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New data shows grim statistics on prescription opioid overdose in Utah

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Posted at 6:35 PM, Apr 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-27 22:15:28-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Numbers released Wednesday by the Utah Department of Health show a disturbing trend: six people die each week from prescription opioid overdose.

There were 300 deadly overdoses linked to prescription opioids in 2014. Angela Stander with the Utah Department of Health has studied the numbers and says people need to do a better job disposing of their unused medications.

New data shows of the nearly 60% of Utahns who use prescribed opioids and had extras, only 27% got rid of them.

“We find that the extras are left laying around and that`s where the potential for abuse, misuse and eventually overdose comes from,” said Stander.

Lane Porter is the founder of Fresh Start Behavioral Services in Sandy.

He’s an addict helping others in their battle.

“I struggled for months to get in under control. I was arrested, I was on the news and labeled by the police as a king pin.”

Porter says the synthetic drug is more deadly and cheaper for people to get their hands on.

“If a person has insurance when they don`t they can go to Walmart and get a prescription filled for as cheap as $4.”

Once people build a tolerance, they shift to stronger drugs like Heroin. Porter joins health leaders in their fight to prevent drug overdoses.

“This problem is too big and too important for every able hand not to be on deck.”

There are safe ways to dispose of leftover medication, there will be several take back events this Saturday throughout the state. Click HERE for more information.