Rural Opioid Summit Has Local Ties

Although Utah is considered a healthy place to live in many ways, the opioid epidemic has hit the state hard, especially in the rural areas. In 2018, Utah State University Extension started the Tribal and Rural Opioid Initiative to provide resources for rural Utahns to address and combat opioid misuse and a Rural Opioid Summit is coming up, largely in thanks to a Uintah Basin citizen. The funding was secured by USU Extension Health and Wellness Specialist Sandra Sulzer and local teacher Suzanne Prevedel, the Uintah Basin Extension Assistant Professor. “Utah is, in many ways, an unusually healthy state,” shared Sulzer with the Moab Times. “We have some of the lowest rates of cancer in the nation and lower-than-average tobacco and alcohol use rates. Nonetheless, opioids have become a major issue.” As the state saw an increase of 400 percent of deaths from the abuse and misuse of prescription drugs over the last 15 years it has become apparent that something must be done. The summit, being held July 18th and 19th in Price, features practices for opioid misuse prevention among other crucial resources on the topic. For further information, call 435-636-3276.

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Kristin Baldwin

Kristin never planned to work in news radio but has thoroughly enjoyed being part of the news team at KVEL. Her love of literature and writing developed in high school which led her to study English Literature and Technical Writing at BYU. She received her BA in English from BYU in 2005 and studied at UVU in Orem for 2 semesters to become a Certified Technical Writer in 2006. Two months after completion she began her dream job of being a stay-at-home mom.  As mother of 2 energetic kids, she began writing from home for the KVEL news team in 2011 and considers it the perfect fit as a full time mom and part time writer.