When Megan Bohman learned that her neighbors and friends in Brigham City were dying from opioid misuse and abuse she decided as a health education specialists for the Bear River Health Department that something needed to be done. So she applied for a grant and went to work.
"We have an issue here, even in little ole Brigham City,” Bohman said. “We’re not doing too badly in Logan, but we definitely don't want to see that going further. So that is what we are trying to prevent."
The 2017 state department of human services information about opioid-related deaths in small areas of Utah ranks Brigham City 14 out of 63 when it comes opioid-related deaths.
Logan ranked 53rd. One Cache Valley hospital has already posted campaign graphics on desks, walls and in offices encouraging patients to talk to their doctor about pain reduction alternatives and ways to break away from using opioids when they have already been prescribed.
It is a topic that can sometimes be uncomfortable, admitting you can't manage your pain or that you have become dependent on a dangerous medication.
"Personally I am not sure that we are getting better about talking about this culturally,” she said. “I think we could do better talking about it more."
The Use Only As Directed campaign to help reduce and prevent opioid-related deaths in Box Elder County will be introduced Wednesday. The awareness campaign, under the direction of the Bear River Health Department, begins at the Brigham City Hospital.
Similar programs are already going strong in Tremonton, Tooele, Ogden and Park City. Once the Brigham City hospital program is established, the health department will place posters throughout Box Elder County to educate the public about ways to reduce the likelihood of becoming addicted to opioids.
"It's challenging for sure, but I feel hopeful," Bohman said.