Montana Public Radio

alcohol

Montana death rates from alcohol, drugs, and suicide in Montana from 2000 to 2020.
American Communities Project / https://www.americancommunities.org/chapter/how-montanas-despair-deaths-have-intersected-with-the-pandemics-isolation/

Research into nearly 200,000 Montana death records from the last two decades has put hard numbers to anecdotes about suicides and drug- and alcohol-related deaths during the pandemic.

The report, by University of Montana School of Journalism Professor Lee Banville, is published on the American Communities Project’s website and shows that death rates significantly increased in 2020 in communities categorized as "Graying America," "Native American Lands" and "Working Class Country."

 

The Montana Department of Revenue says hard alcohol sales in March spiked to levels usually just seen during the holidays. 

Gene Walborn, Director of the Montana Revenue Department, briefed state lawmakers in a recent legislative oversight interim committee about the impacts of COVID-19 on the agency.

According to Montana’s child protective services division, there are about 3,800 children in the state’s foster care system. State officials say a new federal program could reduce that number by, in part, treating behavioral health issues within families.

Courtney and John McKee are the founders of Headframe Spirits in Butte, MT.
Courtesy

Early in the 20th century, the bustling mining town of Butte, Montana was one of the largest cities in the West. Hardrock miners lowered themselves 5,000 feet underground to tap out the abundant copper ore, working in mines with names like Orphan Girl, Neversweat, and Destroying Angel. In the hundred years since Butte’s heyday, most of the mines have closed, but new opportunities have been unearthed.

Using the same determination, innovation, and passion that underscored Butte’s early success, John and Courtney McKee founded Headframe Spirits distillery in 2010. Each spirit is named after a storied mine claim, weaving Butte’s mining history into unique products.

 

The Crow Legislature is considering a bill that would introduce alcohol on the Tribe’s Reservation. It’s part of a plan to revitalize the Crow economy with casino dollars.

Bill Would Increase Cap For Microdistilleries

Mar 14, 2019
Liquor bottles.
(PD)

HELENA — A bill moving through the Legislature would allow microdistilleries to increase their alcohol production and still keep their tasting rooms.

Under current law, distilleries can’t produce more than 25,000 gallons of liquor and have a tasting room. Senate Bill 182 would change that cap to 200,000 proof gallons, which is a gallon with 50 percent alcohol.

Alcohol, drug and suicide (combined) deaths per 100,000 people in 2017.
National Center for Health Statistics, CDC

A new analysis of the latest federal health statistics says that Montana had the second highest rates of deaths from alcohol in 2017, and substantial growth in its suicide rate that year as well.

Released Tuesday, the “Pain in the Nation Update” from the non-profits Trust for America’s Health and Well Being Trust says that when it came to growth in the number of deaths from drugs, alcohol and suicide combined, Montana and New Jersey led the nation in 2017. Each state saw a greater than 15-percent increase in such deaths.

Montana Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike McGrath.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

The head of the Montana Supreme Court says drug and alcohol abuse continues to weigh down the state’s justice system.

Chief Justice Mike McGrath this week delivered the State of Judiciary address to lawmakers of the 66th legislative session.

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox.
Montana DOJ

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox says the Montana County attorney who has implemented an immediate ‘crackdown’ on pregnant women found to be using drugs or alcohol never consulted with him.

Garry Hicks from Lewis & Clark, giving samples at the trade show in Japan
Max Pigman

Japan may be getting a taste of Big Sky Country in the near future. At least, that’s the goal for some Montana breweries and distilleries ready to export their products.

Seven Montana producers of spirits and beer were in Japan last week where they were exploring opportunities to get their products into Japanese restaurants and on store shelves.

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