BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Officials have released a plan aimed at tackling the opioid epidemic in Louisiana, saying the plan is the first of its kind for the state.
The Louisiana Department of Health released Louisiana’s Opioid Response Plan, according to a Tuesday announcement from the governor’s office.
The plan aims to reduce the state’s opioid epidemic by implementing strategies to address the under-reporting of opioid deaths, enhance monitoring of opioid prescriptions and increase access to treatment services.
Louisiana reported more than 450 opioid-related deaths in 2018, pointing to a need for comprehensive action, officials said.
“While we continue taking a number of positive steps forward in the battle against opioid addiction in Louisiana, we still have much work to do,” Gov. Edwards said in a prepared statement. “As a result of more comprehensive data collection, we are better able to understand the challenges of those suffering from this addiction and develop a new, innovative and coordinated state response efforts. Our people are Louisiana’s most valuable resource and the opioid response plan outlines the steps we will take to ensure that we increase access to the best standards of care and treatment.”
“This ambitious plan takes aim at a devastating public health epidemic that touches every corner of our communities, destroys lives and tears families apart,” said Dr. Rebekah Gee, secretary of the Department of Health. “Through this plan, the Department of Health is committing anew its resources, data, wisdom and partnerships toward reducing the burgeoning opioid crisis in Louisiana.”
The plan’s response is built upon five pillars — surveillance, prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery — in order to address not only health, but also the social and economic consequences associated with opioid misuse and addiction.
You can read the plan here.