NOC among five schools awarded Opiod Response GrantsSeptember 8, 2019 | Headlines
Submitted By SCOT CLOUD | NOC Public Information
TONKAWA — Northern Oklahoma College and Northwestern Oklahoma State University will partner to fight opioid addiction on their campuses, supported by a grant from the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.
NOC and Northwestern are two of five Oklahoma colleges and universities to receive grant funds through a $250,000 State Opioid Response – Higher Education Community Outreach Grant administered through the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.
The other three schools are Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma. The grant will fund campus efforts to prevent opioid misuse and provide referral services for those needing treatment.
“We appreciate this funding opportunity provided by our partners at the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “The collaboration of state system campuses, the State Regents and ODMHSAS facilitated through this grant will provide these institutions with the resources they need to expand opioid misuse and overdose education efforts in their service areas across the state.”
“We are pleased that as a result of this grant, students will have more access to resources that can help prevent addiction and also help those in need of treatment identify recovery services,” said NOC president Dr. Cheryl Evans. “NOC is pleased to partner with NWOSU on this important initiative to help our students.”
NWOSU President Dr. Janet Cunningham said the grant is needed to help prevent addiction.
“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Oklahoma ranks sixth in the nation in the number of opioid prescriptions with eight out of 10 residents having a prescription,” said Cunningham. “In addition, more overdose deaths in our state involve prescription opioids than all illicit drugs combined. We have a responsibility to help prevent opioid abuse and provide resources to help those who are addicted.”
The institutions will provide outreach, engagement and evidence-based prevention services, including health education, promotion and community consultation. Efforts will focus on the general student population, as well as students at risk for opioid misuse, opioid disorder and opioid overdose. These institutions also will develop and maintain online resources for opioid abuse prevention and treatment.
Additionally, grant funds will be used to support training for faculty, staff and students in the prevention and treatment of opioid misuse and overdose, including naloxone administration, access to treatment services, how to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose, and safe storage and disposal of opioids.
Peer health educators will provide campus-based student training on opioid misuse and prevention. Tribal connections are also a part of the institutions’ plans to utilize and extend access to community resources.