Tuesday, January 24, 2017

NEWS ADVISORY - Utahns Share Stories of Loss, Recovery from Opioid Addiction


WHAT: The Utah Department of Health will hold a press conference to launch a new campaign, Stop the Opidemic, and share stories of Utahns who have lost a family member to an opioid overdose as well as those who have overcome heroin and prescription opioid addictions.

WHY: Opioid abuse is a Utah epidemic. Six Utahns die every week from an opioid overdose. Studies show that 80 percent of heroin users started with prescription opioids. These individuals hope that as they share their stories of loss as well as recovery, that it will motivate others to ‘Stop the Opidemic.’   

WHO: Interviews available include:
  • Alema Harrington, recovering from a prescription opioid and heroin addiction
  • Mark Lewis, father of a 27-year-old son who died from a heroin overdose
  • Peter Lake, recovering from a prescription opioid addiction
  • Dennis and Celeste Cecchini, parents of a 33-year-old son who died from a heroin overdose
  • Amber Baum, mother of a daughter who died from a heroin overdose
  • Dr. Erik Christensen, Chief Medical Examiner, Utah Department of Health
WHEN: Wednesday, January 25, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.
WHERE: Utah Department of Health
Room 129
288 North 1460 West
Salt Lake City, Utah 84116


Media Contact:
Katie McMinn
(o) 801-538-6156
(m) 801-856-6697