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Opioids Have Killed at Least 460,000 Americans

October 25, 2019

Opioids have killed at least 460,000 Americans over the last 20 years. That’s approaching the death toll of World War II and the Vietnam War combined.

It is a priority of the Utah Attorney General’s Office to combat the opioid crisis in Utah. The AG’s Office has joined states across the nation in multiple lawsuits against some of the nation’s largest pharmaceutical companies, such as Purdue Pharmaceuticals – a company that additionally faces hundreds of lawsuits by other government entities. There are many more ongoing investigations regarding the company’s primary impact on the opioid crisis.

That’s not all.  There are many more lawsuits filed against pharmaceutical companies from other states, cities, counties, and Native American tribes. Below is an excerpt from the Deseret News article, Opioids killed at least 460,000 Americans, Now the manufacturers face a reckoning, detailing the process.

While settlements and rumors of cash awards circulate, the sheer volume of lawsuits and proposals and different governments involved — including states and cities and Native American tribes — means any final award tally is very much up in the air.

Lawsuits may be negotiated separately, then there’s a process for determining who gets what and that’s bound to be complicated, with formulas that consider many different factors. Those factors include how big a state’s population is and how severe the problem has been in each one, income levels and more, said Richard Piatt, spokesman for Utah’s Attorney General’s Office. It amounts to a lot of moving pieces — and the process can move quite slowly.

Nor is all the help coming from lawsuits. The Trump administration announced in September $1.8 billion in grants to help states and local governments combat the opioid epidemic, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Utah’s share is $24 million.

Opioids Killed at least 460,000 Americans. Now the manufacturers face a reckoning.
By Lois M. Collins, Deseret News

The opioid crisis affects people of every age, gender, race, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. The Utah Attorney General’s Office urges everyone to safely, and appropriately dispose of unused and expired medications in your home to help combat the opioid crisis. Tomorrow is Utah Take Back Day from 10 AM to 2 PM across the state. Find the disposal box closest to you at utahtakeback.org.

In addition, Walgreens houses medication disposal boxes in their stores. Riverton City recently launched a new medication disposal program that integrated large, blue disposal boxes containing NarcX, a solution that dissolves and destroys opioid medications.

If you or someone you know is struggling with opioid addiction, make sure you keep a Naloxone kit on hand – you will save a life.

NarcX Proposed Statewide Initiative

October 16, 2019

The Utah Attorney General’s Office, Senator Dan Thatcher, Representative Eric Hutchings, and Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs discussed ways state and local governments can partner to combat the opioid crisis during a press conference this morning. Additionally, they discussed implementing a statewide initiative using NarcX, an on-site disposal system for opioids.

In September, Riverton City joined with Utah Attorney General Reyes, the Opioid Task Force, and Intermountain Riverton Hospital to launch the use of NarcX in Riverton. A safe, easy-to-use liquid solution dissolves pills, tablets, capsules, liquids, and patches immediately on contact, making them non-retrievable. Riverton now houses multiple boxes of NarcX at disposal sites that are capable of safely destroying up to 5,000 unused, unwanted opioids.

Additionally, NarcX helps prohibit people from flushing opioids down the toilet, which can have harmful consequences on the environment.

Listen to the press conference below:

Read more about NarcX and the launch of the Riverton City initiative here.

Riverton City in Partnership with Utah AG Launches New Medication Disposal Program

September 12, 2019

Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes joined with Riverton City, Intermountain Riverton Hospital, and the Utah Opioid Task Force this morning to announce a local solution to the state and national opioid epidemic.

The opioid crisis is a widespread, community issue. It affects every family, community, and city. Unfortunately, deaths from opioid overdose in Utah now surpass deaths caused by firearms and vehicles. One of the best ways to start addressing this epidemic is in the home. Medicine cabinets are often filled with unused and expired medications that can easily be taken and abused.

To address this issue, Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs introduced a new cost efficient, eco-friendly medication disposal program using NarcX. This safe, easy-to-use liquid solution dissolves pills, tablets, capsules, liquids and patches immediately on contact, making them non-retrievable. A proprietary blend of ingredients allows even coated time-release capsules to quickly disintegrate and become neutralized, and indigestible properties prevent any attempt at abuse. Large, blue boxes containing NarcX will be placed at locations throughout Riverton in order to encourage the disposal of unused, unwanted, and expired medications. Bottles of the solution can also be purchased from select pharmacies in Riverton and can be placed in the home as an on-site option for safe and convenient destruction of medicines.

In addition to this new program, the Utah Attorney General’s Office partners with the DEA for Take Back Day each year. Unused and unwanted medications are collected across the State of Utah in an effort to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths. In the last three years this initiative has been done in Utah, 90,000 pounds of medications were collected.

“We are all vulnerable to the opioid crisis,” said Attorney General Reyes. “Today is the day to make a difference. Let’s take back as many of these unused, unwanted medications as possible.”


Media coverage: 

KUTV: New Initiative Aims to End Opioid Crisis in Utah

Fox 13: Drug Disposal Bins in Riverton Will dissolve Pills On-site

KSL TV: Riverton Introduces ‘Solution’ to Pill Disposal: NarcX

KSL: Riverton Offers Kiosks for Residents to Safely Dispose Opioid, Drugs

ABC 4: Opioid Crisis Solution? Riverton Partners with NarcX to Dissolve Away Unwanted Medications

Deseret News: Riverton Offers Kiosks for Residents to Safely Dispose Opioids, Drugs

KSL News Radio: New Drop Boxes in Riverton Aim to Fight the Opioid Crisis

KJZZ: New Initiative Aims to End Opioid Crisis in Utah

Univision 32: Nuevo Plan Para Combatir Opioides 

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