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Rural Project Examples: Prescription drug abuse

Effective Examples

Midcoast Maine Prescription Opioid Reduction Program
Updated/reviewed March 2017
  • Need: Reduction in the number of emergency department dental patients abusing opioid prescriptions in rural southeastern Maine.
  • Intervention: Using a one-page opioid prescription guideline, opioid prescribing and emergency room visits for dental pain decreased.
  • Results: The rate of opioid prescription dropped nearly 20% after implementation, and in comparing the 12-month period before and after implementation, dental pain emergency department visits decreased from 26 to 21 per 1,000.
Project Lazarus
Added December 2015
  • Need: To reduce overdose-related deaths among prescription opioid users in rural Wilkes County, North Carolina
  • Intervention: Education and tools are provided for prescribers, patients and community members to lessen drug supply and demand, and to reduce harm in prescription opioid use
  • Results: Opioid overdose death rates have decreased in Wilkes County

Promising Examples

Integrated Chronic Pain Treatment and Training Project
Added August 2017
  • Need: To reduce prescription opioid misuse and overdoses in North Carolina.
  • Intervention: The ICPTTP standardizes and streamlines chronic pain management in primary care clinics.
  • Results: The ICPTTP has reduced patients' average daily morphine equivalent dose, and 25% of program participants have stopped taking opioids altogether.

Other Project Examples

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Nevada Rural Opioid Overdose Reversal (NROOR)
Updated/reviewed December 2017
  • Need: To reduce the number of overdoses and deaths related to opioid overdose in rural Nevada.
  • Intervention: The Nevada Rural Opioid Overdose Reversal (NROOR) Program, led by a Critical Access Hospital (CAH), furnished naloxone and provided education on prescription opioid use and overdose.
  • Results: In total, 117 EMTs were trained on the administration of naloxone. EMTs greatly appreciated the naloxone training and the naloxone kits.
Gloucester ANGEL Program
Updated/reviewed August 2017
  • Need: To address opioid addiction as a disease rather than a crime in rural Massachusetts.
  • Intervention: The Gloucester Police Department initiated an opioid outreach program to help facilitate treatment for people suffering from addiction.
  • Results: The ANGEL program has referred over 400 people to treatment facilities, reduced the cost of overnight incarcerations, and has developed a new bond with the community in the fight against opioid abuse.
Morrison County Accountable Community for Health
Added August 2017
  • Need: To combat prescription drug misuse in rural Morrison County, Minnesota.
  • Intervention: The Morrison County ACH brings together primary care, social services, law enforcement, and other partners to make sure that patients receive treatment and support.
  • Results: One pharmacy saw a 20% reduction in the number of prescribed opioids, and the ACH was able to taper 127 patients off opioids completely.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy MaineGeneral Harm Reduction Program
Added July 2017
  • Need: To reduce deaths from opioid overdoses in rural Maine.
  • Intervention: The MaineGeneral Harm Reduction Program provides community education and training for healthcare staff and first responders in rural Kennebec and Somerset counties.
  • Results: During the grant period, MaineGeneral trained 45 deputies and 246 healthcare staff and educated 60 community members.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Project Renew
Added July 2017
  • Need: To reduce deaths due to opioid overdose in rural southeast West Virginia.
  • Intervention: Project Renew trains and certifies first responders, healthcare staff, and laypeople in naloxone administration.
  • Results: Project Renew has saved 10 lives since its inception.
Project VISION
Updated/reviewed July 2017
  • Need: To reduce opioid use and increase quality of life in Rutland, Vermont.
  • Intervention: Project VISION works to reduce opioid use through community engagement.
  • Results: Since 2012, Project VISION has collected and disposed of 550 pounds of unused medications and reduced burglaries by 58%.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy SLV N.E.E.D.: Naloxone Education Empowerment Distribution Program
Updated/reviewed July 2017
  • Need: Growing concern in rural Colorado communities regarding prescription and illegal opioid overdoses.
  • Intervention: Education efforts for health workers and the larger community, in addition to establishing a naloxone overdose reversal drug program.
  • Results: Nearly all first responders are now trained to administer naloxone, participating pharmacies keep adequate naloxone stock, and ongoing service region dialogue to address opioid abuse.