Alaska State Opioid Response (SOR) Abstract
The past two years have been especially challenging nationwide, and Alaska is no exception. Across the state of Alaska, the number of opioid overdoses unlike anything the state has ever seen. The use of opioids and stimulants has almost doubled since 2019. The project we are proposing will support the providers across that state with addressing the significant increases that we have seen in individuals in our communities suffering from opioid and stimulant use disorders. All of this is happening at a time when the behavioral health workforce is understaffed, and agencies are struggling to maintain and retain appropriately trained workforce so much needed treatment and recovery resources can be provided to vulnerable individuals in our communities.
The purpose of this SOR project in Alaska is to continue to work towards decreasing the use of stimulants and reducing the impact of opioid use disorder on communities, to include overdoses and overdose deaths, in the communities across the state through the use of prevention, treatment and recovery initiatives. This project will also provide support to the behavioral health workforce in the state with activities that will enhance and improve workforce proficiency using evidence-based practices to support positive outcomes for patients.
Alaska will accomplish the goals by This project will support the prevention and treatment efforts by addressing the following objectives: 1) support the expansion of syringe programs, 2) increase distribution of naloxone and education on overdose prevention, 3) educate youth on polysubstance use and reducing stigma, 4) screen newborns for substance exposure, 5) expand the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, 6) prevent opioid use in Alaska Native youth through culturally based education around parenting skills, trauma prevention, and healing, 7) implement a Central Registry system, 8) host workforce development trainings on evidence-based practices, 9) updating the Medication Assisted Treatment Guide, 10) link provider to educational opportunities, 11) support the addition of a mobile medication unit, 12) increasing recovery supports through peer support certification and training, and13) continue to fund recovery residences.
The SOR project will work in conjunction with the other state initiatives to support the development of a more robust recovery-oriented system of care. The ongoing training and certification of peer supports will allow communities to employ. The recovery residencies have provided a much-needed stability for people returning to communities in need of stability. The addition of a mobile medication unit will allow expansion of access to MOUD in the state.
The project will provide treatment and recovery services to 110 clients in Year 1 and 190 clients in Year 2 (Total: 300). Workforce enhancement opportunities will be offered to 720 providers in Year 1 and 1520 providers in Year 2 (Total: 2240). Overall individuals served as a result of this grant funding is projected to be 2,540 over two years.