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Nevada Announces Investigation into State’s Opioid Epidemic

Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt
Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt

You’ve probably heard Las Vegas called Sin City but it may now have a whole new set of problems – opioid addiction.

This week, the State of Nevada began taking steps to manage the opioid problems in the state or find ways to rid the state of opioid.

Nevada’s Attorney General, Adam Paul Laxalt has announced an on-going bipartisan effort with other States’ Attorneys Generals to address the opioid crisis in Nevada and around the country.

He said that Nevada has joined other States to fight the epidemic of prescription drugs abuse.

They are also looking at the roles manufacturing companies may have played, if any, to prolong the epidemic including whether they engaged in unlawful practices in the marketing and sales of opioids.

Opioid abuse costs United States up to $740 billion annually in crime, healthcare and lost productivity, and causes health related issues for individuals, families and communities.

See also: Nevada Republican Governor Vetoes Minimum Wage Bill.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), opioids were involved in 33,091 deaths throughout the country in 2015 and opioid overdose has increased four-fold since 1999. The CDC said Nevada’s overdose rate in 2010 was 20.7 per 100,000 population which is well above the nation’s average of 12.4 per 100,000.

In Nevada illicit and prescription opioids drive the majority of deaths from drug overdose and the State was ranked sixth last year for the number of milligrams of opioids distributed per adult according to the drug enforcement agency study.

Earlier this year Nevada Governor Brian Sandavol announced that the State will receive $5.6 million from the federal government to help fight the opioid problem. He said the money is part of the 21st Century Cures Act passed by U.S. Congress last year that included up to $1 billion grants to help States deal with the opioid abuse issue.

In the announcement, Governor Sandavol said the grant from the federal government “will provide significant resources aimed at combating the opioid crisis, a sweeping epidemic which is hurting families across Nevada and our nation.”

Nevada is seeing a steady increase in opiate-related hospitalizations even though the State seems to be experiencing a decline in opioid-related deaths. Statistics from the State’s Division of Public and Behavioral Health show that impatient hospitalizations for opioids rose from 4,518 to 8,231 from 2010 to 2015 while emergency room visits related to opioids jumped from 3.095 to 7,035.

Contributor, The Liberal Advocate News

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