Opioid Epidemic in South Dakota Will Take Team Effort to Solve
Governor Dennis Daugaard gave his opening address to the South Dakota Legislature. Within his remarks were updates on education, transportation and health.
Of note was the issue of opioid addiction which Daugaard says conditions are better in South Dakota than most states, but still troublesome.
"The over-prescribing of opioids is something we have seen in our state. In 2015 for instance, the number of opioids prescribed in South Dakota would have been enough to medicate every South Dakota adult around the clock for nineteen straight days."
Stating that addiction cannot be overcome through government mandates, Daugaard is encouraged by additional oversight by those in the medical field.
"It's been promising to see South Dakota's healthcare systems provide additional guidance to their providers on when to prescribe these drugs and it's having an impact. The state Medical Association is doing its part as well by developing resources for physicians to recognize and treat opioid addiction and prescribe opioids appropriately."
More than healthcare providers, Daugaard implores private organizations, individual citizens and law enforcement’s help in the fight. The main run of the session runs through March 9.