DHW releases Idaho Opioid Needs Assessment 2018

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Drug-induced deaths have increased in Idaho since 2010, but an updated report shows that the state remains slightly lower than the national average for this number. In 2016, the most recent year for which confirmed data is available, Idaho ranked 36th in the age-adjusted rate of drug-induced deaths by state, according to the Idaho Opioid Needs Assessment, which was released today by the Division of Behavioral Health.

A couple other highlights from the report include:

  • Since reaching a peak in 2010-2012, several indicators appear to show a modest decrease in non-heroin opiate/synthetic use in Idaho over recent years.
  • However, in 2016 Idaho was above the national average for the rate of opioids dispensed per 100,000 population and many indicators suggest that Idaho has experienced a significant increase in heroin use over the past decade.

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It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. If you’re a woman over the age of 50, have you had a mammogram yet?

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As we near the end of October, I am issuing a challenge to the women of Idaho, who are notorious for not getting their mammograms: If you are over the age of 40, please talk to your healthcare provider about when you should start getting screened, and if you are over 50, just schedule it. One in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime, so there is a good chance this disease will affect you or someone you love. Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women.

Why is breast cancer screening important?

Getting a mammogram at the appropriate time in your life is important because the earlier cancer is found, the earlier you can get treatment for it. If breast cancer is discovered before it spreads, the five-year survival rate is 99 percent on the national level. But for late-stage cases, the five-year survival rate drops to 24 percent. That’s why early detection is important.  Continue reading

CO poisoning: You can’t see it, smell it or taste it, but here’s how to prevent it

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With the onset of colder weather across Idaho, we’re going to be using heating systems, hot water heaters, car heaters, portable outdoor heaters and other gas, oil or wood-burning appliances that emit potentially deadly carbon monoxide fumes. Because carbon monoxide can build up in enclosed and even partially enclosed places, it’s a good time to talk about carbon monoxide poisoning and steps you can take to avoid it. Continue reading

#FightFlu Idaho, and get your annual flu shot now to protect yourself this season!

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As you may have heard, the last flu season was particularly severe, resulting in more than 80,000 deaths in the nation and 101 deaths in Idaho. The flu season here can last from October to May, and typically peaks in January or February. Getting vaccinated now is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from what can be a serious infection, even for otherwise healthy people. Continue reading

Reports of Shiga-toxin producing E. Coli (STEC) food poisoning on the rise in SW Idaho

FS__08_Under5_Kidney_Tips_1080x1080Today we’re talking about food poisoning, and a serious increase in STEC cases in Southwest Idaho – What the heck is STEC?

So, the past month was National Food Safety Month and coincidentally here in Southwest Idaho, the Department of Health and Welfare along with our local public health district partners have had an unusually large number of reports about infections caused by Shiga-toxin producing E. Coli – or STEC for short –that has resulted in several hospitalizations of very young children, so now’s a good time to understand what STEC is, what to watch for and how to reduce the risk of infection to yourself or your children. Continue reading

Effective Oct. 1, healthcare services delivered by in-state psychiatric residential treatment facilities will be reimbursable for eligible Medicaid beneficiaries

Effective October 1, 2018, Teton Peaks, a division of the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, will begin providing Medicaid reimbursable services as a certified in-state Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility (PRTF).

These services are intended to help Idaho and PRTF’s improve healthcare delivery systems for Medicaid beneficiaries by allowing in-state access to care, strengthening continuity of care, and improving population health. Here is the legal notice:  Continue reading

September is Sepsis Awareness Month – Spot the signs to get ahead of sepsis

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Sepsis is the body’s extreme reaction to any infection. It is a medical emergency that affects at least 1.7 million people each year in the United States and kills nearly 270,000.  Early detection offers the best chance for survival and can limit life-long complications. Otherwise, it can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and even death. This month is Sepsis Awareness Month, and it’s a good time to get ahead of sepsis by learning the risks and how to avoid them. Continue reading