Definitions To Know!

Proper opioid medication use is defined as taking prescription opioids in the amount and for the duration specified by a medical professional.

Nonmedical use of opioid medication occurs when opioids are taken in a manner or dose other than prescribed. This can include:

  1. Taking to much medicine;
  2. Taking someone else's medicine (even for a legitimate medical complaint);
  3. Taking medication in a different way than prescribed; or
  4. Taking the medication to get a euphoric high. 

Diversion occurs when medications, like prescription opioids and stimulants, are illegally distributed and used for purposes not intended by a medical professional. See below for common ways prescriptions are diverted. 

Source: Drug Diversion: What Is a Prescriber’s Role in Preventing the Diversion of Prescription Drugs? ( available at

Overdose death in the United States has increased at an alarming rate since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic with an increase of 30% in 2020 compared to 2019.Despite rising rates of overdose, substance use-related harms are preventable.  experience. 

To find out more information how to prevent the non medical use of opioid medication, prevent opioid overdose, and diversion please click on the pull down menus below

Opioid use is the primary driver of drug overdose deaths in Montana.  The 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey showed that over one in ten high school students has taken a prescription drug without a doctor’s prescription. In 2020, Montana had 46.1 opioid prescriptions for every 100 residents. According to the Montana Department of Health and Human Services Injury Prevention Program, In 2021, Montana saw 113 opioid overdose deaths (Adults aged 25-44 had the highest rate (58%) followed by adults aged 45-64 (38%) and males accounted for  66% of these deaths). 

The best ways to prevent the nonmedical us of prescription opioids and opioid overdose is to be informed on safe usage, storage and disposal.  (Click the links below to find out more)

Prescription Opioid Education and Awareness Toolkit Module 2: Prescription Opioids and Home Safety: Proper Storage & Disposal (PowerPoint)

Proper Use-Storage-Disposal of Precription Medications

  • For additional information on proper usage of prescription opioids:

Know The Risks And Side Effects Of Using Prescription Opioids

  • For additional information on proper storage of prescription opioids:

Medication Storage Information

Lock It Up, Medication Safety In Your Home

  • For additional information on proper disposal of prescription opioids:

Proper Ways To Dispose Of Unused Medications

Find a prescription drop box location in Montana

National Take Back Day

deterra medication disposal bag graphic


***These pouches are made available through our grant funding and therefore supplies will be limited***

A  maximum of 100 pouches per order can be requested


Fake/Counterfeit Prescription Pills Fact Sheet


Naloxone is a synthetic prescription opioid medication used to reverse a opioid  (prescription or illicit opioid) overdose.  There are 3 FDA-approved formulations available to Montanans:

  1. Injectable: professional training required
  2. Auto-injectable: prefilled auto-injection device for families or emergency personnel to inject quickly into outer thigh. The device provides verbal instruction to the user describing how to deliver the medication.
  3. Nasal Spray: prefilled, sprayed into one nostril while patients lay on their back. *No professional training required

Naloxone Map-find a distributor in Montana

Naloxone Training Courses


Counterfeit Pills 

  1. Adderall is a prescription stimulant used to treat Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Adderall can be used in a nonmedical way as a study aid, to stay awake, and to suppress ones appetite. 

authentic adderall side agenuine Adderall side b  Authentic Adderall (front and back)

counterfeit Adderall side a counterfeit Adderall side b  Counterfeit Adderall (front and back)

  1. Oxycodone (OxyContin) is a synthetic opioid prescriped by doctors to treat and manage pain. Opioids have a high potential for substance use which can quickly turn into a substance use disorder referred to as Opioid Use Disorder (OUD)

authentic oxy front authentic oxy back Authentic Oxycodone (front and back)

counterfeit Oxy front Counterfeit Oxycodone (front and back)

Visit website here for more information

DEA Counterfeit Drug Fact Sheet (updated 2021)

counterfeit drug fact sheet (updated)  counterfeit drug fact sheet back (updated)

Get Smart About Drugs: Resources for Parents, Educators, and Caregivers

Common ways prescriptions are diverted include:

  1. Selling your prescriped medication to someone to make money
  2. Stealing someones prescribed mediction for your own use or to sell
  3. Attempting to obtaining multiple controlled substances from several different medical professionals without them knowing (doctor shopping)
  4. Illegal internet pharmacies
  5. Illegal prescribing by a medical professional

Commonly diverted medications include?

  • Anabolic steroids; Central nervous system depressants; Hallucinogens; Opioids; and Stimulants.

Source: Drug Diversion: What Is a Prescriber’s Role in Preventing the Diversion of Prescription Drugs? ( available at


Suicide Prevention Resources


National Suicide Prevention Hotline

VISIT: the National Suicide Prevention LifelineCrisisChatwebpage


Mental Health Resources


988 lifeline

Thrive for Montana

As a component of our 2018 SAMHSA project, the Thrive for Montana program was expanded.  FREE enrollment opportunities are available to adult Montanans!  What is Thrive? Thrive by Waypoint Health Innovations is a self-paced and confidential online program for people who want to take charge of their emotional well-being. The program is comprised of three modules that teach cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) skills that may help the user communicate more confidently, think more constructively, and do more activities that make them feel good.  

Thrive for Montana (an online emotional well-being program)--CLICK HERE FOR FREE ONLINE REGISTRATION

  • Announcing teen Mental Health First Aid Launch  We’re excited to announce that teen Mental Health First Aid (tMHFA) is now available nationally in-person and online! It’s more important than ever for teens to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental health challenges – for themselves and others. The tMHFA curriculum addresses trauma, self-care, wellness and resilience. You can be the difference for your teens and peers by bringing tMHFA to your school or organization. Learn how to get started today!

The National Council created a directory of resources for addressing health equity and racial justice in communities - learn more here: The National Council for Mental Wellbeing

  • The Department of Education is announcing a new resource, “Supporting Child and Student Social, Emotional, Behavioral and Mental Health,” that outlines key challenges in providing and accessing mental health supports in schools and provides evidence-based recommendations for educators, staff, and providers to create a system of supports for students with behavioral health needs and their families. See the full fact sheet from White House: Improving Access and Care for Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Conditions

To access the “Supporting Child and Student Social, Emotional, Behavioral and Mental Health,” pdf, please visit type mental health in the search bar.

Prevent Addiction Stigma In Your Communities


  • MSU Extension Prescription Opioid Educationa and Awareness Toolkit Module 3: Stigma and Opioid Use Disorder
  • MSU Extension video series Reduce Stigma by Learning About Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder 
  • The Shatterproof Addiction Stigma Index:  Shatterproof and The Hartford co-developed the Shatterproof Addiction Stigma Index (SASI) – a first-of-its-kind measurement tool designed to assess attitudes about substance use and people who use substances from the public. Supported by Ipsos alongside Dr. Brea Perry and Dr. Anne Krendl from Indiana University, the SASI also measures the perceptions of those with a SUD, including the degree in which they have internalized this exclusion.  Download the Report  Eliminating the stigma and discrimination faced by those with substance use disorders (SUD) has never been more important. Despite decades of action combatting the addiction crisis, negative beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors remain the largest and most persistent drivers of negative outcomes for those struggling with addiction.  During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, from March 2020 to March 2021, 96,000 people died from overdose – the highest number in history. At the same time, 20 million American adults continued to suffer from the disease of addiction. The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened this crisis by increasing economic instability and social isolation, while reducing access to harm reduction, treatment, and recovery services. Structural racism and already-existing health inequities have worsened the impacts of the pandemic for marginalized communities, leading to increased rates of substance use and overdose. These effects will be felt for years to come, highlighting the urgent need to act.

 Treatment & Recovery Resources

Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) is a pattern of opioid use that causes significant impairment or distress.The term OUD is preferred over other terms such as opioid abuse, opioid dependence, oropioid addiction.

According the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), 

Medication Assisted Treatment or MAT, is the use of medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders.The medications used to treat substance use disorders are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Research shows that MAT can successfully treat substance use disorders, and for some medications can help sustain recovery. Medications, like naloxone, are also used to prevent opioid overdose and reduce opioid overdose deaths.

The ultimate goal of MAT is full recovery, including the ability to live a self-directed life. MAT has been proven to:

  • Improve patient survival
  • Increase retention in treatment
  • Decrease illicit opiate use and other criminal activity among people with substance use disorders
  • Increase patients’ ability to gain and maintain employment
  • Improve birth outcomes among women who have substance use disorders and are pregnant

To learn more please visit the website

Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD)

Buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone are the most common medications used to treat OUD. These medications operate to normalize brain chemistry, block the euphoric effects of alcohol and opioids, relieve physiological cravings, and normalize body functions without the negative and euphoric effects of the substance used.

Buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone are used to treat OUD to short-acting opioids such as heroin, morphine, and codeine, as well as semi-synthetic opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone. These medications are safe to use for months, years, or even a lifetime. As with any medication, consult your doctor before discontinuing use.

Learn more about medications for Opioid Use Disorder: TIP 63: Medications for Opioid Use Disorder – 2021.

Waiver Elimination (MAT Act)

Opioid Overdose Prevention Medication

Naloxone is used to prevent opioid overdose by reversing the toxic effects of the overdose. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), naloxone is one of a number of medications considered essential to a functioning health care system.

Medications for substance use disorders are administered, dispensed, and prescribed in various settings such as a SAMHSA-accredited and certified opioid treatment program (OTP) or practitioners’ offices depending on the medication.

Montana Department of Health and Human Services Resource links:

  1. Get the facts on Substance Use Disorder in Montana
  2. Recognize Addiction for Opioid Use Disorder and Treatment Options
  3. Learn about Naloxone, Dropbox Locations and Safe Storage and Disposal of Prescription Medications
  4. Find Treatment and Resources for Parents, Family and Friends
  5. Get involved with theSUDs Task Force and CDC Grant Overview
  6. IF YOU ARE A PROVIDER: Access Information for Providers, First Responders and Pharmacist

Use the interactive link below to find Substance Use Disorder Providers by Level of Care

All practitioners who have a current DEA registration that includes Schedule III authority, may now prescribe buprenorphine for Opioid Use Disorder in their practice if permitted by applicable state law and SAMHSA encourages them to do so. SAMHSA and DEA are actively working on implementation of a separate provision of the Omnibus related to training requirements for DEA registration that becomes effective in June 2023. Please continue to check this webpage for further updates and guidance.