SALT LAKE CITY — Twenty-four individuals in Utah die each month from prescription opioid overdoses, according to the Utah Department of Health.
That why Intermountain Healthcare and Salt Lake County are joining forces with Utah Naloxone and the Use Only As Directed campaign, Utah's statewide opioid prevention initiative, to encourage Utahns to discuss opioid use with their loved ones.
Eight recreation centers and libraries across the county have installed large pieces of opioid awareness messaging and artwork to help spur conversation. The artwork includes pieces such as a massive pill mobile at the Salt Lake County Library’s Viridian Event Center, made of 7,000 individual paper pill bottles, representing each of the opioid prescriptions filled in Utah every day.
The installations are meant to encourage Utahns to have conversations with their families and health care providers about the potential risks of opioids, to explore opioid alternatives for pain relief, and to dispose of unused medications properly. They will remain in place through April.1 comment on this story
“Successfully combating the opioid epidemic requires us all to have conversations within our families about opioids and their misuse," said Tayler Nelson, health educator with Salt Lake County Health Department. "These installations in prominent community locations provide a great reminder and perfect opportunity to start that discussion with our loved ones.”
In addition to the pill mobile at the Viridian Event Center, the messaging has been installed at the Redwood, Taylorsville and Gene Fullmer recreation centers and at the library’s Bingham Creek, Hunter, West Valley, Taylorsville and West Jordan branches.