By Alise Williams Condie and Ashley Yaugher
Members of the Carbon and Emery Opioid and Substance Use Coalition have been busy organizing and planning several events to be held throughout Carbon and Emery counties to provide education, resources and hope.
The Carbon and Emery Opioid and Substance Use Coalition seeks to coordinate the efforts of our communities to comprehensively address the opioid epidemic we are facing. We seek to decrease stigma; increase effective prevention, treatment, harm reduction, mental health and other efforts; and come together to create healthier communities.
Key stakeholders in the community are represented on this coalition, and its members are passionate about the health and wellness of all Carbon and Emery citizens. More information can be found about the coalition here: utahprevention.org/coalition/carbonandemery/
One of the recent events planned was the first of four community education dinners coming to our communities. The first dinner was held on Nov. 4 at USU Eastern and over 110 community members attended. As part of our efforts to host these dinners, we have collaboratively developed, printed and distributed a community resource book for Carbon and Emery counties, along with educational materials, given for free at the events.
The goal of these dinners is to increase knowledge about prevention and treatment strategies for opioid misuse, to promote more understanding of opioid treatment, to increase confidence in finding and utilizing community resources on opioid misuse when needed, and to teach how one can step in as a first responder during a medical emergency.
When asked for feedback after the first event, positive feedback was given, including: “… there are more resources out there than I originally thought,” “I had no idea about Naloxone. I will be getting one,” and “Prevention works, treatment is effective, recovery is possible.”
The coalition invites and welcomes all who are interested to register for the next dinner, which will be held in Castle Dale on Jan. 6 at the Emery County Courthouse. Two more dinners will be held in the upcoming months in East Carbon (March 2, 2020) and Green River (March 31, 2020). To register for the January dinner, please visit: communityeducationdinner2.eventbrite.com
To see what is available locally and view the resource book, please visit the Health Extension: Advocacy, Research & Teaching (HEART) Initiative Resource Page at extension.usu.edu/heart/resources. For more information about the coalition and upcoming events, please contact HEART Faculty member Ashley Yaugher, PhD at (435) 636-3276.