Lewis and Clark County,
Lewis and Clark County covers 3,497 square miles in west-central Montana on the eastern slopes of the Continental Divide. Almost half of county residents live within the city limits of Helena, the county seat and the state capital, in the sixth most populated of Montana’s 56 counties. Between 2010 and 2014, the county’s only hospital, St. Peter’s Health, saw 26,829 emergency room visits associated with substance use and 16,881 hospital admits. Jail-specific and county-specific data is difficult to access, and firsthand observations paint a stark picture of the growing and unmanageable opioid use disorder epidemic in Lewis and Clark County. Lewis and Clark County is using its Building Bridges implementation funding to contract with its two Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) to provide certified peer support specialist services to assist individuals released from the detention center with a successful transition to their FQHC’s community-based medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program. Supports include release planning specific to each individual, including transportation to their FQHC MAT provider, linkage to community resources, employment support, support groups, and housing.