Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $464,235)
This project of Western Oklahoma Opioid Prevention Consortium (an Advisory Board to SWODA) will serve five counties which are designated Rural Challenges, Persistent Poverty Counties, or Qualified Opportunity Zones by the Office of Justice Programs and U.S. Census information. The five counties are Caddo, Harmon, Jackson, Kiowa, and Tillman. The total population size of the five counties is 73,314. The purpose of the project is to develop, implement, or expand comprehensive programs in response to illicit opioids, stimulants, or other substances of abuse. This project’s objectives and methods will include developing education and prevention programs to connect law enforcement agencies with students in grades 6-9 in the public school system by using the keepin’ it REAL curriculum. The keepin’ it REAL program is an effective, multicultural middle school drug prevention program derived from evidence-based research. We will provide naloxone to law enforcement and other first responders each year which will help with the opioid overdose death rate. The County Sheriff’s Departments will disperse the naloxone within their county. Drug take-back programs will be established to safely dispose of unused controlled substances that are found in the home and used by hospitals and long-term care facilities twice a year for the National Drug-Take back days. We will be distributing in home medication lockboxes to the public to help reduce either the accidental overdose or to help prevent someone stealing one’s prescriptions. The project includes partnerships between the law enforcement and the Western Oklahoma Opioid Prevention Consortium in each of the five counties. The communities within these five counties will benefit by having the naloxone to help reverse opioid overdoses, by having the keepin’ it REAL program educating their youth about substance abuse, and by getting rid of their unused prescriptions out of their homes.