Monday, June 30, 2014

5 Facts About Utah You Really Need to Know

5 Facts About Utah - Image #1

Author: Whitney Hollingshead

If you call Utah home, you may be surprised by some of the facts about Utah. Check out these fascinating facts about the Beehive State:

1. According to Prevention, Salt Lake City is the 2nd Happiest, Healthiest city in the country. (According to Forbes, Salt Lake City is the 15th healthiest city in America.)

Lower cancer rates and better cancer survival rates are two key factors that contribute to a greater level of health in Salt Lake City. As many people are active and spend a lot of time exploring the outdoors, this also contributes to a healthy lifestyle. As the population on average is younger and involved in healthy habits, this is also crucial to fighting off disease when it does strike.

What does this mean for you? Be proud of the happy and healthy culture and make it an ongoing goal to actively participate in healthy activities. Take advantage of the outdoors. Get out with your family, keep everyone moving, and take advantage of the health care options available when necessary. 5 Facts About Utah - Image #2

2. According to the Trust for America’s Health, Utah has the eighth highest drug overdose mortality rate in the United States - a majority of these overdose deaths are linked to prescription drugs.

The CDC has classified prescription drug abuse in America as an epidemic, and unfortunately Utah is no exception. Many who begin using prescription drugs without a prescription believe that these drugs are safer than illicit drugs because they are prescribed by doctors. However, as the data shows, these drugs can lead to death when misused.

What does this mean for you? According to the latest survey on drug use and national health, 70% of prescription drug abusers obtained their drugs from friends or family members. Only 5% of abusers reported getting prescription drugs from a drug dealer. This sobering statistic should be an important wake up call for you and your family. Here are a few things you can do to help fight this epidemic in Utah:

  • Never allow anyone access to a prescription drug, unless they have specifically been prescribed that drug by a physician.
  • Keep prescribed medication in a safe place away from teens and children and carefully monitor all pills.
  • If any member of your family does not finish a prescription prescribed to them, take the remaining pills and the original bottle back to the pharmacy for disposal.
  • Never take any over-the-counter or prescription drug, unless you have real symptoms. Never give your children medication unless the medication is medically necessary. When in doubt, consult a physician.
  • If you suspect that someone you know may be abusing prescription medication of any kind, seek professional help from a physician, or contact an addiction recovery center.
  • If you are abusing prescription drugs yourself, talk to your physician openly and seek whatever help is necessary to battle the addiction and move forward with your life.

3. According to Forbes, Ogden is the 3rd best city in America to raise a family, and Provo is the 10th best.

Ogden boasts one of the lowest crime rates in America for metropolitan areas and comes in first as far as the most favorable spread between income levels and the cost of living. Based on similar statistics, Provo is not far behind.

This report was based upon the following factors:

  • Median household income
  • Cost of living index
  • Housing affordability
  • Percentage of residents who own their homes
  • Local school quality
  • Crime rate rankings
  • Average commuting delays

What does this mean for you? Whether you knew about these specific statistics or not, you made a great decision when you picked Utah as the place to raise your family. If you are considering a move in the near future, you may want to check out both Ogden and Provo.

4. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 30% of adults in Utah over the age of 25 have received at least a bachelor’s degree.

This statistic is right in line with the national average. With 10 public colleges and universities, and 4 private colleges and universities, Utah residents have several choices for higher learning without having to travel far from home.

What does this mean for you? If you have at least a four year college degree, you are only one in three adults in the state with such. If you do not have a four year degree, now may be the time to take advantage of the resources available in Utah. And it’s never too early to encourage your children to pursue college degrees. 5 Facts About Utah - Image #3

5. According to the Utah Department of Health, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for Utah youth ages 10-24.

On average, five youth between the ages of 10 and 24 are treated for suicide attempts in Utah every day. Based on the statistics, in an average class of 30 students, 4 of those students have made a suicide plan. Nearly 80% of youth who attempt suicide, use a form of poisoning, like medication overdose. Approximately 89% of the youth who die by suicide are male.

What does this mean for you? Make sure you are well educated on the facts and watch for these warning signs:

  • Stressful life event or major loss
  • School or relationship problems
  • Easy access to lethal methods (such as pills or guns)
  • History of mental illness or depression
  • Previous suicide attempt(s)
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Family history of violence or suicide

If you are concerned about yourself or someone you know, get help immediately. Call the Utah Crisis Line at 801-587-3000 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.

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