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OSF Saint Anthony’s to host June 16 ‘Community Conversation on Opioid Use Disorder’

This free program continues the hospital’s advocacy in addressing the opioid epidemic in southwestern Illinois

On the heels of sponsoring two very successful and capacity-packed NARCAN training sessions in February 2023 and March 2023, OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center (1 St. Anthony’s Way, Alton) is continuing its advocacy in addressing the opioid epidemic in southwestern Illinois by hosting a Community Conversation on Opioid Use Disorder.

The Community Conversation on Opioid Use Disorder program will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, June 16 in the hospital’s Perpetual Help Center.

The training program is free and lunch will be provided, but registration is required. Registration can be completed by visiting

According to statistics available through the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), between 2013 and 2021, the number of opioid overdose deaths in Illinois increased by almost 300%.

According to provisional data, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates more than 108,000 drug overdose deaths occurred in the 12-month period ending April 2022.

While many types of drugs contribute to overdose mortality, opioids accounted for almost 75% of all drug overdoses deaths in 2020.

The opioid crisis was declared a nationwide Public Health Emergency on Oct. 27, 2017. By June 2021, synthetic opioids were involved in an estimated 87% of opioid deaths and 65% of all drug overdose deaths.

According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), opioids produce feelings of euphoria which increase the odds that people will continue using them despite negative consequences.

Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) is a chronic disorder, with serious potential consequences including disability, relapses and death.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM 5-TR) describes opioid use disorder as a problematic pattern of opioid use leading to problems or distress, with at least two of the following occurring within a 12-month period:

  1. Taking larger amounts or taking drugs over a longer period than intended.
  2. Persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control opioid use.
  3. Spending a great deal of time obtaining or using the opioid or recovering from its effects.
  4. Craving, or a strong desire or urge to use opioids
  5. Problems fulfilling obligations at work, school or home.
  6. Continued opioid use despite having recurring social or interpersonal problems.
  7. Giving up or reducing activities because of opioid use.
  8. Using opioids in physically hazardous situations such as driving while under the influence of opiates.
  9. Continued opioid use despite ongoing physical or psychological problem likely to have been caused or worsened by opioids.
  10. Tolerance (i.e., need for increased amounts or diminished effect with continued use of the same amount)
  11. Experiencing withdrawal (opioid withdrawal syndrome) or taking opioids (or a closely related substance) to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.

More information on the Community Conversation on Opioid Use Disorder program can be obtained by contacting Trudy Bodenbach, business development specialist, OSF Saint Anthony’s, via email at or by calling/texting (618) 946-9131. 

Similar to the previously-held NARCAN training sessions, this program is being offered in alignment with the hospital’s 2022 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) that identified, in part, that CHNA survey respondents rated drug abuse (illegal) as the most prevalent unhealthy behavior (24%) in Madison County.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act), enacted March 23, 2010, added new requirements for tax-exempt charitable hospital organizations to conduct community health needs assessments and to adopt implementation strategies to meet the community health needs identified through the assessments. The hospital’s CHNA takes into account input from specific individuals who represent the broad interests of the community served by OSF Saint Anthony’s including those with special knowledge of or expertise in public health.

OSF Saint Anthony’s CHNA report can be found by visiting

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