The Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention is working with Colorado faith leaders and the Office of the Attorney General to help Coloradans struggling with a substance use disorder and ensure that our faith communities have access to the knowledge and resources needed to support their local communities.
People of faith are taking a leading role in a compassionate approach toward those who are struggling with addiction. This toolkit, which is segmented into seven key areas, briefly covers practical ways faith communities can consider bringing hope and healing to those in need.
Syringe access programs assist individuals to safely dispose of syringes, needles, and other potentially hazardous waste materials to prevent the spread of communicable diseases such as hepatitis and HIV. In addition to providing safe disposal sites, these programs provide harm reduction services, including naloxone distribution, and serve as an entry point for individuals seeking substance use disorder treatment or basic medical assistance. All individuals are welcomed into these programs at no financial cost to the participant. Learn more from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment of the Colorado Hospital Association.
This video created by the Addiction Policy Forum educates audiences on the science underlying the disease of addiction.
One of the most important strategies for reversing the opioid crisis is to ensure that unused opioid prescriptions are disposed of properly and in a timely manner. The State of Colorado provides funding for the safe disposal of unused opioid prescriptions (and other medication) with kiosk drop boxes located in nearly every county in Colorado. Faith communities can not only educate their members about these locations, they can promote the take back program by hosting community events that bring awareness to the safe disposal of unused opioid prescriptions. This training session will provide faith leaders and lay people information about the Colorado Household Medication Take Back Program and how to access information about locations for disposal, as well as provide ideas for conducting local events and for expressing appreciation to the organizations that host the drop boxes in their community.
The Consortium has compiled a list of links to resources from organizations dedicated to reducing stigma around substance use and seeking treatment and supporting those in recovery.
Shatterproof is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reversing the addiction crisis in the United States and is committed to ending its stigma and helping those with this disease fully recover.
This page contains numerous links to valuable resources created by federal agencies such as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and National Institute for Drug Abuse.
The following resources are available to assist faith leaders and lay people in further understanding issues related to addiction and ways to assist individuals with a substance use disorder, whether it be in accessing treatment or in recovery support. At this time, each topic is offered online and can be adjusted in length from one to two hours.
Each session strives to include an expert from the faith community to help bring that unique perspective to each topic. Faith leaders who are interested in serving as a content expert are welcome to contact the Consortium at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Drug Use Addiction 101
Between the abuse of alcohol, marijuana, prescribed and illicit opioids, and illicit stimulants such as methamphetamine and cocaine, the United States is amid a drug addiction crisis. Faith leaders regularly encounter the devastating impact of substance use disorders on individuals and families. This session provides faith leaders and lay people with the latest evidence about the nature of addiction, as it pertains to the interaction of various drugs on the brain and the altered brain functioning that results from the disease of addiction.
As Colorado increases access to treatment, more individuals are embarking on their recovery journey. Faith communities are an important support system for recovery. In addition, there are efforts to expand access to recovery support services in Colorado, including supportive employment, access to housing, and community supports for people in recovery. This training session offers information on the current status of recovery support services available in Colorado.
Available Recovery Support Funding for Faith Communities
In recent years, greater attention has been given to funding recovery support services for individuals with a substance use disorder. Although efforts have been driven by the response to the opioid crisis, the funding that has been made available has supported a variety of recovery support services for individuals in recovery from any substance use disorders. This training session will provide an overview of funding that is available from state, federal and private foundations for recovery support services and for which faith communities are eligible to apply.
Naloxone Administration for Opioid Overdose Reversal
The U.S. Surgeon General issued an advisory emphasizing the importance of having on hand the opioid overdose-reversal drug naloxone for anyone who is prescribed opioid pain medication, given that many opioid overdoses occur in the home. This session is not only intended for faith leaders and lay people but also for members of community congregations. Participants will learn how to prevent an opioid overdose, how to recognize the symptoms of opioid overdose, and how to use the nasal form of naloxone (known as Narcan) to reverse it. Information on where to acquire naloxone in Colorado will be provided.
Motivational Interviewing is an evidence-based therapeutic approach to help clients move through the stages of behavior change. This session is intended to teach faith leaders the skills to have supportive conversations that meet individuals where they are at without judgment, and then enhance their own internal motivation to change while empowering healthy decision-making skills.
For additional resources and questions about training, please contact email@example.com.