Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) is the recipient of almost $70,000 in grants to help provide opioid overdose prevention and prevent opioid abuse in the state. A portion of the funding will be used to develop communication and outreach programs for students.

Oklahoma, like so many other states, is heavily impacted by the opioid epidemic, making this grant funding crucial to the health and well-being of people in the state.

Oklahoma’s Opioid Crisis at a Glance

In 2015, more than 326 million opioid pills were dispensed in Oklahoma — this meant there were enough pills for every adult in the state to have 110. In 2017, there were 388 deaths involving opioids in Oklahoma. 

Much of their epidemic, as in other states, may stem from the overprescribing of opioid pain relievers. Some of the statistics relating to the opioid crisis in Oklahoma are especially troubling because of legitimate prescription rates. 

The most commonly prescribed opioids in Oklahoma are hydrocodone, oxycodone and tramadol. Some key statistics for the state include:

  • Oklahoma has the second-highest opioid prescribing rate in the nation. In 2017, there were 88.1 prescription opioids for every 100 people.
  • Oklahoma has 10.2 opioid overdoses per 100,000 persons in the state. While that’s lower than the national death rate of 14.6 per 100,000 persons, it’s still alarming.
  • Oklahoma deaths relating to synthetic opioids like fentanyl have remained steady while heroin-related deaths have gone up significantly.
  • 60% of Oklahoma’s unintentional overdose deaths involved an opioid.
  • 39% of people who died in Oklahoma had a history of pain while 35% had a history of mental health issues.

State Opioid Response (SOR) Higher Education Community Outreach Grant

The State Opioid Response Higher Education Community Outreach Grant, which totals just over $54,000, is going to be used to develop outreach and communication programs to train students and faculty in best practices to identify and treat opioid abuse.

These grants will also help provide funding for key professionals, including a project coordinator, licensed professional counselor and graduate counseling study to counsel people dealing with drug abuse personally and in their families.

Health Resource and Service Administration (HRSA) Grant

A Health Resource and Service Administration grant for more than $15,000 was also awarded to the state. This grant is meant to provide funding to focus primarily on Native American addiction and recovery

Overdose Prevention in Ottawa County

According to Linda Sue Warner, who is special native counsel to the NEO president, the college hopes to take an active role as leaders in planning how to reduce health disparities in Ottawa County using the grant money. These efforts will include overdose prevention measures.

NEO President Jeff Hale released a statement about the grant funding, saying that the college is eager to work with partners to address challenges related to opioid abuse.

If you or someone you care about struggles with opioid use, including prescription opioids, contact The Recovery Village to learn more about treatment today.

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