Opioid Overdose Prevention

OVERVIEW: Drug overdose deaths are on the rise nationally and are the third leading cause of injury-related death in Montana, accounting for 1,334 deaths between 2003 and 2014. The rate of opioid overdose death in Montana was just below the national average of 5.5 per 100,000 in 2013-2014, at 5.4 deaths per 100,0001.

Montana Opioid and Substance Use Disorder Issues:

  • Since 2000, the rate of prescription drug overdose deaths has doubled, with more than 700 deaths from prescription opioid overdose alone2.
  • For every 100 Montanans, there are 83 painkiller prescriptions written annually in the state3.
  • In 2015, over 15% of high schoolers in Montana reported having taken a prescription medication without a prescription in their lifetime4.

CDC-DPPI Grant: The Montana Injury Prevention Program (MIPP) applied to and received funding from the Prescription Drug Overdose: Data-Driven Prevention Initiative (DDPI) Grant for three years beginning Sept. 1st, 2016.

Planning Strategy: The MIPP brought together state agency programs and external partners to develop a comprehensive and statewide prescription drug overdose and abuse prevention plan.

  • The DPPI plan was developed through the Montana Opioid Strategic Planning Task Force, which was formed in November of 2016.
    • This diverse group includes over 90 stakeholders from over 50 different agencies including law enforcement, public health professionals, medical personnel, and non-profit workers.
  • The DPPI plan focuses on six key areas: Partnerships, Prevention and Education, Treatment, Monitoring, Community Resources, and Law Enforcement.

Data Strategy: The MIPP aims to enhance surveillance of prescription drug and heroin abuse and overdose in Montana.


  1. OESS, Drug Poisonings 2003-2014
  2. Montana Office of Vital Records
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Opioid Overdose Data https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/maps/rxrate-maps.html
  4. Youth Risk Behavior Survey 2011, 2013, and 2015, Montana Office of Public Instruction