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October Is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month

Breaking the Cycle: Prevention First

Substance Dependence can manifest at any point in a person's life; young or old. This October, Valley Medical and Wellness (VMW) is committed to helping break the cycle of substance abuse by raising awareness and educating both teens and adults about the risks of drug use. Early intervention, education, and reducing the stigma surrounding addiction can help prevent millions of dollars in healthcare costs associated with treating this disease and save thousands of preventable overdose deaths in the U.S..

Putting the Epidemic Into Perspective

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), opioids (prescription opioids, heroin, and synthetic opioids like Fentanyl), were involved in 70.6% of all drug overdoses in 2019. Fatal overdoses have risen sharply since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic; In the twenty-year period from 1999-2019, nearly 841,000 people died from drug overdose - but in 2019 alone nearly 71,000 people died from drug overdose and it is the leading cause of injury-related death in the United States. Some experts estimate that deaths could be as high as 90,000 since May 2020. 

Source: Jesse C. Baumgartner and David C. Radley, “The Spike in Drug Overdose Deaths During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Policy Options to Move Forward,” To the Point (blog), Mar. 25, 2021.


How Valley Medical and Wellness Can Help

At any of the five Valley Medical and Wellness (VMW) locations in Bemidji, Burnsville, Minneapolis, Rochester, and Woodbury, Minnesota, our team of dedicated practitioners specialize in Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) to help treat substance use disorder by sustaining recovery and preventing overdose. By using medications such as Buprenorphine (e.g. Suboxone, Sublocade, Subutex) or Naltrexone (e.g. Vivitrol) in combination with counseling and behavior health, VMW believes in treating the whole patient. We understand that chemical dependence often stems from a deeper issue such as co-occurring mental health conditions or untreated chronic pain, so we tailor our treatment plans to meet the needs of each individual patient.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), research shows that MAT lowers a person's risk for contracting HIV and viral Hepatitis C by reducing risky behaviors like unsafe sex and using contaminated needles. VMW offers STI and STD screening for both our own patients as well as for our community to help stop the spread of these diseases.

Here are a few of the common conditions VMW providers treat:

VMW offers our patients a full-service experience to get their lives back:

Recovery Resources

Stay informed about additional recovery resources and information about our services by visiting our website or by following us on social media.

Kate Cummings Kate graduated from Winona State University in 2016 with a BS in Cell & Molecular Biology. She has been with Valley Medical and Wellness (VMW) since 2017. She began her tenure with VMW as a Medical Assistant working with physicians and participating in procedures and intake of chronic pain and addiction patients. She was able to transfer her talents to clinic administration in her role as a Patient Care Coordinator in 2019 and then in 2020 as the Patient Scheduler Supervisor where she works closely with clinical operations, management and support, as well as assisting in the operation of our Covid-19 testing sites and various clinical project management duties and business growth initiatives. In her free time, Kate enjoys camping, hiking, gardening, reading, traveling, and spending time with friends, family, and her fiancé, Garret, and Australian Sheppard, Luna.

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