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Department of Health and Social Services Present on Suicide Prevention Plan and Opioid Update

Health Department Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon and Department of Social Services Secretary Laurie Gill presented to Health Committees (House Jan. 23 and Senate Jan. 24) on a Suicide Prevention Plan and an Opioid Programming Update.

Suicide Prevention Plan

Governor Noem asked the Department of Health (DOH) to lead an interagency workgroup to develop a statewide suicide prevention plan. Departments involved include Health, Social Services, Education, Tribal Relations, and Agriculture as well as the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board.

South Dakota has the sixth-highest suicide rate in the nation, according to the state Department of Health. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in SD but is the 2nd leading cause among ages 15 to 34.​

The Governor’s FY20 General Amendment (SB38) has budgeted:

  • Department of Social Services – $135K for Gatekeeper training, public awareness.
  • Department of Health- $75K for Community prevention and Training for high risk professions.

The program has its own website with information about suicide, how to get help, and resources for survivors and toolkits for communities, schools and colleges.

Opioid Programming Update

The Secretaries updated the Health Committees on the Avoid Opioid Prescription Addiction.

Highlighted Updates:

  • Opioid Education and Nalozone Distribution: DOH trained more than 1,000 first responders; 3,000 Narcan kits distributed; more than 300 lives have been saved
  • SD Prescription Drug Monitoring Program from 2017 thru 2019: Opioid Prescription Rx Counts decreased by 18.7%; Rx Total Quantity decrease of 29.3%; Rx Total Days of Supply decrease of 20.7%
  • Interoperability Focus to Increase Utilization: Integration of the SD PDMP into electronic health record (EHR) platforms and pharmacy management systems (PMS)
  • MedDrop Drug Take-Back Program: 38 respectable in SD Retail Pharmacies and Hospitals; 4,287lbs returned for destruction.

DOH appointed a Prescription Opioid Abuse Advisory Committee to review opioid use data for the state and develop strategies for preventing prescription opioid misuse and abuse.


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