The Wyoming Department of Health will be using a national advertising campaign to assist with state efforts to combat opioid abuse. State Epidemiologist Alexia Harrist said the campaign from the Centers for Disease Control tells stories of abuse and addiction.
“It tells stories of people who have been affected by this crisis. And we feel that’s an effective way to help people understand that opioids can be addictive and dangerous and to hopefully reduce the numbers of individuals who overuse opioids.”
The other thing the state is trying to do is to get naloxone, a drug that reverses overdoses of opioids, into the hands of more people. Harrist said that will be done by getting some non-medical people to distribute the drug.
“We have a grant from the substance abuse and mental services administration, which is a federal agency, to be able to distribute naloxone to entities, such as first responders who are likely to encounter opioid overdoses in their line of work. So far we’ve been working with law enforcement, with fire and rescue.”
Harrist added the Department of Health hopes to expand that list to some non-profit organizations and others who come in contact with the public. She also urges families to properly dispose of opioids after they no longer need to be used.