“Nearly 64,000 Montanans aged 18 and older suffered from substance abuse disorders in 2016. Montana only had the capacity to treat 6,000 individuals in need of treatment.  That means more than 90% of Montanans in need of substance abuse treatment do not receive it annually.” — Attorney General Tim Fox announcing his Aid Montana Initiative on April 19, 2017

Aid Montana will be a comprehensive approach to addressing Montana’s substance abuse problem. While law enforcement will certainly be one method of addressing substance abuse in our state, it isn’t the only approach. Treatment, education, and coordination efforts are critical if we are to get ahead of this problem, and will be central components to our strategy.

Working together with the Montana Healthcare Foundation, we’ll engage stakeholders to explore the challenges and opportunities facing Montana communities related to substance use disorder prevention (SUD) and treatment, and to identify effective, Montana-based solutions.

We encourage all Montanans to join us in fighting the effects of dangerous drugs, because together, we can solve this problem.

At a September 19, 2017 press conference, Attorney General Fox released a landmark report that provides a comprehensive outline of what the State of Montana currently does to address substance abuse through State programs.  The report is part of the Aid Montana initiative and will serve as an important document for mapping reforms to State programs that address substance abuse.

Former Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, Attorney General Tim Fox, and Montana Healthcare Foundation CEO Dr. Aaron Wernham at the Foundation’s Prevention and Treatment of Substance Use Disorders Summit. The event took place in Helena on November 7, 2017. Click here to view an archived live stream of the Summit.

In the months ahead, Attorney General Fox will work with stakeholders to develop a strategic plan to comprehensively address substance abuse, including alcohol and prescription drug use, in Montana.  The plan will include policy recommendations to the 2019 Legislature, as well as recommendations to agencies that can be achieved through existing authority and resources.

Trainings:

The Attorney General’s Office, in partnership with the National Attorneys General Training and Research Institute, hosted an overdose death investigation and prosecution training on October 11, 2017.  Prosecutors and law enforcement officers, including those who work undercover, came to Helena from across the state to learn how to best build a strong investigation and successful prosecution of death cases resulting from overdoses of heroin, fentanyl, and meth.  In addition to NAGTRI faculty, presenters included Montana Department of Justice personnel.

Resources:

Substance Use in Montana Report

Op-ed:  Attorney General Fox Calls for Collaboration to Address Growing Substance Abuse Crisis

ResolveMontana:  End Prescription Drug Abuse

CampusDrugPrevention.gov

The Drug Impact on Montana

Montana Healthcare Foundation

Contact Aid Montana:

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