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HEART Team Highlight: HEART Team Opioid Summits

March 5, 2019: Opioid Recovery Summit in Price, UT
"At the 2019 Opioid Recovery Summit, over 178 community members checked in for the day at USU Eastern to hear from speakers about the multiple roads to recovery, treatment and prevention. The summit encouraged recovery in our local communities that have been hit hard by the opioid epidemic..."

To read more about the Opioid Recovery Summit, click here. To see the available presentation materials, click here.

March 7, 2019: Bear River Prevention Conference in Brigham, UT
Despite a blizzard striking in the early morning hours, the Bear River Prevention Conference: Our Community and Opioids, was a success. The Conference Co-Sponsored by USU Extension, Bear River Health Department, and Intermountain Health Care Bear River Hospital, brought together over 130 local community members from Box Elder, Cache, and Rich Counties. The community members were prevention specialists, treatment professionals, students, EMS and Law Enforcement, behavioral health providers, local government staff and those interested in learning more about the Opioid Crisis in their towns and cities.

The presenters discussed the current drug use crisis and factors that have contributed to the overdose deaths of approximately 72,000 people in 2018. Speakers also provided current research into alternative treatments for chronic pain in patients with mental health, and SUD (Substance Use Disorders). They also agreed that providing research-based early education, prevention, intervention, and treatment alternatives to reduce the use of addictive substances (including opioid pain medicine) is a preliminary step in treating this Crisis.

The conference concluded with participants being called to action in their communities. After learning about local resources and options available in the fight to prevent Substance Use Disorder (SUD), Opioid Use Disorder (OUD), overdose, and suicide, what they do will make a difference. Whether carrying the lifesaving Narcan (Naloxone) for opioid overdose or providing available resources to a family in need of assistance, all agreed that acting locally is a start to something bigger. They were challenged to take the next step and become part of the solution to battle this SUD crisis. As a Bear River community, they all agreed to take that step to offer help and not judge their neighbors.

As the Conference concluded, the morning blizzard had became a warm and sunny afternoon. To see presentations from the summit via video, visit the HEART Resources page here.

Upcoming Rural Community Member Summit

July 17-18, 2019: Rural Opioid Health & Wellness Summit - Communities Empowered to Save Lives!
This rural community member summit is for all community members. Please check out our Save the Date and other important summit information here.
Did You Know? 

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental health is just as important as physical health and this area of wellness impacts us all. For example, farmers in rural areas are at a greater risk for suicidal thoughts and it is important to have resources for yourself or a loved one when you need them. Farmer resources can be found here

Mental Health America has a month-long awareness campaign too, including topics such as:

  • Week 1: Science of Stress and Suicide Risk
  • Week 2: Referral Resources
  • Week 3: Coping with Substance Abuse/Opioids
  • Week 4: Cultivating Resiliency
  • Week 5: Break the Stigma
Read more here.

In this same line of thinking, Representative Christine Watkins in Utah is working to create a Parity Bill to make behavioral health equal to physical health for insurance as a response to how lack of insurance coverage can be a barrier for treatment of Substance Use Disorder and other Mental Health concerns. This new law seeks to make sure that our mind is not being treated differently than our body. After this bill is written, it is important for us to call our local representatives to express our thoughts on parity for mental health.
Community Highlights
National Take Back Day

Did you know that April 27th was National Prescription Drug Take Back Day? HEART faculty partnered with their local communities to provide safe and convenient locations for residents to dispose of their unused prescription medication as well as provide information on safe disposal year-round. In Utah, more than 17,855 lbs of prescription medication were collected through the community's efforts. For more information on how you can get involved with National Prescription Drug Take Back Day in your community, contact your local HEART faculty.

Upcoming Events 
Carbon & Emery County
Opioid & Substance Use Coalition Meetings 

First Monday of the month from 11 a.m. - noon
Carbon: USU Eastern Student Center, Price, Utah
Emery: 75 E Main Street, Castle Dale, Utah
Save the Date!
Rural Opioid Health & Wellness Summit - 
Communities Empowered to Save Lives!
USU Eastern, Price, Utah 
July 18-19, 2019
Want more information on upcoming events?
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