U.S. Surgeon General in Mississippi to discuss opioid epidemic - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

U.S. Surgeon General in Mississippi to discuss opioid epidemic

The nation's top health officer has made the opioid epidemic a platform, issuing the first Surgeon General Advisory in 13 years. Source: WLBT The nation's top health officer has made the opioid epidemic a platform, issuing the first Surgeon General Advisory in 13 years. Source: WLBT
The nation's top health officer has made the opioid epidemic a platform, issuing the first Surgeon General Advisory in 13 years. Source: WLBT The nation's top health officer has made the opioid epidemic a platform, issuing the first Surgeon General Advisory in 13 years. Source: WLBT
The nation's top health officer has made the opioid epidemic a platform, issuing the first Surgeon General Advisory in 13 years. Source: WLBT The nation's top health officer has made the opioid epidemic a platform, issuing the first Surgeon General Advisory in 13 years. Source: WLBT
The nation's top health officer has made the opioid epidemic a platform, issuing the first Surgeon General Advisory in 13 years. Source: WLBT The nation's top health officer has made the opioid epidemic a platform, issuing the first Surgeon General Advisory in 13 years. Source: WLBT
The nation's top health officer has made the opioid epidemic a platform, issuing the first Surgeon General Advisory in 13 years. Source: WLBT The nation's top health officer has made the opioid epidemic a platform, issuing the first Surgeon General Advisory in 13 years. Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The nation's 20th Surgeon General was in Mississippi Thursday for a conversation on the opioid epidemic.

Dr. Jerome Adams met with state officials and the medical community at the University of Mississippi Medical Center for a candid discussion on what the state and federal governments are doing to stop this nationwide crisis.

READ MORE: U.S. Surgeon General to visit UMMC

Surgeon General Adams instructed Governor Phil Bryant on administering Naloxone and Narcan during a demonstration on saving a life during an opioid overdose.

The nation's top health officer has made the opioid epidemic a platform, issuing the first Surgeon General Advisory in 13 years.

"Number one is over prescribing," said Dr. Adams. "Four out of five heroin users say they got started with a prescription opioid, and we heard earlier today that there are over 500,000 prescriptions for opioids still everyday in Mississippi."

A panel discussion at UMMC included the governor, state health officer, public service commissioner and an addiction physician.

"I've never seen it this bad," said Public Safety Commissioner Marshall Fisher. "I've bought black tar heroin in barrios in San Antonio. I've been in inner city crack houses working undercover kicking doors all of that, supervising task forces. I've never seen it this bad."

According to medical professionals, there are 3.3 million prescriptions for opioids in Mississippi -- more than the state's population.

While prescriptions are reportedly down just over nine percent, experts say pain management alternatives are key to stemming the crisis.

"What we, as health care providers, are challenged to do is rethink the way we treat this," said Dr. Randy Easterling, Vice President of the Governor's Opioid and Heroin Task Force. "That doesn't mean that everyone's to come off this right away. As a matter of fact, our new rules and regs allow you to detox people."

RELATED: U.S. Surgeon General helps passenger with medical emergency on flight to Jackson

"We've got to do so much more. The federal government is helping a lot," said Governor Phil Bryant. "The president is on the front line of this. I'll be meeting with him on Monday, talking about this and some other issues. So we're making progress."

Dr. Adams said the federal government will soon make tens of millions of dollars in grants available to states for the purchase of the opioid overdose reversing medications.

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