Opioid use in South East Idaho

Emillio Velasquez, Reporter

The opioid epidemic is causing many problems in Idaho ranging from overdoses to arrests its wreaking havoc on our community, and the problem is only getting worse with time. “I think there’s a time and place for it, over abuse and use has caused a lot of problems for families and friends,” says Ms. Terri Mitton, science teacher.

There are over 200 overdoses in South East Idaho alone each year since 2015, and all of those are stemming from opioid abuse or heroin and methamphetamine abuse. Opioids including pain pills prescribed by doctors, synthetic opioids like heroin, are the leading cause of death involving drugs in Idaho.

“We need to treat them better and not just send them to prison so they can get out and go back in, we need to treat them during and after their addiction,” quotes Mitton.

Idaho’s dispense rates of prescribed opioids are higher here than 34 other states, were 25th in the country for the misuse of prescribed pain relievers, according to the governor’s office.

Instead of arresting the people affected by the opioid epidemic they want to send them to centers where they can get off of the drug and get clean, rather than sending them to jail for something that they probably didn’t want to happen.

“I think we should definitely send them to centers instead of throwing them into jail right away,” says Clinkscales.

The opioid epidemic caused 42,000 deaths all around the nation in 2016 in 2017, 70,000 people overdosed, 68% of that was caused by prescription Medicaid prescribed by doctors.

“ I don’t think it would be a good idea to completely get rid of it until we have better options to treat pain as of now this is one of the best treatments if used correctly,” says Mitton.

President Donald Trump has made this crisis a nationwide public issue and health emergency, drug overdose is the main cause of accidental deaths now, it’s an issue and needs to be addressed.