Opioid Conference Has Big Role for 2017 Legislature - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Opioid Conference Has Big Role for 2017 Legislature

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Every day, at least one person in Nevada dies of an Opioid drug overdose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 500 professionals are at a conference in Las Vegas, to try and reverse the trend. Governor Brian Sandoval says results and recommendations that come out of his Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit, will play a big role in the 2017 legislative session.

Governor Sandoval said he will push the agenda forward in February during his opening remarks Wednesday morning. He asked everyone in attendance to have an open mind and dialogue about the opioid crisis. Both days feature presentations and breakout discussions. The breakouts are broken into four tracks, prescriber education and guidelines, treatment options and third party payers, data collecting and intelligence sharing, and criminal justice interventions with both morning and afternoon sessions.

"We want to make sure that anything do is evidence based," says Governor Sandoval, "We don't want to just kind of throw things against the wall and hope they work."

The conference comes after an alleged prescription drug ring was busted in Reno, however the problem is not unique to Nevada.

"We don't need to be frustrated. We don't need to be stymied. That there are solutions out there. That there are solutions that work. And it's important to bring in these national leaders."

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack delivered the key note address during lunch between the breakout sessions. There were also two presentations from the national level. Wednesday, Vilsack unveiled a plan to add more transitional housing for recovering criminals, and that the USDA will be testing a new pilot program.

Scott Pattison, Executive Director of the National Governors Association, presented a road map of solutions after which contains input from all 50 U.S. governors. The Department of Veterans Affairs followed that presentation with a blue print of its own.

Dr. Alexander Isani is the Chief of Pain Medicine with Southern Nevada Veterans Affairs. He says nearly 80 percent of the world's opioids are prescribed in the U.S. while we make up around five percent of the population. He says the reason behind that is the way doctors treat pain. He says opioids should be the third option for pain management but often times it is the first. The V.A. has been dealing with this issue for more than a decade, and the department says it has solution. The so-called decade of pain says Dr. Isani, gave the department the opportunity to look more closely at opioid medication.

"Look closer, and do studies and find evidence based that this is a patient that is adequately being treated with opioids." says Dr. Isani, "This is a patient that probably needs to be diversified as far as the treatment goes."

The final recommendations from the conference will be presented to the group Thursday afternoon. We will have more information following that presentation.

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