Utah’s opioid crisis

A fascinating article in a newspaper based in the United Kingdom looks at the opioid use disorders problem in Utah, focusing on people in the state who, for religious reasons, avoid all recreational drugs but get dependent on prescription medications.

Here is a paragraph from the story in The Guardian, which covers US news closely:

In 2014, the year Maline Hairup died at age 38, one-third of adults in Utah had a prescription for opioid painkillers, most notably a powerful opiate at the heart of the crisis, OxyContin. Many of them were among the 65% of state residents who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormons. Sometimes, opioids take hold of several members of the same family. Hairup’s father is dependent on prescription painkillers and her brother’s addiction to prescription opioids set him on the path to heroin.