ITMATTRS Survey to Focus on Local Perceptions of Opioid Addiction


Opioid addiction can be more prevalent in rural areas of the nation than major cities and southeast Colorado is not exempt from an influx of misuse of the pain-killing drugs. Colorado is high on the list for deaths by misuse with one study from 2014 indicating as many as three dozen deaths a month stemmed from opioid overdoses.

Jay Brooke, former Executive Director of High Plains Community Health Clinic, recently began working for a public perception study of opioid misuse conducted by the High Plains Research Network directed by Jack Westfall MD and the CaReNet Research Network at the University of Colorado Denver Department of Family Medicine.

Brooke addressed the Prowers Medical Center Board of Directors during their August meeting to explain the goals of the study and asked for input through the hospital’s medical providers and board members. A similar three page study will be available for the general public.

The survey, he explained, is collecting information about attitudes, knowledge and beliefs around opioids, opioid use disorder and medication assisted treatment. “This will act as a community survey baseline for the beginning of the project and again, after a community-wide intervention has been implemented.

The ITMATTTRS acronym stands for Implementing Technology and Medication Assisted Team Training and Treatment in Rural Colorado. Brooke explained, “We will work with medical providers in eastern plains and the San Luis valley doing training and medication assisted training for providers and training for the team.  As part of that, because it is a research project, we want a survey for a baseline for community ideas, perceptions and beliefs.”

Brooke distributed a survey specific for hospital board members, “It’s one segment the survey wants to target; it’s private and contains guidelines. I’ve talked with Craig and his interest in participating in the training and we’ll follow that through.”

The three page survey for the general public asks mostly about what a participant actually knows about the general local opioid problem in their community, if they know of any pubic programs or providers that can aid an opioid user and differences between opioids and heroin, as some examples.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesCountyFeaturedHealthPublic Safety


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