Since 2018, JG has led the external evaluation of the State Targeted Response (STR) and State Opioid Response (SOR) funds coming from the federal government to the state of Montana for opioid use disorder prevention and treatment services. Each year, JG provides comprehensive outcome evaluation, focused on analyzing the client population served by SOR-funded prevention and treatment services, and process evaluation, focused on the implementation and efficacy of the team-based model of care for medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) treatment services. These annual evaluation reports can be found under publications on the JG website.
In addition to the ongoing annual evaluation, JG has undertaken a series of special studies focused on populations and topics of interest related to MOUD in Montana. Two of these studies were published in February. The first report, Behavioral Health Treatment in Local Detention Facilities in Montana, was aiming at gaining a better understanding of the behavioral health needs of Montana’s incarcerated population, of which methamphetamines and opioids are the primary illicit substances of concern. From this report, we learned that facilities need to focus on expanding linkages with local resources and the quality of behavioral health treatment available through these resources to improve the chances that these people will enroll in treatment upon release. The second report, Naloxone Use by First Responders in Montana, relied on interviews from 45 first responder individuals with access to varying units of naloxone. The report finds that it is important to update the content of training programs to better align with the context of community-based organizations, as well as to encourage better linkages between first responders and medication-assisted treatment (MAT) provider sites as a method for increasing enrollment in MAT programs among those who experience an overdose.