Addressing the Opioid Crisis through a State-Targeted Technical Assistance Approach
In response to the nation’s opioid epidemic, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) awarded a two-year grant to provide technical assistance (TA) to states and territories to the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP) with a coalition of national professional organizations. These TA activities are designed to enhance the work of the Opioid STR efforts already underway throughout the United States and territories. AAAP and its coalition of 22 national healthcare partner organizations make up the STR-TA Consortium. This Consortium will provide training and technical assistance via local experts across the country, focusing on applying evidence-based practices to meet locally identified needs. Each TA team assigned to every state and territory has a prevention, treatment (physician with two years’ experience treating opioid use disorders with medications), and recovery consultant. These consultants have been identified and vetted by the STR-TA Consortium. All consultants will provide evidence-based practices and resources as defined by the Consortium. The goal of STR-TA is to streamline efforts to fill all gaps where needed and as defined by states. The South Carolina team provides local expertise to address the opioid public health epidemic in our state. This session will introduce the South Carolina STR-TA team of local experts: our physician, an addiction psychiatrist, Rebecca Payne, MD, of Palmetto Health/USC Medical Group, our prevention specialist, Javana Lovett, project director for The Project CARE Coalition, a Drug-Free Communities (DFC) grantee and a member of the SC Governor’s Opioid Emergency Response Team, and our recovery support expert, Jamie Chrisman Low, the statewide recovery network weaver and Recovery Community Services Program-Statewide Network (RCSP-SN) grant project director for Faces and Voices of Recovery South Carolina (FAVOR SC). These local experts will share examples of how the STR-TA Consortium can support the ongoing work in South Carolina communities and play a vital role in improving coordination of efforts, maximizing existing resources, and drawing on best practices nationwide, especially related to addressing the social determinants of health and increasing service delivery in rural areas. This session will outline the types of customized technical assistance and consultant support available to individual treatment, prevention, and recovery organizations, discuss how this effort aligns with the state, share how to submit a request for free technical assistance and consultation, and review some key evidence-based practices and resources that have been utilized in South Carolina. A key part of this session will revolve around engaging participants in dialogue to better understand the technical assistance and consulting needs across South Carolina. Where are there shared needs and spaces to collaborate and what prevention, treatment, and recovery gaps exist? Are there tools that would be useful in certain communities and with specific priority populations? How do social determinants, such as stigma, socioeconomic status, and transportation as well as institutional silos impact services across the state, especially in rural areas, and what are some best practices from other states and rural areas that might be useful? In-session technical assistance will be available to participants and questions gathered so that useful tools, resources, and other information can be disseminated to all participants after the session is concluded. Funding for this initiative was made possible (in part) by grant no. 1H79TI080816-01 from SAMHSA. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.