Missoula Substance Use Disorder Connect (MSUDC), housed at United Way of Missoula County, is a coalition of organizations dedicated to combating the epidemic of substance use in Missoula County, and innovating the options, systems and processes for doing so. We focus on prevention, treatment and support for those in recovery. We use a Collective Impact framework that results in a multifaceted and comprehensive approach to developing the best path forward to address the problems at hand.
MSUDC started with two visits in 2019-2020 from then-U.S. State Attorney Kurt Alme, to present to groups of Missoula stakeholders what Yellowstone County was doing to address addiction and crime rates. Participants were excited about the idea of forming a coalition, and United Way of Missoula County was identified as a source of support. With encouragement from Yellowstone Substance Abuse Connect coalition and Alme, United Way applied for and received (in November 2020) a one-year planning grant from the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) in conjunction with the Missoula Drug Task Force.
Throughout 2021, the Core Team worked diligently to reach out to various community organizations, government agencies, and community members to put together a large and diverse representation of stakeholders and began to collaborate with community partners. In addition, in 2021 JG Research & Evaluation conducted and completed a Needs Assessment that was specific to substance use in Missoula County. In the Fall of 2021 , MSUDC held a two-day Stakeholder Retreat of training and discussion. From that Retreat, three areas of focus were identified as priority areas.
The Peer Support Action Committee is working to support existing Peer Support Specialists (PSS), as well as to expand the number of PSSs and PSS employers in Missoula. In this work, SUDC frequently collaborates with Montana’s Peer Network, which provides a variety of training services and support.
What are Peer Support workers?
"Peer support workers are people who have been successful in the recovery process, and who then help others experiencing similar situations. Through shared understanding, respect, and mutual empowerment, peer support workers help people become and stay engaged in the recovery process and reduce the likelihood of relapse. Peer support services can effectively extend the reach of treatment beyond the clinical setting into the everyday environment of those seeking a successful, sustained recovery process." (SAMHSA)Learn more
The Harm Reduction Action Committee is seeking ways to introduce or expand strategies that reduce the harms encountered with drug and/or alcohol use and encourage first steps to treatment.
What are Harm Reduction strategies?
"Harm reduction is a proactive and evidence-based approach to reduce the negative personal and public health impacts of behavior associated with alcohol and other substance use at both the individual and community levels. [Using seat belts and car seats, or taking an Uber home after drinking instead of driving are examples of harm-reduction strategies.]
Harm reduction is an important part of... [a] comprehensive approach to addressing substance use disorders through prevention, treatment, and recovery where individuals who use substances set their own goals. Harm reduction organizations incorporate a spectrum of strategies that meet people 'where they are' on their own terms, and may serve as a pathway to additional prevention, treatment, and recovery services. Harm reduction works by addressing broader health and social issues through improved policies, programs, and practices." (SAMHSA)Learn more
The Recovery Residences Action Committee is identifying the number and type of recovery residences located within Missoula County, with a general goal of finding ways to expand the capacity to effectively serve people in recovery.
What are Recovery Residences?
"Recovery residence" (RR) is a broad term describing a sober, safe, and healthy living environment that promotes recovery from alcohol and other drug use and associated problems. Many thousands exist in the United States, varying in size, organization, and target population. At a minimum, RRs offer peer-to-peer recovery support with some providing professionally delivered clinical services all aimed at promoting abstinence-based, long-term recovery." (National Alliance for Recovery Residences)Learn more
Fostering physical, emotional, social and intellectual growth for Missoula’s youth.
Removing obstacles and paving the way for hard working families to get ahead financially.
Working to ensure that everyone in Missoula has the tools they need to live a healthy life.