We have all seen the alarming statistics about prescription drug abuse, a growing health care problem that is affecting the lives of far too many individuals and families. Overdose deaths have increased by 80% since 1999. As a paramedic, I constantly see the impact of prescription drug addiction.
The statistics are particularly bad in our state as Nevada is ranked 4thhighest for prescription drug sales and overdose deaths.
That is why I am so honored to have been appointed by Governor Sandoval to serve on his task force to find ways to prevent prescription drug abuse in our state. I am one of two legislators serving on the panel, along with the Attorney General and health care experts in this field.
Our goal, as stated in the task force mission statement, is “to reduce prescription drug abuse in Nevada by 18% by 2018 by changing attitudes and behaviors of Nevadans through better coordinated efforts and statewide leadership.”
Our efforts include requiring more training for health care professionals on drug misuse and abuse, better coordination of data by pharmacists and physicians on opioid prescriptions, better treatment and screening, and improved education of the public on the impacts of prescription drug abuse.Click here for more information on the task force and all of our efforts.