There is help: How Montana is working to reduce the harmful effects of the opioid crisis

Montana communities have been devastated by the continuous increase of deaths caused by opioid overdose. According to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, approximately 35% of all drug overdose deaths in Montana are attributable to opioids.

In response to this crisis, the Montana Public Health Institute and other state healthcare agencies have implemented several statewide opioid abuse prevention programs and harm reduction strategies. They have also worked to ensure treatment and recovery resources are accessible to the right people in the right locations across the state.

The goal of these measures is to meet people where they are and improve their health outcomes.

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It starts with prevention through widespread education covering proper use and disposal of opioid prescriptions. Education addressing and reducing the effect of risk factors and social determinants on populations especially vulnerable to opioid misuse is important as well. Promoting mental wellness and rational pain management and controlling access also play a part in stopping opioid misuse before it happens.

Long-term opioid use changes the brain

Another key component

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