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Sean D. Reyes
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AG Reyes Urges Biden Administration to Stop Dangerous Opioid Mail-Back Program 

Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes and 12 other states recently signed and sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) protesting President Biden’s reckless USPS opioid mail-back program. 

The letter argues, “As law enforcement officials, we must confront this challenge head on. In doing so, we must use mitigation strategies that provide real solutions. To the greatest extent possible, these solutions should not leave room for increasing numbers of illegal opioids to be distributed on the streets and infiltrate our communities.” 

The attorneys general favor using in-home disposal products that quickly remove unused drugs without putting anyone at risk. Studies show that combining education with in-home disposal products can increase proper opioid removal by 92%. Currently, only 10% of patients dispose of unused prescriptions properly. 

Utah joined South Carolina on this letter, along with Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, and North Dakota.  

You can read the full letter here

Utah Resources for Mental Health and Substance Abuse During COVID-19

April 15, 2020

We recognize that during the COVID-19 pandemic these are difficult times for many people, especially those struggling with substance abuse or mental health. Below are some resources available for individuals, providers, and communities.

Look After Your Mental Health

The Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health provided some helpful tips on ways that you can look after you and your mental health:

  1.   Seek information from legitimate sources and set limits around media exposure
  2.   Take care of yourself (Airplane Rules: Put your own oxygen mask on before helping others)
  3.   Safely reach out to others and support people around you
  4.   Maintain a sense of hope and positive thinking; read something good and uplifting
  5.   Acknowledge your feelings, bounce them off a friend or loved one
  6.   Take time to talk to children about COVID-19
  7.   Ask for support, including professional support if needed. Asking for help is a sign of strength; none of us can do this alone.

Read more tips from them on how to manage stress here.

Guidance for Prescribers About Providing Telemedicine

SAMHSA and DEA released updated guidance for prescribers about providing telemedicine to new patients for buprenorphine. Click Buprenophone-Telemedicine for more information. If you would like to know overall information on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s guidelines, please click on Use of Telemedicine While Providing Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) here at MAT Guidelines.

SAMHSA Updates and Resources for Opioid Treatment Programs

The COVID-19 guidance includes approaches for providing pharmacotherapy for opioids use disorder patients exposed to infections and COVID-19, disaster planning, potential flexibility for take-home medication, OTP guidance for patients quarantined at home with the coronavirus, and Frequently Asked Questions: FAQ for OTP Guidance during Quarantine.

Learn more about the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) COVID-19 Guidance for Opioid Treatment Programs here and for overall information about Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health, please visit: SAMHSA Home Page.

Safely Dispose of Your Unwanted Medications

The National Take-Back Initiative where you can safely dispose of your unwanted, unused medications was planned for April 25, 2020, but has been postponed until further notice. If you are in need of disposing of unused, unwanted or expired medication, the Utah Opioid Task Force has free Dispose RX packets they can send to you.

Community Resources

Please check in on your loved ones and be aware of signs of poor mental health and emotional well-being. It’s important we have these types of resources readily available during these times. If a loved one needs substance use treatment, please access: https://findtreatment.gov/

Here are some other important phone numbers to have and share with your friends, family, and community: 

  • COVID-19 Hotline 1-800-456-7707
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • University Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI) Crisis Line: 801-587-3000
  • UNI WarmLine: 801-587-1055
  • Domestic Abuse Hotline:  1-800-799-7233
  • Utah Naloxone 385- 495-9050

If you need Peer Recovery Support and Family Support, USARA is functioning with an online presence at www.myusara.com.

SafeUT Remains Active for Students

The mental well-being of our youth is critical during these times. The SafeUT app is a real-time crisis intervention tool and tip line for students. This resource is fully functioning during current circumstances and can be downloaded here: https://healthcare.utah.edu/uni/safe-ut.

You are not alone during these trying times. We are in this together.

NarcX Proposed Statewide Initiative

October 16, 2019

The Utah Attorney General’s Office, Senator Dan Thatcher, Representative Eric Hutchings, and Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs discussed ways state and local governments can partner to combat the opioid crisis during a press conference this morning. Additionally, they discussed implementing a statewide initiative using NarcX, an on-site disposal system for opioids.

In September, Riverton City joined with Utah Attorney General Reyes, the Opioid Task Force, and Intermountain Riverton Hospital to launch the use of NarcX in Riverton. A safe, easy-to-use liquid solution dissolves pills, tablets, capsules, liquids, and patches immediately on contact, making them non-retrievable. Riverton now houses multiple boxes of NarcX at disposal sites that are capable of safely destroying up to 5,000 unused, unwanted opioids.

Additionally, NarcX helps prohibit people from flushing opioids down the toilet, which can have harmful consequences on the environment.

Listen to the press conference below:

Read more about NarcX and the launch of the Riverton City initiative here.