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START-SD-OR: Overdose Response

Overdose Response Focus


START-SD is a federal program funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) working to increase access to and effectiveness of prevention, treatment, and recovery services for substance use disorder in South Dakota. It is a three-pronged project, with focuses on opioid use disorder, psychostimulant use disorder and overdose response.

The third prong of START-SD is a one-year project is designed to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with overdoses related to substance use in target communities among adults aged 18-54 in Yankton, Lyman, Roberts, and Hughes Counties. Substance use disorder (SUD), including opioid use disorder (OUD), is a growing problem throughout South Dakota and there is a need to respond to high rates of overdose deaths in the state. Rural and Native American populations are disproportionately impacted by SUD/OUD and overdose, making South Dakota a significant area of need.

Project team members from South Dakota State University have partnered with six other consortium organizations on this work, including the University of South Dakota, Coteau des Prairies Health Care System, Face It TOGETHER, Straight Up Care, South Dakota Foundation for Medical Care, Emily’s Hope and the Center for Family Medicine. By working with these organizations and providers, the START-SD team will achieve its to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with substance overdose.

Program Goal

Reduce morbidity and mortality associated with SUD in target communities among adults aged 18–54 through promotion of harm reduction strategies, education and training with healthcare facilities to improve treatment, and increasing access to treatment and recovery services through education, training and placement of peer coaches.

Program Objectives

Objective 1: Increase access to naloxone and fentanyl test strips for community members and patients with SUD, with a focus on Yankton, Lyman, Roberts, and Hughes Counties.

Objective 2: Develop and promote anti-stigma messaging to improve family members’, caregivers’, the public’s and healthcare staffs’ understanding of evidence-based prevention, treatment and recovery strategies for SUD and to reduce stigma associated with the disease.

Objective 3: Provide education/training on treatment and stigma reduction in healthcare facilities across the target counties.

Objective 4: Provide naloxone training and education to promote the distribution and appropriate use of naloxone.

Objective 5: Expand access to peer recovery coaches through recruiting and training new peer recovery coaches.

This work is being completed with the help of our key partners

The University of South Dakota (USD) was founded in 1862 and is embracing the future through innovative research, flexible schedules and real-life learning opportunities both inside and outside the classroom. USD is located in Sioux Falls and Vermillion, which is located in the county adjacent to Yankton County. USD and SDSU collaborate on the joint Public Health Program and plan to effectively utilize resources from both schools to ensure the successful completion of the project.

Coteau des Prairies Health Care System provides a wide range of health care services to the Sisseton, SD community and surrounding area in northeastern South Dakota. Through the Compass Care program, they provide medical, social and mental health care including SUD treatment, Medication-Assisted Treatment and care coordination. They will support the peer recovery coach hired by Face It TOGETHER through provision of space in the healthcare facility for patients to see the peer recovery coach. They have previously partnered with Face It TOGETHER for peer recovery services and hope to strengthen the partnership through the ongoing START-SD-PSS program and the START-SD-OR program.

Face It TOGETHER is a nationally focused addiction wellness nonprofit that provides professional peer coaching to those impacted by addiction, including loved ones. Their mission is to get people with addiction and their loved ones well. FIT’s technology allows for remote coaching to any location by telephone and secure video. Through START-SD-OR, they will recruit, hire, and train one peer recovery coach to provide services in the Roberts County area, provide peer coaching services to qualifying patients either in person or via telehealth as indicated by grant requirements, provide de-identified data required for grant evaluation and assist with anti-stigma messaging and community events.

Straight Up Care has developed a web-based platform, training course and matching algorithm to bring new peer specialists to the job market reducing the nation-wide care burden and improving SUD and mental health client outcomes. Through START-SD-OR, Straight Up Care will provide peer support training for virtual peer coaches supporting clients and loved ones impacted by SUD throughout the target counties and provide peer support sessions for those impacted by SUD throughout the target counties.

South Dakota Foundation for Medical Care is a federally designated organization that provides a helping hand to healthcare professionals and community stakeholders to achieve excellence in healthcare. SDFMC has an extensive history of leading and collaborating to impact positive health outcomes. Through START-SD-OR, SDFMC will assist with pharmacy outreach and educational programming to increase naloxone distribution, facilitate distribution of naloxone, fentanyl test strips and other relevant supplies within the target rural service area and assist with anti-stigma messaging and community events.

Emily’s Hope is a non-profit organization raising awareness on the opioid epidemic, stopping the stigma of addiction and helping to offset the cost of treatment. Emily’s Hope has been able to bring awareness throughout the nation and make a difference in Sioux Falls, SD. Through START-SD-OR, Emily’s Hope will assist with speaking at four healthcare facilities regarding treatment, harm reduction and stigma related to SUD and assist with anti-stigma messaging and promotion of community events.

As a family medicine clinic, the Center for Family Medicine (CFM) is committed to utilizing multiple modalities through their well-established primary care approach. This allows CFM to treat patients for all of their health care needs, including acute and chronic disease management, prenatal care and substance use. CFM's team consists of physicians, therapists, a pharmacist and a nurse case manager. They also collaborate with local behavioral health organizations to ensure patient needs are met.

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Funding Statement

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $300,000 with 100% percentage funded by HRSA/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA/HHS or the U.S. Government. More Information

Project Directors


Support Team