For 40 million adults living in America with a substance use disorder (SUD), the devastation caused by the disease can be crushing. According to recent federal data, an estimated 90,000 teens and adults in Montana have a substance use disorder (SUD). More than 90% of Montanans with alcohol and drug use disorders do not receive treatment. Drug overdoses in the United States have become the leading cause of injury death, increasing 56.5% between 2013 and 2019. More than 100 people die every year from drug overdose in Montana and more than 15,000 emergency department visits annually are attributable to substance use.[1][1]

Illicit drug use disorder is the most stigmatized health condition in the world, with alcohol use disorder not far behind at fourth in the world. The stigma of addiction and associated discriminatory beliefs and practices have entrenched addiction as a public health issue. People with a SUD are forced to endure prejudice, social exclusion, and ongoing harm. These views erode self-worth, create social isolation, reduce access to care, and serve as an obstacle to recovery and success. This only exacerbates the problem by clouding the nation’s ability to coalesce around meaningful solutions, including treatment, equitable health care, harm reduction, and recovery supports and services.

This fall, show your support for those in recovery from a SUD, still struggling with a SUD and honor those who have lost their lives to this disease by participating in the Montana Rise Up Against Addiction Walk. The event also aims to raise awareness for reducing the shame and stigma around substance use disorders. Shatterproof, a national organization dedicated to reversing the addiction crisis, will be holding a Rise Up Against Addiction Montana walk on Saturday, September 24 from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Spring Meadow Lake State Park in Helena, MT. You can register individually or as part of a team. You can also walk in your local community or show support by registering even if you are unable to participate in person.

The Helena Indian Alliance will be at the event providing information and training on harm reduction and distributing Naloxone (Narcan) to interested participants.

While the walk is a fundraiser for Shatterproof, registration is free. For more information or to register visit: or contact Laurine Wolf, Shatterproof Volunteer Ambassador, at 406-594-1203; Laurine is coordinating the walk in honor of her brother, Patrick Bannan. For more information about Shatterproof, visit


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