Capital Public Radio has put a spotlight on Plumas County’s efforts to fight opioid addiction. Reporter Ali Budner wrote a piece published June 15 on the Capital Public Radio website. And Beth Ruyak of the radio program, Insight, interviewed the health department’s James Wilson live on air that same day. Both the article and the recorded interview can be found at capradio.org. From left: Wilson, with Assistant Public Health Director Andrew Woodruff and reporter Ali Budner during Budner’s May 25 interview. Photo submitted

Capitol Public Radio spotlights local efforts to fight opioid addiction

When James Wilson, a health education coordinator, entered the seventh-grade classroom at Quincy High School, he wasn’t alone. He was being followed by Ali Budner, a reporter for Capital Public Radio, and a camera crew.

Plumas County made the news when it was reported that it had the highest level of opioid-related deaths per capita in the state. That was in 2015 and since then the county, lead by the public health department and the Northern Sierra Opioid Safety Coalition, are making a concerted effort to combat opioid addiction and prevent the overdose deaths associated with it.

That’s why Wilson was in the classroom that day — to educate students about the dangers of opioids and what to do if they witnessed someone who might be overdosing.

Wilson and the public health department would also like each school to have naloxone on hand, the drug that can reverse the effects of an overdoes if administered quickly.

The school board is discussing the issue and Wilson hopes that the plan will receive approval before the school year begins again at the end of August.

In addition to Budner’s article, Wilson was interviewed by Beth Ruyak on the Capital Public Radio program, Insight. Both the 15-minute radio interview and the article can be accessed on capradio.org.

After the radio broadcast and article appeared last Thursday, Wilson said he received a call from ABC News 10 out of Sacramento. A reporter wanted to come to Plumas and watch a classroom presentation. Another journalist from Kaiser Health News has also visited the area and interviewed Wilson, Public Health Officer Mark Satterfield and others. Her article could appear in any number of publications.

Wilson said he’s pleased that Capital Public Radio put the spotlight on Plumas County’s efforts.

“I’m glad that it shed some positive light on what we’re doing for opioid abuse in this county,” he said.