Town Hall: Addressing the Opioid Crisis

Sep 9, 2019, 1:33 PM | Updated: Nov 21, 2019, 12:07 pm

Physical dependence to opioids can happen in just seven days and can occur to anyone. Debbie Dujanovic speaks with Intermountain Healthcare’s Executive Operations Director of Pain Management Services Kim Compagni.





An opioid is a drug commonly used to treat moderate to severe pain. Opioids work by stimulating opioid receptors in the brain which reduce pain. Opioids are used in hospitals and are sometimes prescribed by doctors to help treat more severe pain and discomfort. However, research suggests over-the-counter pain medications may actually work better for treating acute pain. There are also illegal opioids, such as heroin.

– 1 in 23 Utahans ages 12 and older have used prescription opioids non-medically in the past year

– 74% of Utahans addicted to opioids get them from someone they know.

– Over the last decade, prescription pain medications have been responsible for more drug deaths in Utah than all other drugs combined.

– 1 in 4 people who use prescription opioids for long term, non-cancer or end of life car pain, will struggle with addiction.

– Women are more likely to have chronic pain, be prescribed prescription pain relievers, be givenhigher does, and use them for longer time periods than men. Women may become dependent on prescription pain relievers more quickly than men


Some common opioids include:
– Hydrocodone (Norco, Lortab, Vicodin, Zohydro)
– Oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet, Percodan, Roxicodone)
– Morphine (MSIR, MS Contin)
– Codeine (Tylenol #3, Phenergan with codeine)
– Fentanyl (Duragesic, Actiq)
– Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
– Oxymorphone (Opana)
– Meperidine (Demerol)
– Tramadol (Ultram, ConZip)
– Buprenorphine (Subutex, Suboxone, Butrans, Zubsolv)
– Methadone (Dolophine, Methadose)




Utah has many treatment resources available for overcoming dependence and addiction to pain medications. To be directed to local services or treatment centers, call 2-1-1.

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Town Hall: Addressing the Opioid Crisis