Five Oklahoma colleges and universities and the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education are the recipients of a $250,000 State Opioid Response – Higher Education Community Outreach Grant from the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services for 2019-20. OSRHE will serve as the grant administrator.

Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, Northern Oklahoma College, Northwestern Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma will each receive a share of the grant money, which will fund campus efforts to prevent opioid misuse and provide referral services for those needing treatment.

“We appreciate this funding opportunity provided by our partners at the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “The collaboration of state system campuses, the State Regents and ODMHSAS facilitated through this grant will provide these institutions with the resources they need to expand opioid misuse and overdose education efforts in their service areas across the state.”

Campuses will provide outreach, engagement and evidence-based prevention services, including health education, promotion and community consultation. Efforts will focus on the general student population, as well as students at risk for opioid misuse, opioid disorder and opioid overdose. Institutions will also develop and maintain online resources for opioid abuse prevention and treatment, including materials from the ODMHSAS Prescription for Change campaign.

Additionally, grant funds will be used to support training for faculty, staff and students in the prevention and treatment of opioid misuse and overdose, including naloxone administration, access to treatment services, how to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose, and safe storage and disposal of opioids.

Peer health educators will provide campus-based student training on opioid misuse and prevention. Tribal connections are also a part of the institutions’ plans to utilize and extend access to community resources.