Healthy Behaviors and Choices (e.g. Fitness, Tobacco, Opioids, Nutrition)
Sharing Session - 60 Minutes
The opioid overdose epidemic has had a devastating effect on Allegheny County. In 2017, there were over 650 opioid overdose deaths; up substantially from the prior year. The County has worked extensively to analyze quantitative data and identify opportunities for intervention including conducting a hotspot analysis to identify municipalities with high numbers of opioid overdoses. To better understand the perspective from the communities impacted, qualitative data was needed.
Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) partnered with qualitative researchers at Magee Women's Hospital to conduct over 80 interviews of key stakeholders in disproportionately impacted communities (law enforcement, users, family members, elected officials, providers, etc.). Topics focused on factors propelling the opioid overdose epidemic and possible solutions. Then, using a rapid-assessment methodology, researchers provided ongoing findings to ACHD led leadership team (ACHD, City of Pittsburgh, Prevention Point Pittsburgh, CONNECT and Department of Human Services).
Analysis is ongoing but, already, new perspectives from community members on a variety of wide-ranging issues have been identified including those related to access to naloxone, clinical services, law enforcement, prevention, and intervention.
ACHD also developed and awarded a series of mini-grants to non-profit agencies in the impacted communities to implement evidence-based practices to address opioid overdoses.
This session will describe the issues that lead to the study, the decisions related to methodology, the rapid-assessment process, the mini-grant approach, and the early findings from the interviews.