Opioid Use Disorder in Rural Montana: From Insight to Education
Opioid Misuse in Rural Montana
Montana has significant challenges in reducing the effects of opioid use and misuse. In 2011, 1 in 5 Montana adults reported taking an opioid pain medication in the last 12 months. A higher prevalence of prescription opioid use was reported by American Indians than by whites and by persons reporting fair or poor health than by those reporting good or excellent health. (MT DPHHS, 2013). Opioid use is affecting the young and old.
No Cost Extensions (until 2021) Awarded on 2018 Grants
Our project team will continue providing collaborative evidence-based training, educational outreach, and resource development on opioid prevention, treatment, and recovery. The 2018 Rural Opioid Technical Assistance (ROTA) grant period, awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), has been extended until July 29, 2021. The 2018 Rural Health and Safety Education (RHSE) grant period, awarded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), has been extended until February 28, 2021.
Opioid and Stimulant Misuse Among Youth in Rural and Tribal Montana: From Insight
Youth comprise a large percentage of the Montana population: among the 1,068,778 residents of Montana, 21.6% are under the age of 18 with upwards to 38% under the age of 18 within tribal populations (US Census, 2019). The need for greater prevention, treatment and recovery programs focused on opioid and stimulant misuse among youth and young adults is supported by data from several state-level sources. For example, in 2017, 14% of high school students reported misuse of prescription pain medication (MT DPHHS, 2019). And, according to the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 2.4% of high school students reported using methamphetamines and 4.1% reported using cocaine at least one time during their lives (MT OPI, 2019). The issue of substance misuse is even greater amongst Native American youth. The Montana American Indian Student Data Report (2016) shares that 13.9% of students have used methamphetamines and 16.2% of Native students have used cocaine (MT OPI, 2016).
MSU Extension seeks to better understand local conceptions of prescription opioid and stimulant use and misuse among younger adults in the rural and tribal areas of Montana. Our project team is partnering with four rural public and nine tribal high schools, to collect these conceptions. Through focus groups with school administration, teachers, and counselors and through the delivery of an anonymous youth survey, our team will collect the data necessary to help develop preventative. curriculum and other educational resources.
Sustainable partnerships with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, a State Targeted Response (STR) and State Opioid Response (SOR) recipient, the Montana Primary Care Association (MPCA), and the Montana Tribal Opioid Response (TOR) grantees, will allow us to expand the capacity needed to address opioid and stimulant use and misuse among youth in Montana.
A significant portion of our work will involve greater outreach and more effective, relevant prevention efforts for Native American youth and young adults.