The number of unintentional overdose deaths from prescription pain relievers in the United States has more than quadrupled since 1999, according to the National Institute of Health. Around 150 of those deaths happen right here in the Sacramento area every year. Sandra Chavez of Elk Grove watched her son Jeffrey struggle with numerous addiction treatments before overdosing on opiates in 2012. Chavez says the type of opiate-abuse treatment plans available were insufficient for helping her son, and now she’s pressing lawmakers to expand those options. She’s participating in an Overdose Awareness Day Rally on the west steps of the Capitol Monday. It’s sponsored by the group Harm Reduction Services and it will coincide with rallies across the country.
Chavez joins us to share the story of her son’s struggle with opiate addiction and explain the types of changes in treatment plans she’d like to see lawmakers implement. Executive Director of downtown Sacramento’s CORE Medical Clinic Inc. Garrett Stinson also joins us to talk about long-term treatment plans.