for your local substance abuse authority area (LSAA) as well as the statewide report here to learn more about your local needs.

Check out the recent Fox 13 Survey Highlights on Utah Children here.

Upcoming Events 
Carbon & Emery 
Opioid & Substance Use Coalition Meetings

First Monday of the month from 11:00 am - noon
USU Eastern Student Center
Price, Utah
Community Education Dinner

Monday, January 6, 2020
5:00 - 8:00 pm
Castle Dale Courthouse
1850 N 560 W
Castle Dale, Utah 84513

Click here to register
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