During National Recovery Month, local substance use disorder officials have been hard at work trying to reduce stigma, put on events, and provide resources for the community.
Recovery Month experienced a big kickoff on Aug. 31 at the Stansbury Clubhouse where over 200 community members gathered to remember those lost, celebrate those in recovery, and learn about resources to help those with SUD during their “A Light to Remember” event.
The event was held by the Tooele Opioid Resource Network. It is a national event held all over the state and country on Aug. 31.
During the event, there was a memory wall, luminaries were lit, naloxone training was given, and a moment of silence was held. There was also music and a live DJ. Those who weren’t able to attend the event were able to request a take-home kit with information about overdose and a luminary they could light themselves.
Methadone became available in Tooele County through a treatment center called “Tooele Methadone Treatment Center.” It opened on Sept. 1.
This is the first-time methadone has been available in Tooele County.
“Methadone has been deemed as the gold standard in opioid use disorder treatment,” Jennifer Peatross, marketing lead at Utah State University’s Tribal Opioid Resource Center said. “Methadone mimics what the opioids do in the brain but it doesn’t give the high that opioids do… If someone is having a really strong craving and there is no way they’ve been able to get off of opioids another way, methadone is probably the best treatment for them.”
The clinic offers walk-in hours throughout the day and appointments. Most major insurance companies are accepted.
Please call their practice at 435-241-7778 or visit tooelemethadonetreatment.com for more information.
The local chapter of Young People in Recovery held a recovery run and recovery resource fair on Saturday, Sept. 23 at the Pratt Aquatic Center Park in Tooele City. During their event, they had many resources and recovery supporters in attendance available to talk.
The members of Young People in Recovery are a close-knit group and aim to support each other however they are able. They often hold events the community is invited to like bowling nights and Halloween activities. To learn more about the group, visit their Facebook page at YPR-Tooele, UT. To join the group, please call Audrey at 435-255-9518 or Collyn at 928-848-0170.
To end the month, it was announced that Naloxone would be available at local pharmacies over the counter soon in Utah. Naloxone is an FDA-approved medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose. It binds to opioid receptors and can reverse and block the effects of heroin, morphine, and oxycodone.
During National Recovery Month, it is important for the community to do what they can to help those with SUD and reduce stigma related to use disorder.
“Get educated,” Peatross said. “There are so many stigmas out there including using old, outdated language and the stereotypes that have gone on for so long. Addiction affects so many populations. It’s not just the typical stereotype it used to be. It’s moms; it’s dads; it’s high school students. It can affect anyone … Most people who are in active addiction didn’t choose to be. The more educated we get about how to become inclusive and support people through the problem they’re dealing with, the more chances they have to get into recovery.”
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, Tooele County has shown a decrease in opioid-related deaths from 21.3 per 100,000 in 2017 to 14.6 in 2021, also per 100,000. Local experts attribute this to the increased number of resources available in the county.
Data for 2022 is not yet available.
National Recovery Month was started in 1989. It is a national observance held every September to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices and to celebrate the recovery community.
To access resources related to substance and opioid use disorder, please visit bethesubstance.usu.edu.