CCAHEC Awarded $123,000 Grant from the Office of National Drug Control Policy
The Office of National Drug Control Policy, the University of Baltimore, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collaboratively selected 14 programs in areas of the United States to receive “Combating Opioid Overdose through Community-Level Intervention (COOCLI)” grants. Central Colorado Area Health Education Center was selected and awarded $123,000 to continue funding the Colorado AmeriCorps VISTA Community Opioid Response Program (CORP) from December 2019 to November 2020.
Since 2017, the CORP team has supported the planning and execution of 23 provider education events about safe prescribing practices that have been attended by approximately 562 providers. Over 1000 individuals have received CORP training in recognizing and responding to an opioid overdose. Furthermore, CORP members conducted classroom based Not Prescribed lessons empowering youth with science and stories to understand the risks of misusing prescription drugs. In the 2018 to 2019 school year, over 7 out of 10 students surveyed across Colorado improved their knowledge and attitudes related to prescription drug misuse following the Not Prescribed lesson while nearly 6 out of 10 students showed an increase in perceived risk of misusing prescription drugs. From October 2018 through July 2019, CORP members conducted more than 150 Not Prescribed lessons to more than 3,900 youth across the state of Colorado. Between April 2019 and July 2019, CORP members distributed over 200 SafeRx Locking Pill Bottles and facilitated one-on-one conversations with concerned community members on safe use, storage, and disposal practices. From October 2018 through July 2019, CORP members have offered 73 Naloxone training events which were attended by more than 1,012 individuals.
Since its inception, CORP has partnered with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention (Consortium), and Rise Above Colorado.
CNCS’s Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) Members have been working with local communities to eradicate poverty since 1965. With their support CORP seeks to build capacity, expand scale and reach, and leverage resources to benefit communities addressing the opioid crisis. Twelve VISTA Members will be placed throughout the state of Colorado, with emphasis on communities working to address the opioid crisis within community-based collaborations. The program seeks to place members within organizations that provide services to low-income populations in the areas of prevention, intervention, and recovery.
The Consortium is working with CORP to help develop resources that will be used at the events and to coordinate the program. “CORP is an innovative partnership that will connect people fighting prescription drug misuse on the grassroots level with leading organizations in the state, and will help communities tap into the best federal and state resources we have available, and bring them to the local level,” Consortium Executive Director Rob Valuck said.
The youth programming has been developed by Rise Above Colorado, which is a drug abuse prevention organization that measurably impacts teen perceptions and attitudes about the risks of substance misuse. “With this AmeriCorps program, more teens will have access to resources to build skills and knowledge that will help them make healthy choices in the present and avoid prescription drug misuse in the future,” Rise Above Colorado Executive Director Kent MacLennan said.
There are AmeriCorps VISTA member positions available for anyone interested in being a part of CORP. To apply, visit www.coloradocorp.org. For more information about Central Colorado AHEC, visit www.ccahec.org.