Friday, July 17, 2020

Coalition Launching Media Campaign about Opioid Use Disorder

The Coalition for a Healthy Darke County is excited to join 33 other communities across Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York and Ohio in launching a series of communications campaigns for the Healing Communities Study. The campaigns aim to increase demand and prescribing of medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) and to increase access to and availability of naloxone (also known as Narcan®). The campaigns also aim to address stigma by educating audiences that opioid use disorder (OUD) is a disease, people with OUD deserve the best medical care possible, and anyone can develop an OUD.

The first phase of the campaign is focused on naloxone, a medicine that can save someone’s life if they are overdosing on opioids, whether it is a prescription opioid pain medicine, heroin, or a drug containing fentanyl. Anyone - EMS, firefighters, loved ones of those with OUD, and community members - can be a first responder and give naloxone to someone who is experiencing an opioid overdose.

Future campaigns will focus on educating the public about stigma surrounding opioid use disorder and on providing resources to access medications for opioid use disorder.

“Being a part of this study aligns with the goals of the Coalition for a Healthy Darke County and provides a sustained level of resources to continue the work we began in 2014”, said Sharon Deschambeau, president of the Coalition. “We are excited to be part of a study that will bring resources to benefit the people of Darke County and across the nation.”

Locally, the study will provide funding in the amount of $900,000 to support the expansion of services and resources for those struggling with opioid use disorder.

About the HEALing Communities Study

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) estimates that 2.1 million Americans have OUD, yet fewer than 20% of those receive specialty care in a given year. A menu of evidence-based practices exists, including opioid overdose education and naloxone distribution programs, prescription drug monitoring programs, FDA-approved medications for opioid use disorder, behavioral therapies, and recovery support services.

In some areas, these evidence-based practices have failed to penetrate community settings. As a result, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) launched the HEALing Communities Study (HCS) to identify the interventions that are most effective at the local level in preventing and treating OUD. The goal of the study is to reduce opioid-related overdose deaths by 40 percent over the course of three years. To reach this goal, a core component of the HCS intervention is a series of community-based health communication campaigns.

To learn more about the study and how to get involved, please visit:
• Website:
• Facebook: @CoalitionDarkeCounty

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