March 5, 2018
Utah currently ranks 4th in the nation for opioid drug overdose deaths, losing six people a week to the epidemic. This is a national health crisis and a priority of the Attorney General’s office since Sean D. Reyes took office.
In June, Attorney General Sean Reyes joined Brian Besser, DEA District Agent in Charge, in creating an executive Opioid Task Force to address the epidemic. The task force consists of skilled partners, including Speaker Greg Hughes, Rep. Carol Spackman Moss, Rep. Steve Eliason, Senator Evan Vickers, Councilmember Jenny Wilson from the Salt Lake County Council, members of law enforcement, the medical community, academia, and congressional delegation staffers.
The Attorney General’s Office has been diligently working to help stem the tide of the opioid addiction in the state. Below is a list of actions taken by AG Reyes and the Opioid Task Force for the last few years.
FEB: Arrest of Victor Rax – known drug & human trafficker.
OCT: AG Reyes urges Congress to pass the Comprehensive & Addiction Recovery Act of 2015.
JUL: AG Reyes joins investigation by a bipartisan coalition of 41 state attorneys general seeking documents and information from manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioids.
OCT: AG Reyes files a lawsuit with 36 other AGs against Suboxone, an opioid addiction treatment drug, for blocking generic competitors.
APR: AG Reyes promotes turning in unused prescription drugs on for Utah Takeback Day.
MAY: AG Reyes creates Opioid Task Force with DEA, Utah legislators, community members, and public health officials to act against the opioid epidemic.
JUN: In conjunction with the DEA, Utah AGO assists in one of the largest heroin busts in Utah history, arresting 35 conspirators.
SEPT: AG Reyes urges health insurance companies to examine financial incentives that contribute to the opioid epidemic in Utah by co-authoring a letter with a coalition of 37 states and territories.
OCT: AG Reyes joins a bipartisan group of AG’s encouraging 15 healthcare companies that provide pharmacy benefit management services to implement programs that mitigate prescription opioid abuse.
Utah Opioid Task Force alerts health care providers and law enforcement that Naloxone rescue kits, are legal and only used as an antidote to reverse an opiate overdose.
NOV: AG Reyes advocates for and assists DEA in bringing DEA 360 to Utah.
DEC: AG Reyes invited to White House to consult with on President Trump’s declaration of opioid crisis a “health emergency.”
MISC: AG Reyes partners to create the number for mental health support.