The Prevent Coalition made youth opioid use the focus of its spring meeting, and hosted a free public forum on the topic on April 19, 2018. Community members and a panel of experts from public health, neuroscience, prevention, intervention and law enforcement came together to discuss the real issues with youth opioid use in Clark County and identify solutions for prevention and intervention.

“We should be throwing ourselves into the breach when it comes to adolescent and young adults substance abuse,” said Jim Jensen, Clinician with InAct and one of the panel members.

Seventy-one percent of all drug poisoning deaths in Clark County are opioid related, according to data pulled earlier this year by Clark County Public Health.

“Even minor substance misuse among teens should be taken seriously,” said Jensen. “We don’t ignore a heart murmur and wait for a heart attack. We intervene.”

The Prevent Coalition aims to reduce the toll opioids are taking on our community by taking targeted action on awareness, conversation, and prevention in April. The coalition’s efforts culminated in a Drug Take Back event on April 28 with five locations throughout the county open to receive unused prescription drugs. The Take Back was the most successful yet with 1,451 participants and 4,683 pounds of drugs collected.