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Inland Journal, December 6, 2018: Opioids, Suicide and Winter Respiratory Issues

Spokane Regional Health District

Doug Nadvornick talks with Spokane Regional Health Officer Dr. Bob Lutz.

Today on Inland Journal, we turn our attention to public health. Spokane County health officer Bob Lutz is in the studio to talk about issues such as suicide and its prevalence in the county.

“Last year, by the medical examiner’s data, almost 50% of suicides were caused by firearms. And of that, 59 out of 122 suicides, 51 were by men. And unfortunately, if someone uses a gun, it’s 90% effective,” Lutz said.

And we’ll address Spokane’s — and the nation’s — battle with opioids. He says doctors have become more careful at prescribing pain medication for their patients, but for some, it’s too late.

“People who now have an addiction, who need to continually stoke that addiction and if they don’t get it with a prescription medication, they’ll get it with an illicit medication on the street,” he said.

Opioids, suicide and cold weather respiratory issues on today’s edition of Inland Journal, after the news.