Community Members Unite Amidst Rising Drug Concerns

May 13, 2016

Attendees at a Community Opioid Response Group meeting discuss how to deal with concerns surrounding displaced patients and drug abuse.
Credit Marcus Lavergne

The indictment of Reno doctor Robert Rand and eight others on drug related charges spurred community members to discuss rising concerns regarding opioid use. Reno Public Radio’s Marcus Lavergne has more:

With Rand’s Family Medicine Practice and reputation under fire, his former patients are having to go elsewhere. Northern Nevada is facing a doctor shortage, so medical professionals, law enforcement and others talked about ways to get those people help.

Rachelle Pellissier directs Reno's Crisis Call Center. She said finding new primary care doctors is difficult.

“The problem you’ve got is even when you find one and get into them, it’s a month out, six weeks out, and what I’m hearing is their prescriptions are running out in the next couple weeks,” Pellissier said. 

The meeting also highlighted the more widespread issue of opioid, or painkiller, abuse in the region.

“Just about anybody you talk to has someone they know has somehow been affected by opioids,” Fonken said. “Somebody has overdosed or somebody is unable to control their level of use.”

“Obviously your doctor is someone you trust and should trust but take the extra effort and find out about the pills you’re taking and medicines you’re taking,” Robinson said.

That was Curt Fonken with The Life Change Center and Reno Police Department Deputy Chief Tom Robinson. The Community Opioid Response Group is looking to unite groups to alleviate these problems in northern Nevada.