The growing abuse of heroin and prescription painkillers, a class of drugs known as opioids, is quickly becoming Idaho’s largest health crisis. As recently as 2015, abuse of drugs like Oxycontin and Vicodin killed more than 17,500 people nationwide.
Idaho faces a growing crisis right at home. In 2014, 63 people in Idaho died of drug overdose, with 60 percent of those deaths attributed specifically to opioid abuse, according to state and federal data.
In a recent survey of Treasure Valley residents, Boise State University found that people here are more concerned about the opioid crisis than domestic violence and sexual assault.
To discuss the issue, we’ve assembled a panel of medical professionals, policy experts and treatment specialists to help explain how we got here, what we can do, and what the future might hold for Idahoans who are involved.
Chair: Shea Andersen
Moderator: Kevin Richert