The reality of the opioid epidemic affects every family, community, and city in the nation.
- Every day 115 people in the US die of opioid overdose.
- Utah is ranked 7th in the nation for drug overdose deaths between 2013-2016.
- Six Utahns die every week from opioid overdose – that’s 24 people a month.
- Opioid deaths in Utah have outpaced deaths caused by firearms, falls, motor vehicle crashes.
Working with legislators, community activists, the medical community, and the Drug Enforcement Agency, Attorney General Sean Reyes organized the Utah Opioid Task Force in 2017 to combat the opioid epidemic. The Utah Opioid Task Force is a voluntary task force made up of representatives from partner agencies and organizations across the state. The mission of the task force is to take action against opioid abuse through law enforcement, prosecution, proposed legislation, and innovation. The collaborative process brings together leaders to create solutions that take on the opioid crisis with direct action.
In 2017, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes co-authored a letter representing a coalition of 37 states and territories urging health insurance companies to examine financial incentives that contribute to the opioid epidemic in Utah. Additionally, AG Reyes announced that an investigation by a bipartisan coalition of 41 state attorneys general is seeking documents and information from manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioids. This information will enable the attorneys general to evaluate whether these businesses are engaged in unlawful practices in the marketing, sale, and distribution of opioids.
The AGO has joined with a bipartisan group of attorneys general from across the country in letters to 15 healthcare companies that provide pharmacy benefit management (PBM) services to encourage companies to implement programs to mitigate prescription opioid abuse.
The task force was called on to make available naloxone rescue kits, which are used solely as an antidote to reverse an opiate overdose. Additionally, legislators and medical community members of the task force are collaborating to forward legislation to address various aspects of the opioid epidemic.