Attorney General Fox Seeks Input for Addressing Substance Abuse in Montana

Attorney General Tim Fox announced Wednesday an effort through his office’s Aid Montana initiative to gather input from Montanans regarding how best to address substance abuse.

“We want to hear from people across the state on how to effectively combat Montana’s substance abuse problem,” said Attorney General Fox. “Whether you’re a healthcare professional, educator, social worker, or have experienced or work with the effects of substance abuse in your work, profession, or family, we want to hear your ideas for what needs to be done to fight this epidemic ripping through our state.”

Aid Montana: Addressing the Impact of Drugs was launched by Attorney General Fox and the Montana Department of Justice in April 2017. Aid Montana will be a comprehensive approach to addressing Montana’s substance abuse problem. Law enforcement, treatment, education and coordination efforts will be central components to the Aid Montana strategy.

“We need to know what works, what doesn’t work, what’s missing, what Montanans have found to be most effective through their experiences, and how our state’s comprehensive approach to addressing substance abuse should operate in unison to combat this problem,” Fox added.

Attorney General Fox highlighted four ways Montanans can send their ideas for addressing substance abuse directly to the attorney general’s office.

Over the summer, Attorney General Fox and the Montana Department of Justice will partner with the Montana Healthcare Foundation to hold six listening sessions across the state to hear real life experiences of individuals affected by substance abuse. The dates and locations for these listening sessions will be announced early next month.

The Department of Justice and the Montana Healthcare Foundation will hold a substance abuse and addiction summit this fall to begin developing a comprehensive substance abuse prevention strategy built off of the input gathered from the listening sessions.

It’s the goal of Aid Montana to have a strategic plan completed before the 2019 legislative session. Aid Montana will present a “roadmap” to lawmakers that outlines what needs to be done at the legislative level to efficiently and effectively combat this problem. Whether it be shifting resources to find where they are most effective, or changing laws to better reflect the reality of the problem, the Montana Department of Justice wants policymakers to have a clear understanding of what needs to be done.