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Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) Is Killing Americans. But Recovery From OUD Is Possible!

HEALing Communities Study Launches New Medication Treatment Retention Campaign to Reduce Opioid-Related Overdose.

No matter who we are or where we come from, we all know at least one person affected by

opioid use disorder (OUD). An estimated 2.1 million Americans have OUD. What many don’t

realize, is that OUD is a medical disorder characterized by an inability to stop the use of an

addictive substance, despite the negative consequences associated with its use.

Yates County is committed to reducing opioid overdose deaths and the many. Many families

are broken and lives are disrupted due to misuse of opioids. Research findings are clear:

medications for opioid use disorder are the single most effective tool to promote long-term


MOUD Treatment

Recovery from OUD also requires more than willpower, and medications can be part of the

solution. Three FDA approved medications – methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone – can lower the risk of relapse and overdose. Evidence shows that these medications reduce or eliminate withdrawal symptoms (methadone, buprenorphine), blunt or block effects of illicit

opioids (methadone, naltrexone, buprenorphine), and reduce or eliminate cravings to use

opioids (methadone, buprenorphine). MOUD treatment can be combined with psychotherapy, support groups, or other treatment opportunities where available. To reduce overdose deaths and the many other destructive effects of opioid use disorder on our community, we must increase the number of people who seek MOUD treatment and who stay in treatment long enough to recover.

A HEALing Communities Study Spokesperson, Johnny, has been taking MOUD for over 5 years as part of his recovery path. During a spokesperson interview led by study staff, Johnny provided some ways for how he overcame treatment barriers.

"At the beginning there were many people who didn’t believe in MOUD." – Johnny, Study Spokesperson

He noted there were many people in his life who believed MOUD was just substituting one drug for another, but it’s not.

“Don’t give up. This treatment plan works. If it doesn’t work for you the first time, try again. Be honest to yourself and your counselors and the people trying to help you. And be honest and say the truth, because you are feeling it. It is your treatment and your recovery. Stay in treatment, your life is worth it!” – Johnny, Study Spokesperson

You Can Help HEAL Our Communities

How can you help? If you know someone with opioid use disorder, encourage them to seek

MOUD. If you know someone who is in MOUD treatment, let them know you support their efforts and recognize the courage it takes to break the cycle of drug dependence. If someone you know has a family member in MOUD treatment, tell them how glad you are to hear it and how you hope their family member stays in that treatment as long as they need it.

Your Encouragement Matters

One of the reasons that some people leave MOUD treatment too soon, or never enter it at all, is lack of support from family and friends. The notion that MOUD “isn’t real recovery” has prevented too many people from using MOUD to succeed in recovery and there are challenges people in recovery face. Some challenges may include separating from previous drug-using social networks and managing anxiety and depression, withdrawal, and potential occasional relapse events. For a person with opioid use disorder, chances of recovery become much greater when MOUD treatment efforts are supported by friends, family, and the connections within their social networks, and transportation, housing, and employment are accessible in the community.

Together, We Will HEAL Our Communities.

To learn more about the challenges people face with opioid use disorder, and some tips to

overcome them, visit www.HealTogetherStories.org/Yates to watch the powerful testimonials of people on MOUD in communities like ours. It is up to all of us to help as many people in Yates County recover from opioid use disorder.

About the HEALing Communities Study

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimates that 2.1 million Americans have OUD, yet fewer than 20% of those individuals receive specialty care in a given year. A menu of evidence-based practices (EBPs) exists, including opioid overdose education and naloxone dissemination programs, prescription drug monitoring programs, FDA-approved medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD). Unfortunately, these EBPs have largely failed to penetrate community settings. As a result, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) launched the HEALing Communities Study (HCS) to investigate and identify the EBPs for preventing and treating OUD that are most effective at the local level. The goal of the study is to reduce opioid-related overdose deaths by 40 percent over the course of three years.

To Learn More

For study information or to support the Campaign, please visit:

Sarah Beverly

HEAL Project Manager

Thomas Aldrich

Community Engagement Facilitator

Kurtis VonBergen

Communications Champion


Founded in 1973, FLACRA is a private, not-for-profit agency serving individuals and their loved ones in the Finger Lakes Region whose lives are affected by substance use, mental health, and other health related disorders.

FLACRA employs 500 full-time, part-time and per-diem staff comprised of program supervisors, credentialed substance use counselors, peer specialists, nurses, vocational, therapy aides and administrative staff – all dedicated to the individuals and families in recovery.

Our executive management team has decades of knowledge and experience and leads with strong commitment and dedication to the agency values.

For more information: call 833-435-2272 or email marketingandoutreach@flacra.org


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