If an individual is thinking about treatment for a substance abuse disorder, he or she is already making a move towards recovery. Fortunately, there are many programs and treatment centers available to help.

  • More than 100,000 Americans died from drug overdoses between May 2020 and April 2021—the most ever recorded in a single year—according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.¹
  • Without bold and urgent action, including public health policy reform and stricter corporate regulations, an additional 1.2 million people in North America will die of an opioid overdose by 2029, according to an analysis by the Stanford-Lancet Commission.²
  • More than 180,000 people overdosed on opioids and survived in the past year.¹

75 percent of the nearly 92,000 drug overdose deaths in 2020 involved an opioidMedication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a treatment option often recommended to help with long-term management. MAT combines medication and counseling, because opioid addiction physically changes the brain and affects behaviors and emotions. Different medicines are used in MAT to address opioid addiction. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, for some people MAT is the most effective approach to treating opioid addiction.

Buprenorphine (Sublocade) helps the brain get used to functioning without illicit opioids. Buprenorphine, at prescribed doses, is designed to have a weaker effect on the brain compared to illicit opioids and not cause a ‘high’. Buprenorphine can help reduce cravings, while blocking the effects of other opioids. This can make other opioids less appealing. Buprenorphine is a medicine that will continuously be released all month at a sustainable level without having the daily ups and downs. 28% of people treated with buprenorphine and counseling had more success compared to 2% of people who just did counseling and took a placebo.²

Counseling is a big part of the success in recovery also.  Counseling can teach long term coping skills and can impact a person’s behaviors and emotions. Combining medication and counseling has been shown to be more effective than using one of these methods alone.

Additional Resources:


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Death Rate Maps and Graphs
  2. The Lancet – Responding the the opioid crisis in North America and beyond (February 2, 2022)
  3. Sublocade – Treating Your Diseases

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Register to attend our January 2023 Friday Focus 4 Health Series as we focus on Opioids and Adverse Drug Events. 

Register Today

Our Friday Focus 4 Health Series is intended to jump start or augment your current quality improvement efforts. Participants will connect across the Dakotas for a diverse and collaborative learning experience designed to improve patient outcomes.

Visit our Friday Focus 4 Health Webpage to access additional information and resources.