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AARP Montana and Mountain Pacific Partner To Offer Opioid Resources

Opioid epidemic and drug abuse concept

With the impacts of opioids remaining in the news in recent months, AARP Montana and Mountain-Pacific Quality Health have teamed up to provide new information on opioid safety, pain management, and reducing harm in our communities. It has been called the “most consequential preventable public health problem in the United States.”

WATCH: The Opioid Menace – AARP Studios

Seniors are more likely to be prescribed opioids than any other population, with opioid overdoses on the rise. AARP Studios speaks to families, recovering addicts, doctors and pharmacists to hear personal stories from the 50-plus community on how their lives have been affected by the epidemic. Click to watch >>

Opioids (for example Oxycontin, Hydrocodone, Vicodin, Fentanyl, Morphine, Tramadol, etc.) are commonly used to treat chronic pain. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 30.8% of older adults experienced chronic pain in the past three months. One million Medicare beneficiaries were diagnosed with opioid use disorder in 2021.

Below are resources for those concerned about opioid use for themselves or a loved one.

Opioid Tools for Pain Management
Opioids are strong medications to treat pain. If used incorrectly, you can become dependent on them. When you go to the doctor, advocate for yourself or your loved ones. There are MANY methods to treat pain. We have some tools to help you prepare, including a pain diary.

To access these resources, click here: Communicating about Pain with Your Healthcare Team.

Opioid Overdose Prevention: 
Ensure you know how to use and access a rescue medication called naloxone. If someone overdoses on opioids, it can cause decreased breathing, confusion, and loss of consciousness. While emergency services should be called immediately, naloxone can reverse the effects of opioids until help arrives.

To learn more about naloxone, click here: How and When to Use Naloxone for an Opioid Overdose (

Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) 
Opioids are extremely addictive. The drugs trigger the use of endorphins, natural chemicals released by your body’s nervous system, and can lead to opioid use disorder, which is a chronic and relapsing disease that affects the body and brain. It can cause difficulties with tasks at work, school, or home and can affect the ability to maintain healthy relationships. It can even lead to overdose and death.

If you or a loved one needs to learn more about opioid treatment or recovery, click here: Resource Treatment and Recovery Fact Sheet What You Need to Know About Treatment and Recovery (

Breaking Barriers
Mountain Pacific, in collaboration with great partners, created a podcast series titled Breaking Barriers in Rural Health, where we discuss a variety of topics related to what is working in rural health care and mental health services and ways to replicate these successes. Mountain Pacific is also shining light where it is needed by identifying breakdowns and gaps in care.

Follow this link to listen: Breaking Barriers in Rural Health

Resources for Tribal Communities
Native communities have been deeply affected by the opioid crisis, and many have been overwhelmed by opioid overdoses, deaths, and a strained healthcare system. In 2022, the CDC reported that the American Indian and Alaska Native population had the highest drug overdose death rates in both 2020 and 2021, at rates of 42.5 and 56.6 deaths per 100,000 persons — this includes a 33% increase in drug overdose deaths. In Montana, the opioid overdose death rate for Indigenous people was twice that of white people from 2019 to 2021, according to the state Department of Public Health and Human Services.

Additional Resources

**Mountain Pacific asks for your information for data purposes only; it allows us to apprise what information/documents/resources are being utilized. As well as what areas we need to focus our efforts on. This is for number tracking only; you will not be contacted, and your information will not be shared.**

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