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South Dakota awarded $215,000 opioid abuse grant

PIERRE -- South Dakota will use a $215,000 federal grant to collect and analyze data about opioid misuse, abuse and overdose, a state health official said today.

PIERRE - South Dakota will use a $215,000 federal grant to collect and analyze data about opioid misuse, abuse and overdose, a state health official said today.

"South Dakota has some of the nation's lowest rates of drug overdose deaths but we can't be complacent and ignore what we're seeing in the rest of the country," said Kim Malsam-Rysdon, secretary of health. "It's important that we get a good handle on opioid use in our state and how to combat it now and not wait for the problem to grow."

The funding comes to the South Dakota Department of Health through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Prescription Drug Overdose: Data-Driven Prevention Initiative in response to the growing national problem of opioid drug abuse. South Dakota is one of 13 states funded.

Malsam-Rysdon said she is appointing an advisory committee to review opioid use data for the state and develop strategies for preventing opioid misuse and abuse. Members include:

• Tom Martinec, South Dakota Department of Health, Chair

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• Kristen Bunt, South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations

• Sara DeCoteau, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation

• Chris Diedrich, MD, South Dakota State Medical Association

• Margaret Hansen, South Dakota Board of Medical & Osteopathic Examiners

• Amy Hartman, Volunteers of America - Dakotas

• Amy Iversen-Pollreisz, South Dakota Department of Social Services

• Pat Kneip, South Dakota Office of Attorney General

• Rob Loe, South Dakota Pharmacy Association

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• Jon Schuchardt, PharmD, Great Plains Indian Health Services

• Kari Shanard-Koenders, South Dakota Board of Pharmacy

• Senator Craig Tieszen, Rapid City

• Senator Jim White, Huron

In 2014 South Dakota had the third lowest rate of drug overdose deaths - 7.8 per 100,000 population compared to the national rate of 14.7. The state also had the seventh lowest number of opioid painkiller prescriptions - 66.5 per 100 people compared to 82.5 for the nation in 2012.

"There is a lot of focus on opioid prescribing in both the public and the private sectors right now," said Malsam-Rysdon. "This grant and the advisory committee is a great opportunity to coordinate those activities and have a real impact on opioid abuse."

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