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FINDING HOPE: Grant aims help combat opioid use in Valley County

Posted: 5:44 PM, Nov 19, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-20 02:05:34Z

A $200,000 grant, awarded to Central District Health Department will help combat opioid use in Valley County through education and outreach. 

The one-year federal Rural Communities Opioid Response Program Planning Grant was awarded by the Health Resources and Services Administration. The grant funding will allow CDHD, in conjunction with multiple community partners, to develop the Valley County Opioid Response Project to reach Valley County youth, generally between 10 and 18 years, and their parents, to help prevent and treat substance use disorder, including opioid use disorder. The Valley County Opioid Response Project will also work to connect people to available recovery resources.

“In 2015, nearly 17-percent of Idaho’s high school students reported having ever used prescription drugs without a doctor’s prescription,” said Tara Fouts, Senior Health Education Specialist with CDHD. “Eleventh and twelfth grade students were significantly more likely to have misused prescription drugs than ninth and tenth-grade students. This illustrates a strong need to reach this segment of kids,” continued Fouts.

The opioid prevention outreach and education efforts will build on opioid use prevention and treatment work done in recent years by St. Luke’s McCall Medical Center, the Youth Advocacy Coalition and Dr. Royce Hutson, Program Evaluator and Associate Professor with Boise State University.

In partnership with CDHD, the West Central Mountain Youth Advocacy Coalition will receive $45,465 through the HRSA grant. 

“YAC is excited to be one of several partners to collaborate on this grant,” said Belinda Provancher, Chair of YAC. “This funding will allow YAC and community partners to continue our efforts to educate, treat and prevent opioid abuse in the West Central Mountains,” said Sylvia Ryan, YAC Executive Director.

“YAC will focus on prevention efforts, educational outreach to connect students and parents to local resources and cultivate and strengthen supportive community partnerships to encourage and foster the physical and mental well-being of youth and families in our region,” added Ryan.

CDHD will serve as the administrative oversight and management agency for the grant. Convention of the Valley County Opioid Response Project is currently underway, with CDHD staff working alongside an assigned HRSA Project Officer to ensure that all grant components, including partner contract development, are in place in advance of a successful project year.