Winneshiek County task force fights opioid battle on local fronts

By Zach Jensen,

America’s opioid crisis is in full swing, and the Winneshiek County Opioid Task Force is taking it head on. Helping Services for Youth and Families Prevention Specialist Jon Vagts presented an update on the task force’s progress to the Winneshiek County Board of Supervisors during its regular meeting January 29.

According to information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the “opioid epidemic” began in 1990s, when pharmaceutical companies were giving the medical community incentives to prescribe more opioids — even though they knew opioids were highly addictive and easily abused. 

Vagts informed the supervisors that, in response to local opioid use, Narcan, naloxone nasal spray, has recently been approved as an over-the-counter opioid overdose treatment, is available at no charge from Helping Services and the pharmacies at Thrifty White and Walmart. The treatment can also be purchased for between $35 to $45, Vagts said.

Full article in the February 1 Decorah Public Opinion Newspaper.

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