Overdose Data to Action Program
The Overdose Data to Action Program (OD2A) utilized IPS’s upstream approach to prevent opioid misuse in the East and South regions of San Diego County. While opioid misuse spans the socio-economic spectrum, the epidemic has significantly impacted people of color and low-income communities.
In San Diego County, the OD2A Program worked to build links between at-risk communities and the resources and information that can help them from developing an opioid misuse disorder. Some of the most vulnerable to developing an opioid misuse disorder are on the opposite end of the age spectrum. For older adults with chronic or post-surgical pain, opioids have become a common pain solution. The OD2A Program’s resource and education efforts focused on empowering older adults to take a more active role in choosing alternatives to opioids for pain management.
For teens, experimentation and curiosity are common traits. But with opioids, there’s a substantial risk of addiction and progression to illicit opioids, including heroin. The OD2A Program provided tools to help parents communicate the dangers of opioid use to their children as well as to educate teens to recognize opioid misuse among their peers.
Harm reduction programs such as medically assisted treatment (MAT) are often dismissed by treatment providers in favor of abstinence-only programs. This often causes a significant conflict between those seeking recovery and some recovery programs. Through direct contact with substance abuse treatment providers, the OD2A Program addressed the misconceptions around Medically Assisted Treatment using data-informed presentations highlighting MAT’s success when combined with ongoing counseling.
Overall, one of the primary outcomes the program aimed to achieve was to reduce the stigma attached to opioid misuse disorder. This was accomplished by engaging with diverse populations using data-informed presentations with two goals: to change perceptions and empower community members to work toward solving the opioid crisis.