Regence, University of Utah lead community roundtable conversations about substance abuse

By Regence
September 13, 2018
Regence University of Utah Opioids Roundtable

Regence is honored to join the University of Utah in hosting a series of panel discussions throughout the state focused on substance abuse, including the opioid epidemic, and community resources where people can turn for help.

The series, which is free and open to the public, kicks off Sept. 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Kearns High School with a panel moderated by Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams. Panelists include Dr. Adam Gordon, who specializes in addiction medicine and internal medicine at the University of Utah, a local high school student and a Kearns High School counselor.

“We are thrilled to partner with Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah to provide the Community Addiction Roundtables,” Gordon said. “The idea emerged from community members (people in recovery and addiction-treatment service providers) who advocated for a forum where concerned citizens can ask questions of people who are working in addiction services or advocate in a non-threatening, non-stigmatizing environment.”

The partnership is the latest among Regence’s efforts to support the appropriate use of opioids while providing education to help prevent future addiction. Regence has sponsored eight kiosks in Walgreens stores in Utah for safe disposal of unwanted medications, as well as developed conversation guides for people to use in discussing opioid prescriptions with their doctors.

“It is clear that meaningfully reducing opioid misuse in Utah will require strong collaboration on many fronts,” said Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah President Jim Swayze. “That is why we are so pleased to work alongside state and federal leaders, pharmacies, University of Utah and great physicians and hospital partners to fight this crisis together.”

The University of Utah roundtables will continue Oct. 4 in West Jordan. That event will be 6:30-8:30 p.m. at West Jordan City Hall, Schorr Gallery, 800 S. Redwood Road. Mayor Jim Riding will moderate that panel, which will include Gordon and Richard Davis, West Jordan’s interim police chief.

Other events will take place later in October in Salt Lake City and on Nov. 5 in Price, with details for both events to come.

Child care will be provided, as will transportation vouchers for those who need them.