The Sorenson Legacy Foundation awarded Roseman University of Health Sciences with a $40,000 philanthropic grant that will allow Roseman to assist in battling the epidemic of opioid-related deaths in Utah by. The grant will assist in education and distribution of naloxone kits.
“This project has the ability to expand awareness of the opioid epidemic, increase the availability of naloxone in the community and potentially save lives in the process,” said Danielle Maila, Roseman professor of pharmacy practice.
According to the CDC, there has been a substantial increase in drug and opioid-related overdose deaths in the United States over the last few decades. Between the years of 2012 to 2014, Utah was ranked fourth nationwide for drug poisoning deaths, with over 50% of these deaths being attributed to prescription opioid pain medications such as oxycodone. The most recent Utah statistics from 2012 indicated 254 deaths were opioid-related in one year. Over 89% were related to chronic pain treatment, 54% were Latter-day Saints, 68% were married or separated/divorced, 73% had at least a high school degree or some college preparation, and 78% were located in the urban areas.
“In order to combat the current epidemic of opioid-related overdoses and deaths, Roseman intends to utilize the grant to provide additional education on opioids and their risks to the public, screen high-risk individuals, and improve the availability of naloxone to the Utah community,” said Dr. Lipsky, chancellor – South Jordan campus.
With the grant, Roseman plans to focus on the urban population and incorporate pharmacy, nursing, and professional student personnel for the screening, education, and dispensing of naloxone kits at local addiction recovery treatment centers. Additionally, printed education materials will be provided at local health fairs with additional contact information for those community members who would like to receive a naloxone kit after more in-depth education with pharmacy students.