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Montana awarded grant funding to expand opioid and addiction treatment

Naloxone can be injected during an opioid overdose to reverse the process.
Nora Saks
The Surgeon General recommends more Americans carry naloxone, the opioid overdose antidote.

Millions of dollars of grant funding are flowing into Montana to help health officials and tribes expand treatment for those addicted to opioids and stimulants.

The White House announced Friday that the state health department will receive $4 million.

According to information provided by federal officials, the grant will help develop a statewide education program on opioid use prevention and naloxone, which reverses overdoses. The funding will also help expand medication-assisted treatment for tribal communities by creating a mobile unit to provide those services.

According to Montana’s grant application, Indigenous Montanans “face more than a 20-year disparity in life expectancy compared to white Montanans, partially attributable to higher rates of substance use.”

The state also aims to provide more opioid treatment services to incarcerated individuals. The state estimates that 90% of incarcerated people in the state are jailed for offenses related to substance abuse.

Billings nonprofit Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council along with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai and Fork Peck tribes will receive $1.5 million to expand treatment services.

After 17 overdoses — including four deaths — this spring, Indigenous leaders in Montana and surrounding states look for ways to stop the fentanyl crisis and provide more treatment and care.
Montana health and law enforcement officials say a sharp increase in overdoses and deaths from synthetic opioids last year isn’t showing any signs of…

Aaron graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism in 2015 after interning at Minnesota Public Radio. He landed his first reporting gig in Wrangell, Alaska where he enjoyed the remote Alaskan lifestyle and eventually moved back to the road system as the KBBI News Director in Homer, Alaska. He joined the MTPR team in 2019. Aaron now reports on all things in northwest Montana and statewide health care.
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