South Dakota DSS, Dept. of Health raising awareness for “Avoid Opioid” campaign

The South Dakota Department of Social Services (DSS) and the state Department of Health teamed up to launch “Avoid Opioid.” The website offers resources to those struggling with addiction, their loved ones, and providers treating those struggling with opioid use.
(WHSV)
Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 6:34 AM MDT
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PIERRE, S.D - South Dakota has seen a steady increase in the number of opioid deaths in the state since 2012, a trend in line with the rest of the United States.

Its why the state’s Department of Social Services (DSS) and Department of Health launched the “Avoid Opioid” campaign as a way to help combat the crisis, and provide resources to those struggling.

“”Avoid Opioid” is one way that South Dakota is proactively addressing the opioid problem,” said DSS Secretary Laurie Gill. “We as a state want to save lives, and that is the goal of this campaign.”

That campaign includes a new website, AvoidOpioidSD.com. The website provides resources to all of those on the front lines of the crisis, whether that be providers treating those who have an issue with opioid use, those struggling with an addiction personally, or a loved one attempting to get someone struggling help.

The drugs pose a unique problem, given how easily accessible and common they are.

“They are highly addictive narcotic substances that are commonly prescribed,” Gill explained. “A lot of people get opioids after they have surgery, or have some sort of chronic pain, so they are commonly found in households across the state. The issue is the opioids must be used with extreme caution, because even though they provide powerful relief for those struggling with pain, there are serious risks to them like addiction.”

Some of the resources that can be found on the site include listing places where people can turn prescriptions in, listing where drugs to treat overdoses can be found at, and providing resources to healthcare providers looking to get better trained.

Gill says that the campaign is a continuation of the state’s commitment to a public-private partnership, with the end goal being of ending the opioid crisis in South Dakota.

“We have good partnerships with those involved in combatting this, including those in the healthcare community, and multiple state agencies. We also having efforts ongoing in communities across the state. There are communities that have decided to take this on, and we have toolkits, resources, and other information available to assist them.”

In addition to visiting the website, you can call the South Dakota Resource Hotline at 1-800-920-4343 for help as well.