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AAC


of county assessors. Opioids are a class of drugs that in- cludes the illegal drug heroin and syn- thetic opioids such as fentanyl, as well as pain relievers such as oxycodone, hydro- codone, codeine, morphine and others available by prescription, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. A July 26, 2017, Centers for Disease


Control (CDC) report showed in 2016 Arkansas had an average opioid pre- scription rate of 114.6 per 100 people. Arkansas was second only to Alabama, which saw an average of 121 opioid pre- scriptions per 100 people. See the chart at right for a county-by-county break- down of prescription rates in Arkansas. Opioids have proved to be highly ad-


dictive, with many users switching to heroin and fentanyl when their supply of prescription pain relievers run out. Opioid addiction affects all ages, gen- ders, and socioeconomic groups. AAC invited several state and munici- pal leaders to participate in the Oct. 9 meeting in order to broaden the group’s discussion and focus. Guests included Arkansas Sheriffs’ As- sociation Executive Director Scott Brad- ley, Arkansas Department of Emergency Management Director A.J. Gary, Arkansas State Drug Director Kirk Lane, Arkan- sas Municipal League Executive Director Don Zimmerman, AAC Risk Manage- ment Fund Counsel Mike Rainwater, and Arkansas Public Entities Risk Manage- ment Association Counsel Ralph Ohm. State Drug Director Lane said Nalox-


one and training on how to use it are es- sential tools for law enforcement officers to combat what he called “the No. 1 drug death threat in the state of Arkansas.” “[Te dangers of opioids] are probably


misrepresented because of the acceptance of prescription medication,” Lane said. After the task force meeting, Lane an- nounced his agency had secured federal grants to provide training and Naloxone to first responders in eight designated counties: Baxter, Crawford, Franklin, Garland, Marion, Scott, Sebastian, and Sharp. He said funding opportunities for other counties may become available in the future.


COUNTY LINES, FALL 2017 < 57.2


Arkansas Ashley Baxter Benton Boone Bradley Calhoun Carroll Chicot Clark Clay


Cleburne Cleveland Columbia Conway


Craighead Crawford Crittenden Cross Dallas Desha Drew


Faulkner Franklin Fulton


Garland Grant


Greene


Hempstead Hot Spring Howard


Independence Izard


Jackson Jefferson Johnson Lafayette Lawrence


57.2 - 82.3


129.1 115.8 142.7 87.8


156.4


COVER STORY County Prescribing Rate, 2016


National average: 66.5 per 100 people State average: 114.6 per 100 people


Centers for Disease Control 82.4 - 112.5 Lee Lincoln


Little River Logan


Lonoke


116.5 Madison 83.6 Marion 89.2 Miller


77.7 Mississippi 100.9 Monroe


134.6 Montgomery 115.9 1.1


106.6 131.7 157.3 158.0 108.7 120.3 101.6 143.8 131.8 97.9 22.2


116.7 176.3 77.5


177.8 115.7 105.3 161.6 159.8 104.0


Nevada Newton Ouachita Perry


Phillips Pike


Poinsett Polk Pope


Prairie Pulaski


Randolph St. Francis Saline Scott


Searcy


Sebastian Sevier Sharp Stone Union


150.4 Washington 108.6


127.4 Woodruff 111.2 37.5


Van Buren White Yell


> 112.5


Missing Data


68.2 67.6


163.5 41.2


101.5 79.3 83.3


109.3 138.6 92.6 93.4 —


0.8


143.4 51.2


159.8 97.6


120.7 117.8 132.6 82.1


105.2 114.2 94.8 97.4


124.7 82.6


169.0 65.5


138.5 152.7 131.5 103.1 98.5


123.5 3.8


66.9 29


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