Lynne A. Valenti
Cabinet Secretary

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October 27, 2016

South Dakota Selected to Participate in National Governors Association Learning Lab

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota is one of three states selected to participate in a learning lab to help combat opioid drug use. The focus of the National Governors Association (NGA) project is to implement and utilize teleconsultation services to expand treatment options for rural and underserved communities.

Since 2000, there has been a significant increase in the rate of overdose deaths involving prescription opioids and heroin across the United States. In addition, many individuals with opioid use disorders, roughly 80 percent, are not seeking the treatment necessary to overcome their addiction.

While South Dakota’s current rates of opioid abuse are low, the state recognizes the importance of developing strategies to focus on effective prevention and treatment services in order to maintain these low rates.

The learning lab project will help South Dakota develop a strategic plan for a teleconsultation program that will focus on helping primary care providers in treating patients with opioid use disorder in areas where there are limited treatment services available.

This project is made possible through a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. To learn more about NGA’s learning lab project, please visit