The overall goal for the proposed Guam SPF Rx program is to reduce opioid use disorder, overdose and deaths in Guam, especially among our most vulnerable population groups. The catchment area for the funded program activities is the entirety of the island, with specific focus for these three population subgroups identified as high-risk and high-need for the project: high school youth attending Guam Department of Education schools, non-indigenous adults of Micronesian descent who speak English as a second language, and the medical and pharmaceutical professionals who are registered opioid prescribers or PDMP data uploaders in Guam.
Information gathered from the Guam State Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup (SEOW), the Guam Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) and the Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center (GBHWC) highlight the need to synergize existing datasets to better illustrate Guam's opioid use disorder rates, risk factors and high-need communities, which will be valuable in informing and maximizing opportunities for prevention strategic planning and program implementation. Guam must leverage the SPF Rx grant opportunity to develop and sustain a data monitoring infrastructure to address opioid misuse and discover its contributory relationship to other substance use concerns in the island. We also understand from currently available opioid-related data that two subgroups display the highest risks that must be mitigated: adults from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) who speak English as a second language may misunderstand the dangers of misusing of opioids, and Guam's highs school youth shows an increasing rate of self-reported misuse of opioid.
GBHWC's Prevention and Training Branch proposes to create a project team that will work towards fulfilling these program objectives through the SPF Rx grant: By 2027,
1. Guam's epidemiological profile will include an annual report that monitors Guam's opioid-related overdoses, deaths and contributing risk factors,
2. 150 opioid prescribers and pharmacists understand the risks and are engaged in prevention efforts towards overprescribing opioids,
3. Guam's high school youth will decrease their reported lifetime prescription medication misuse from 14% to 7%, and
4. Guam's adults who have low perception of harm towards opioid misuse will decrease from 8% to 4%.
On the first year of the grant, the Guam SPF Rx team will prioritize the completion of a capacity assessment and building for the Guam SEOW, growing its annual report to include opioids by Year 2 and onwards. A qualitative needs assessment will also be completed to better understand the community perception towards opioids misuse which will inform the development of a health communication campaign, also to be launch in Year 2. Concurrently the team will build the larger community's readiness by introducing an evidence-based program on health literacy skills development, which in the long run will empower disenfranchised individuals with increased informed decision-making skills and confidence to advocate for themselves, their health and overall wellness. This shift in patient-provide communication may reduce the risk for overprescribing opioids.
The program evaluator, upon award, will create a program evaluation plan that will identify baseline comparators and assign performance measures, which the grant staff will use to guide and monitor program effectiveness and likelihood for program sustainability.