A hard pill to swallow: Tackling the opioid crisis

Originally written for The Chronicle Online By Julie Thompson

There is an epidemic ravaging the United States, and it is a war that Oregon, and perhaps Columbia County specifically, stands uniquely poised to combat.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, opioids claim the lives of 115 people in America every day. In Oregon, three people die every week from prescription opioid overdoses, according to provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They show a 5.1-percent increase in overdose deaths statewide over a 12-month period ending April 3.

This past month, officials from across the service spectrum in Columbia, Clatsop and Tillamook counties, including physicians and other medical providers, pharmacists, behavioral health clinicians, educators, law enforcement, EMS personnel and community residents, convened in Seaside, Oregon for the 2018 Northwest Opioid & Substance Use Summit. They, like our legislators, know that the issue must be attacked from all sides, and they first rolled up their sleeves three years ago – well ahead of the rest of the country.

“The resolution to this complicated issue depends on the collaboration of a whole community,” Columbia Pacific CCO (CPCCO) Medical Director, Dr. Safina Koreishi said. “That’s why we invited all community members from Columbia, Clatsop, and Tillamook counties to attend this event.”

Read the whole article at The Chronicle Online

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