Paths to Preventing Opioid Overdose


The CDC reported there were nearly 50,000 deaths due to opioid overdoses in 2019.  Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is used to treat substance use disorders and is also a tool in to prevent overdoses and transform lives.  

We reached out to Ben Powell, a Physician Assistant in SouthLight’s Opioid Treatment Clinic, to get his insight on the importance of overdose awareness and what he sees first-hand, every day where SouthLight works to engage, educate and empower those on their recovery journey.  

What I’ve seen working in our Opioid Treatment Clinic 

During my time at SouthLight working in the Opioid Treatment Program, I have not only learned about safer using patterns, but I have seen first-hand the benefits of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) using Methadone and Buprenorphine (Suboxone/Subutex) in preventing overdoses.  Learn more about the myths and facts of Medication-Assisted Treatment.

I have seen this medication save people’s lives by preventing overdoses, but even more inspiring I have seen it turnaround people’s lives. 

I have seen this medication save people’s lives by preventing overdoses, but even more inspiring I have seen it turn around people’s lives. From active use to a substance-free lifestyle; from homeless to stable housing; from being unemployed to owning their own business; from uncontrolled medical conditions to stable health; and from feeling isolated to reconnecting with family and friends.  

These are only a few examples of the benefits of MAT when people actively engage in the program.  

Recovery Is Possible 

If you are or someone you know is struggling with active addiction, even if it’s not with opiates, SouthLight can help you choose and live a healthier path while providing you with multiple resources to help along the way. 

The time for change is now. Join us today in remembering those who have died by overdose and acknowledge the grief of the families and friends left behind. If you or someone you love needs help SouthLight is here. Learn more about our services and treatments.

Other Paths to Treatment  

The biggest overdose prevention is showing and teaching humans, especially kids, that their lives matter as they are, not as we want them to be. 

If Medication Assisted Treatment is not the path you, or the one you love, know that there are other ways to be mindful and support overdose prevention. Harm reduction, safety planning, checking in regularly, committing to never using alone, calling EMS and knowing you are protected in doing so and advocating for sensible drug policy are other prevention strategies.  

About SouthLight:

Founded in 1970, SouthLight Healthcare is one of the area’s largest nonprofit providers of substance use treatment and mental health services. SouthLight partners with individuals and communities to provide innovative treatment solutions delivered with compassion and dignity. With outpatient and community-based programs, SouthLight provides prevention, education, and treatment services in the Triangle and beyond. Call 919-787-6131 for help or more information.