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.