The state of Alabama has been selected to take part in a national project to help combat the opioid epidemic across the country.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley announced earlier this week that the state will participate in a National Governors Association learning lab to address the opioid issue. The project aims to reduce the number of overdoses and deaths related to heroin and prescription opiates like fentanyl. Current data shows 78 people nationwide die of an opiate overdose every day.
Governor Bentley says Alabama is the top state in the nation in terms of painkiller prescriptions, and heroin use in the state is on the rise. He hopes this six-month effort will develop some innovative ideas to put an end to the deadly epidemic.
The team working as part of the learning lab includes many facets of state government, including the Department of Mental Health, the Department of Public Health, the state Medicaid agency, the state’s court system and the state Board of Medical Examiners.