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South Dakota Emergency Department, opioid epidemic, opioid


Across the United States, there is a rising concern with the Opioid epidemic. This presentation report outlines critical findings focused on South Dakota Emergency Departments. Over the past five years, South Dakota has seen a steady increase in overdoses coming through local emergency rooms and increased opioid-related deaths. In 2018 alone, there were twenty-seven opioid-related deaths; twenty-two were unintentional, along with three being suicidal. On top of this, laced illicitly produced fentanyl has been a significant contributor to opioid overdose deaths. To combat this, the awareness and education of pain management along with opioid use needs to improve. Pain management flow charts are great resource physicians use in efforts to provide safe, effective pain management. The continuous development of pharmaceutical “take back” boxes and establishing an opioid education program in South Dakota will significantly reduce the amount of Opioid-related deaths. Furthermore, multidisciplinary task teams, community awareness, and developed initiatives will reduce the prevalence of opioid misuse.

First Advisor

Jewel Shepherd

Research Area

Health Services Administration