The Touro University Nevada School of Physical Therapy received two separate grants totaling $11,500 from the Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI NV) to create a series of public service announcements and educational tools that encourage viewers to try physical therapy instead as a way to treat pain.
“The purpose of these PSAs is to empower the general public to take control and manage their pain by informing them of alternative non-opioid pain control options which do not substitute one drug for another,” said Dr. Michael Laymon, Director of the School of Physical Therapy.
During 24 hours, on Aug. 12, 2021, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department reported five suspected fentanyl-related overdose deaths in Clark County. Between January and May 2021, there were 92 deaths among Clark County residents, a 39 percent increase over the same period in 2020 with 66 deaths. According to the Southern Nevada Health District, in 2020, there were a total of 193 fentanyl deaths in Clark County, Nevada alone.
The RALI NV gift enables Touro to join the existing coalition of organizations fighting to end the opioid epidemic. It allows Touro to increase awareness about the dangers of highly addictive pain killers and offer other solutions for pain management.
“When you’re recovering from an injury or medical procedure, you might consider taking pain medication as part of your recovery process,” said Dr. Stacy Fisher, Assistant Professor in the School of Physical Therapy. “These medications, which are often opioids, can be highly addictive and can lead to abuse if taken for any length of time or by someone with a history of addictive behavior. It is also dangerous to have opioids in the house with small children or someone who has a history of addictive behavior. Luckily, there are alternative options for pain management on your path to recovery. Physical therapy is a great way to heal your injuries, build strength and enhance the natural production of endorphins for pain management.”
According to RALI NV and its partners, the pandemic has impacted many struggling with addiction, particularly those who became isolated at home during COVID and exacerbated their opioid use. Touro is one of many community leaders committed to finding more ways to protect the Southern Nevada community from opioid misuse.