Focus: Project STEP address opioid crisis in local rural communities

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BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - We've heard a lot about the Opioid crisis in recent years.
We seem to hear about what's causing it and how it's getting worse.

Image Source: MGN

A new local group is about to change things for the better thanks to a federal grant.

It's called Project STEP (Substance Use, Treatment, Education, Prevention) and it is currently comprised of several local community partners in both Madison and Burleson Counties, including CHI St. Joseph Health Madison Hospital, CHI St. Joseph Health Burleson Hospital, the County Sheriff’s and local police offices, school districts, local non-profit organizations that play a role in county health, and Texas A&M Center for Community Health Development. The Texas Department of Agriculture State Office of Rural Health and University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School are involved as the research partners of the project.

Through this federally funded grant, Project STEP will survey residents of Madison and Burleson counties to gather information about opioid and other substance misuse and its consequences for the community. All members of the community will be asked to participate in a county-wide survey.

Focus groups and individual interviews will be used to gather information from individuals who currently use opioids, individuals in recovery from addiction, behavioral health workers, and first responders, including law enforcement and healthcare workers.

The information gathered will be used to create plans for opioid and substance misuse prevention and treatment primarily for these communities, with broader lessons for expanded rural Texas communities.

For more information about the studies, please visit the Facebook pages in the related links section.