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Injury Prevention

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October 2017 - Opioid Prescription

  • In 2015 opioids were prescribed 3 times more often in the United States than in 1999. 
  • Healthcare providers prescribe at different rates across the state and in the nation, putting some individuals at greater risk for addiction and overdose.
  • The CDC can help prescribers and patients utilize evidence-based guidelines for safer use of opioids.

July 2017 - Recreational Water Safety

  • Diarrhea and Swimming Don’t Mix”: water borne diseases like cryptosporidium and Giardia can be found in natural water or get introduced when someone with diarrhea swims in a pool, and cysts may remain infective for 2-6 months in a moist environment.
  • In 2015, 14 Montanans lost their lives due to drowning -- always remember to keep an eye on small children around recreational waters and wear your lifejacket.
  • Environmental health specialists inspect around 800 pools a year to ensure safety, everyone can play a part by refraining from swimming when sick and showering before entering the pool.

March 2017 - Opioid Overdose Prevention

  • The rate of prescription drug overdose deaths in Montana has doubled in the last 15 years with nearly 700 preventable deaths occurring during this time period.
  • 60% of all opioid prescriptions in Montana do not end up being fully used, increasing the chances for misuse and abuse.  Learn more about safer storage and disposal opportunities in your community.
  • Opioid use mixed with alcohol and with other types of medications (e.g. benzodiazepines) can significantly increase one’s risk of overdoses – make sure your provider knows every medication (prescription and others) you are currently using.

June 2016 - Prevention of Motor Vehicle Crashes

  • Motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of traumatic death in Montana, costing $299 million per year in medical expenses and lost productivity.
  • Montana had 2,246 fatalities from motor vehicle crashes from 2006–2015; 53% of those fatalities involved impaired drivers and 66% in vehicles were not wearing a seat belt.
  • Buckling up and buckling children in an appropriate car/booster seat reduces the risk of injury and death in a crash by 50%.

January 2016 - Falls

  • Falls in Montana cause an average of 3,400 hospital stays and 19,800 emergency department visits each year costing over $135 million.
  • Montanans (aged 45 or older) with arthritis have twice the risk of falling compared to adults without arthritis.
  • Exercise focusing on leg strength and balance can prevent fallsFree or low-cost exercise programs exist in Montana for adults with arthritis.