Montana State University Extension:Providing education, outreach and training on opioid and stimulant prevention,
treatment, and recovery for rural and Native Montana youth

ROTA 20 grant acheivements infographic

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SAMHSA ROTA 2020 Expansion Grant Goals:

  • Gain a better understanding of the situation faced by rural and Native youth in Montana as it pertains to opioids and stimulants
  • Develop and disseminate education and outreach materials
  • Provide technical assistance trainings to rural and tribal partners

Completed to Date:

  • Gained IRB approval for focus groups and youth surveys from all nine tribal IRB’s, Tribal Health Departments, and Tribal Colleges.
  • Conducted four focus groups with all four rural partnering high schools.
  • Collected 166 youth surveys from two of the four rural partnering high schools.

Participant comments from focus groups that took place in 2021:

  • “As a parent, you can’t help your kids with something that you don’t know exists.  Education needs to be with families and mmaking them aware of the problem so they can watch and instruct their kids." 
  • “Our society relies heavily on medication.  When your're a small child, you learn that if it hurts, just take a pill.”
  • “Opioid use crosses every line:  black, white, male, female, young, old.  It doesn't matter who you are, and it's horrible."
  • "I still hear kids talk about Ritalin; I think that’s probably still in our communities.”
  • “There is a lack of education.”

Upcoming Grant Activities:

  • Continue gathering youth-focused data via surveys from
    rural and tribal high school students, and input from focus groups in
    tribal communities.
  • Analyze and use data to design and deliver education
    and outreach materials.
  • Analyze and use data to design and deliver two sets of
    youth curricula:
    •  An online, self-paced curriculum specifically designed
       for rural youth
    • A new, culturally relevant ‘opioid and stimulant
       reduction/mental wellness curriculum’ designed
       specifically for youth living on Native American reservations
  • Create five educational, 6–9-minute youth-focused opioid/stimulant
    misuse videos
  • Provide youth-based technical assistance trainings
    to TOR grantees
  • Provide youth-based technical assistance trainings
    to statewide professionals working on OUD/SUD

As a recurrent grantee our 2018 team accomplished the following:

  • Produced four PSA videos on prescription opioid use and OUD recovery stories
    (Two additional PSA videos on MAT stigma and recovery stories are in development)
  • Created rural and tribal prescription opioid education and awareness toolkits
    for Extension Agents to use in their communities
  • Tribal toolkit outcomes to date:
    • Tribal liaison Kim Paul reported 397 participants comprised of tribal leaders, bundle keepers, pipe carriers, holy carriers, and community youth attended tribal camps to discuss, review, and edit each of the five tribal toolkit modules
  • Held two statewide and two Tribal Technical Assistance Training events pertaining to
    opioid use and misuse among older population members, tribal communities, and pregnant mothers
    • 54 total attendees at the two TTA events
    • 165 total attendees at the two STA events
  • Disseminated educational materials using data from focus groups, statewide surveys,
    and tribal strategic plans