Submission Date: December 4, 2018
Attributing Author: Andy Kravetz
Source: Journal Star
A well-deserved thank you to Dr. Tamara Olt (Chairperson, Broken No More/GRASP), Chris Schaffner, and Jolt Harm Reduction for doing all they can to save lives.
PEORIA — The death toll of opioid addiction may be finally turning a corner in central Illinois.
Efforts in the past year to make opioid use safer for addicts has led to a nearly 30 percent reduction in overdose deaths, said Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood.
Harwood said Peoria County’s efforts — clean needle exchanges, distributing the overdose-reversing drug naloxone and offering fentanyl test strips — have made drug use safer for addicts and resulted in a drop in overdose deaths. This mirrors other areas in the United States. Harwood cited articles from medical journals such as Public Health Reports and International Journal of Drug Policy, which argue that those kinds of efforts go a long way to helping reduce the death toll in the ongoing opioid epidemic.
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