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Public Health

Posted on: August 30, 2019

Linn County Opioid Steering Committee Releases 2019 Linn County Opioid Action Plan

Linn County Board of Health Meeting

Linn County, IA – The opioid epidemic is a public health concern and county specific data has indicated opioid misuse to have a negative health impact within Linn County. Pramod Dwivedi, Health Director at Linn County Public Health, notes that “in 2017 alone, Linn County witnessed 20 deaths and nearly one hundred emergency department episodes linked to opioid overdose.”   

The Linn County Opioid Steering Committee, a multi-sector collaborative created in 2017 to address this epidemic, recently presented their 2019 Linn County Opioid Action Plan to the Linn County Board of Health. “This report comes to you at a time when opioid use disorder has become a serious challenge and major public health epidemic in the United States; Linn County is no exception,” explains Dwivedi.

The plan presents a detailed set of recommendations from five subcommittees of the Opioid Steering Committee that align with best practices in prevention; healthcare, treatment and harm reduction; and overdose and post-overdose response that can be summarized in the following three themes:

  • Manage pain using a safe and effective range of treatment options that rely less on prescription opioid
  • Reduce opioid-related deaths by expanding access to treatment for opioid use disorder
  • Use data to inform targeted prevention, outreach, and treatment efforts

“As we work locally to provide resources for our community, it will not be enough to solely focus on those with opioid use disorders. It is vitally important to keep those who are not misusing opioids from ever starting.” Erin Foster, Director of Prevention Services at Area Substance Abuse Council and committee co-chair, has emphasized. The full plan, along with prevention, treatment, and support resources related to opioid use for individuals and their loved ones, are available at https://www.linncounty.org/1287/Opioid-Steering-Committee


About Linn County Public Health:

Linn County Public Health, an agency within Linn County government, serves more than 220,000 residents of Linn County to prevent disease and injury, promote healthy living, protect the environment, and ensure public health preparedness. Learn more at linncounty.org/health or by calling 319-892-6000. Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LCPublicHealth and follow us on Twitter @LCPublicHealth.