By Carbon County Sheriff Jeff Wood
It is almost Halloween and I wanted to take time and remind everyone to keep an eye out for the children from now until Halloween. I have noticed several different groups of kids moving around dressed in costumes going from event to event. We also want the community to be aware of several trunk or treat events scheduled as Halloween approaches.
Next, I want to discuss the opioid issues in our county. I wanted to start off by reminding everyone of the prescription take back event on Saturday, Oct. 29, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at 435 South Highway 55 in Price. This is a great opportunity to remove any unused medications from your home and safely dispose of them.
I want to take a minute and remind everyone that this is a problem that was not born overnight and will take time to get a solid handle on, but huge strides have been made by our entire community. From a law enforcement standpoint, all local law enforcement is on the same page and working together to address this issue, from local police departments, state agencies and the sheriff’s office.
On the topic of opioids, I am very pleased with the incredible effort by our community to address this issue. It is no secret that Carbon County was, at one time, top of the list for opioid overdose in Utah. The community has made an incredible collaborative effort to address this issue from every facet imaginable and this is no longer the case.
With that said, this issue is by no means solved, but great progress and improvements have been made. I have reached out to the Southeastern Utah Health Department and have been told the numbers are once again down this year from the number last year.
I would encourage anyone that is interested in these facts to reach out to the health department and have them explain the current statistics and how the numbers are gathered. Debbie Marvidikis has worked hard to keep up with this issue and is an extremely valuable community partner.
I am also pleased to announce that Castleview Hospital has received a grant to initiate medication assisted treatment in the ER for folks struggling with opioids. We at the sheriff’s office are in the process of partnering with them through the med staff in the jail to take part in this program as well. This is one huge advantage of having a med staff that has multiple tasked; they are involved with folks in many different roles, and this has proved to be a big advantage.
This program will go hand in hand with the Operation Recovery program already beginning in the jail and will provide the necessary wrap-around services that have been missing in the past. Our jail has been involved in programs like this for many years and will continue to seek the best evidence-based programs to assist in saving lives and reducing addiction in our community.
Carbon County is a great place to live, work and raise children. We still have the small-town advantages with many city amenities, and this makes our county perfect in my opinion. Your local law enforcement team of professionals is united and working toward ensuring the utmost safety in our county.
As I speak with sheriff’s from all over the west, our community is ahead of most communities for public safety and I realize that our issues are not unique only to us. I will continue to reach out to other communities and strive to continue to be a strong community partner to represent and seek evidence-based solutions as issues arise.
It is a privilege to serve our community from the office of sheriff. We truly live in the greatest community in Utah.