HEALing Communities Study Launches Medication for Opioid Use Disorder Education Campaign in Chautauqua County

Submitted by gallagha on Thu, 03/09/2023 - 08:50


MAYVILLE, N.Y.:-- Data released by the New York State Department of Health reveals that the deadly impact of opioid addiction continues to claim hundreds of lives annually in the state.  Preliminary data indicates that over 1,100 individuals died of a drug overdose in New York State (outside of New York City) in the first six months of 2022.

County officials are responding with an educational campaign aimed at providing hope for those with an addiction.  Like many other chronic conditions, opioid use disorder can be effectively managed.  Medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) like buprenorphine, naltrexone, and methadone reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings and decrease the risk for relapse and overdose death. Officials want to address the fear of judgment or discrimination that may keep some people with opioid use disorder from seeking the medication they need to support their recovery.

The second of three communications campaigns will be implemented by the county government from March 6 - May 5, 2023 to help:

  • increase understanding of medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) and 
  • reduce stigma that impacts people with the disease from seeking medical care. 

“We are excited to participate in the next campaign of this critical study,” said HEALing Communities Study Communications Champion Deb Maggio. “Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) is a disease, and we hope to make further efforts to reduce the stigma of using medications to treat that disease. This campaign offers education for all community members, from those experiencing OUD to the medical and behavioral health professionals treating them.”

Steve Kilburn, project director of the HEALing Communities Study in Chautauqua County, said, “County residents in need of treatment need to be aware of the many resources available in our county and to know that treatment works.  There is hope for those who reach out for help.”

About the HEALing Communities Study

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) estimates that 2.1 million Americans have opioid use disorder, yet fewer than 20% of those receive specialty care in a given year.  A menu of evidence-based practices (EBPs) exists, including opioid overdose education and naloxone distribution programs, prescription opioid safety, FDA-approved medications for opioid use disorder, behavioral therapies, and recovery support services. Unfortunately, these EBPs have largely failed to penetrate community settings.

As a result, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) launched the HEALing Communities Study (HCS) to identify the EBPs that are most effective at the local level in preventing and treating OUD. The goal of the study is to reduce opioid-related overdose deaths by 40 percent. The first phase of the study, which ended June 30, occurred in Cayuga, Columbia, Greene, Erie, Lewis, Putnam, Suffolk and Ulster Counties. The second phase of the study will now run through December 2023 in Broome, Chautauqua, Cortland, Genesee, Monroe, Orange, Sullivan and Yates Counties. In support of this work, Chautauqua County is collaborating with local partners on a newly formed coalition to launch three communications campaigns:

1.               Naloxone-Fentanyl Education,

2.               Medication for Opioid Use Disorder Anti-Stigma & Awareness, and

3.               MOUD Treatment Retention.

To learn more about the HEALing Communities Study and to help end overdoses in Chautauqua County visit:

Website: HEALTogetherNY.org/Chautauqua

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CombatAddictionCHQ

HEAL Communications Champion: Deb Maggio, maggiod@chqgov.com


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