TV coverage tells the story of Plumas County’s proactive approach to the national opioid epidemic

The topic leant itself to a negative portrayal of Plumas County, but the exact opposite occurred. Last week KCRA, the NBC affiliate out of Sacramento, highlighted the opioid epidemic facing this country and featured Plumas County in one of its pieces.

It would have been easy to tell the story — the incredibly high number of prescriptions and overdoses per population — against a backdrop of despair and rundown houses. But that’s not how the story was told.

KCRA focused on the proactive approach this county has taken to a national problem, interspersed with bucolic shots of local communities and the area’s natural beauty.

James Wilson, representing the county’s Public Health Agency; Dave Keller, a school board member; and Dr. Wendy Flapan, who specializes in pain management through Eastern Plumas Health Care, spoke eloquently about local efforts to combat opioid addiction. Wilson is a leader in a three-county effort to address the issue as well as spearheading the effort to make the antidote for an opioid overdose available in local schools. Keller and his fellow board members are addressing a plan to make the antidote available, and Flapan works with patients to find alternatives to drugs in conquering pain.

The news piece highlighted the fact that Plumas County has been on the forefront of battling the epidemic, taking steps long before other jurisdictions became involved. Even though we would prefer not to have the notoriety associated with a drug problem, it’s good to know that our health care experts are addressing the issue, and it’s nice to be recognized in the North State for those efforts.

Back to School reminder

The school year is officially kicking off — Feather River College students returned to the classroom this week and next week it’s the K-12 group’s turn. We are very fortunate to have a community college in our midst — it’s a boost to the local economy and it provides educational, sports and cultural opportunities that we otherwise would not have. Let’s welcome the students as we see them out and about in town. With the new dorm, the Pines, now housing students behind the Safeway shopping center, they will be even more woven into the fabric of our community.

As for the younger students, be extra careful driving around town. By foot, bike, car and bus they will be heading to class. See the opposite page for a critical reminder written by local CHP officer James Stowe. It seems that every year, drivers are confused by when to stop for a bus with flashing red lights. We all can read the vehicle code, but he explains it in an easy-to-understand manner.

We hope that everyone enjoys a safe and productive school year.