Overdose deaths involving prescription opioids, which are narcotic pain killers, has become a major concern for health providers and communities. Nevada County Health officer Dr. Ken Cutler says more than 14,000 Americans died from prescription opioid overdoses in 2014.
Dr. Cutler says Nevada County is now partnering with Placer County on forming a coalition to deal with the problem.
The coalition is made up of professionals from Health care, public heath, Substance abuse treatment and first responders. They are addressing safe prescribing practices and pain management and easier access to addiction treatment .
The Center for disease control put out recent guidelines for prescribing for chronic pain, suggesting alternatives such as behavior therapy, exercise, and Anti Inflamatories in place of Opioids. Dr. Cutler says there is an antidote to overdose called Narcan that is being made more widely available to those who are using prescription opioids.
Dr. Cutler says they are already seeing ER visits and hospitalizations from opioid overdose are declining in Nevada County.