Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $3,075,000)
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (DHW) is requesting funding under Category 2: State Applications from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to enhance the state’s multidisciplinary approach in reducing the impact of opioids, stimulants, and other substances on individuals and communities across Idaho. In 2019, DHW was awarded the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Overdose Data to Action (OD2A) grant. However, large challenges in regional accessibility to MOUD prescribers as well as funding local naloxone distribution and prescription drug take-back programs remain in Idaho’s most vulnerable counties. DHW proposes six projects to be implemented under this funding. These projects aim to increase naloxone access, education, and distribution; enhance coordination and expansion of take-back programs; increase access to medication-assisted treatment through provider and public safety education; and evaluate DHW’s naloxone distribution efforts to vulnerable populations.
Idaho’s seven local public health districts (PHDs) will serve as project implementation sites to provide naloxone trainings and overdose rescue kits to law enforcement, first responders, and other vulnerable populations in their regions. Additionally, they will organize and promote permanent drug take-back locations and take-back day events in identified vulnerable counties. DHW will fund the Idaho Harm Reduction Project and the seven PHDs to distribute naloxone to law enforcement, first responders, and other organizations interacting directly with individuals at risk of an overdose. To increase accessibility to medication-assisted treatment, DHW will identify vulnerable counties across the state and fund Project ECHO Idaho and a media-marketing vendor to develop and disseminate educational materials to providers. Project ECHO will produce MOUD/SUD podcast episodes, conduct outreach, and complete an assessment of current MOUD/SUD educational activities. DHW contract with a media-marketing vendor to develop and distribute an MAT educational toolkit for clinics and providers in identified counties. Finally, DHW will contract with a third-party evaluator to conduct an evaluation of naloxone distribution activities funded under this grant. A final evaluation report will be used to implement changes to naloxone distribution to better meet Idaho’s most vulnerable populations.
The service area of these projects is statewide and include the seven local public health districts with a data-driven focus on implementing activities within the counties identified as most vulnerable to the risks of opioids, stimulants, and other substances. Those who will most benefit from these proposed activities are local law enforcement, first responders, rural and frontier medical providers, and Idahoans at high risk for overdose or substance misuse.