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From Deaths of Despair to Thriving 


We provide a digital platform that can be used by local entities to assist in their efforts to address the challenges associated with the deaths of despair. The platform includes best practice information, processes, checklists, and related resources to provide services and links to providers at the local level. The Project and Case Presentation websites are focused on cities, neighborhoods, counties, and other local entities. Entities interested in "duplicating" and customizing the websites for their local environment can contact  The Institute for Salutogenesis


The first county platform is Montgomery County, PA

Get Personal: Action that will allow you to achieve the best personal outcome in addressing the challenge of Pain, Opioid Use, and Opioid Dependence. 

Get Social: Actions that will impact the availability of evidence based, best practice interventions that you can undertake  to address the challenges of Pain and Opioid use in your community (Social Ecosystem) 

Get Political: Actions you can undertake within your political ecosystem to have a meaningful impact on the Pain-Opioid Epidemic. ​

The Opioid Epidemic  and the  “Deaths of Despair” 

A Salutogenic Approach

The salutogenic orientation and approach can empower individuals as political agents within their communities, state, and the nation, to address marginalization and alienation that is so toxic for individual and societal well being. Viewed with a salutogenic lens and orientation,  “deaths of despair” in general and the opioid and substance abuse epidemic more specifically can be understood in a holistic manner and provide a comprehensive treatment plan to address it.

The questions at the heart of this section and the larger effort to understand and treat the diseases of despair and to limit the deaths of despair. 


  1. Why do  some individuals succumb to the diseases of despair and associated deaths while others are able to weather the stress and even gain well-being?

  2. What is the role of the ecosystem- communities and culture in the response to challenges of life?

  3. How to provide for a society that creates and supports structures and processes that facilitate and promote individual flourishing?  

  4. What interventions and tools can be provided for the primary, secondary and prevention of despair and facilitate the right to the pursuit of happiness?

  5. What can the  Salutogenesis Model contribute to our understanding of and attempt to respond to  “the Deaths of Despair”?

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