New Group to Tackle Nevada's Opioid Problem - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

New Group to Tackle Nevada's Opioid Problem

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The State of Nevada is taking the next step in the battle against opioid abuse by bringing together a first-of-its-kind group of experts: the "Opioid Crisis Working Group."

The group has quite a long list of members; more than 40 people whose jobs in some way deal with addiction, from law enforcement to education, healthcare, and government.

The idea is that they can share information and data faster, so they can come up with solutions that work within the whole system.
 
"It's a real public health crisis here," Renown Health President & CEO Dr. Anthony Slonim said, "and by looking at this through a legal lens, a healthcare lens, and an education lens, hopefully we are going to make some headway on improving the care for the citizens of Nevada."

Experts at the meeting talked about Nevada's opioid problem, saying they've seen an increasing trend of abuse, addiction, and overdoses across the state since 2010. In Washoe County alone, they reported more than 130 drug-related deaths in 2017.

The state has started a database to monitor opioid prescriptions, and they're working on expediting that data entry, but they say this group is the last piece of the puzzle.

"What's left is trying to get the medical community and law enforcement community to coordinate together and to share data," Attorney General Adam Laxalt said. "Once we are able to share live data, we are going to be able to save lives."

In Northern Nevada, the number of opioid-related deaths more than doubled from 2015 to 2017.

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