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Community and Workforce Education

All education efforts are research-based and rooted in understanding existing knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors around substance misuse and addiction in Alaska communities. Projects are evaluated for key performance indicators and are continually refined to improve effectiveness.

OSMAP collaborates with a variety of entities and organizations to improve community and workforce awareness and knowledge on substance misuse and addiction.

Goals

  • Reduce stigma and improve understanding of addiction as a chronic disease
  • Provide information to at-risk individuals to reduce or prevent negative health impacts associated with substance use
  • Provide informational resources to help Alaskans avoid misuse and addiction
  • Improve workforce development of healthcare providers, educators and other professionals who support individuals in making informed decisions about substance use.

Community Education Efforts

Community coalitions and partner organizations help to improve the reach of education campaigns. Examples of current efforts include:

  • Prevent opioid misuse and addiction by improving awareness of the dangers of misusing and sharing prescription opioids, improve knowledge of non-opioid pain treatment options. Campaigns promote public service announcements such as "Not Sharing is Caring" and "Alaska Tough," as well as toolkits shared with community partners to promote social media and distribute printed materials about opioids. Materials produced under these outreach efforts may be found at the Opioids and Heroin in the Last Frontier page.
  • Prevent unintended consequences that may result from increased use of marijuana in Alaska. The Responsible Consumer campaign works to inform marijuana consumers of the basic facts about marijuana. This includes basic information about marijuana laws, information about driving under the influence and resources to prevent youth use and access.
  • Improve knowledge of opioid overdose. Through Project HOPE, OSMAP prepares people at risk of overdose for appropriate response. Trainings also include train-the-trainer support for partners who distribute Project HOPE kits.

Workforce Development Efforts

OSMAP employs evidence-based practices in supporting education for community professionals. Examples of current projects include:

  • A collaboration with UAA's Center for Human Development, tribal and hospital health leadership to produce Opioid Project ECHO. Project ECHO is a model used for force multiplying provider education around the nation. This ECHO is offered biweekly, every other Monday. With a variety of project topics to choose from, practitioners can advance their practice without leaving their office. ECHO uses technology to deliver didactic presentations and case-based learning to medical and behavioral health providers across the state. For more information and to register, click here.
  • In response to legislation that requires 2 hours of continuing education of opioid, pain management and addiction training for controlled substance prescribers, OSMAP produced an accredited online training for prescribers. "Pain Management, Opioid Use and Addiction in Alaska" has been completed by over 830 individuals as of January 2019. Learn more about this training, as well as additional opioids trainings on these subjects here.
  • OSMAP supported the development of the UAA Human Services Fall 2018 Course, "The Opioid Crisis: The Path to Addiction & the Climb to Recovery." The course took a unique approach in serving as both professionals (substance abuse counselors, a public health specialist, physicians, physician assistants, nurses, psychologists and licensed counselors and social workers) and student attendees. The courses sessions included a variety of subjects including the history of epidemic in US and Alaska, biology and pharmacology, recognizing intoxication and overdose, psychiatric co-morbidities in SUD, pain management, drug diversion, physical findings in opioid dependency, federal and state regulatory agency response, destructive thinking in SUD and interventions, risk factors of theories of addiction, MAT, pregnancy, OCS and NAS, responding to opioid overdose, obtaining a drug history and constructing a drug timeline.
  • Alaska Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians and the Fairbanks Wellness Coalition to create a patient/provider pain management discussion guide that can be adapted by Alaska physicians for use in their community.

Presentations

Staff frequently develop presentations about the prevention of addiction, the importance of various types of prevention, as well as presentations about specific substances. OSMAP has delivered over 50 presentations on the opioid epidemic and the State’s response at various events and conferences in the past two years. Contact OSMAP to learn more about staff availability for presentations.