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PHD awarded $1M grant

| September 16, 2020 1:00 AM

COEUR d'ALENE — A $1 million grant awarded to Panhandle Health District will help combat opioid use disorder in the area through education, outreach, and expansion of services.

The three-year federal Rural Communities Opioid Response Program Implementation Project Grant was awarded by the Health Resources and Services Administration.

“These funds will help us continue with the work we are currently doing and expand resources,” said Kelsey Orlando, PRxOS Project Director at PHD.

The PRxOS (Prescription Opioid Solutions) Project is a community-based collaborative effort with the goal of reducing morbidity and mortality associated with local opioid use disorder.

"Community concern and the reality of substance use disorder data rates encouraged our public health response to mobilize efforts, community partners, and resources together," a PHD press release said.

In September of 2018, PRxOS was formed from the successful North Idaho Rx Opioid Solution Symposium hosted by Panhandle Health District.

Four workgroups — prevention, harm reduction, access and awareness to treatment, and community resources — have since been successfully compiling data, knowledge, and resources to narrow the focus on locally attainable approaches.

Opioids are a class of drugs that are effective for pain relief and are commonly prescribed for acute and chronic pain, post-surgery, during cancer care, and throughout palliative care.

Increased prescriptions, lack of treatment and recovery resources, and the addictive quality of opioids have led to the increasing number of opioid related overdoses nationwide, the release said.

The best ways to prevent opioid overdose deaths are to improve responsible opioid prescribing habits, prevent misuse through education, improve access to Naloxone, and treat opioid use disorder. The PRxOS workgroups meet monthly; people interested in learning more or getting involved should contact korlando@phd1.idaho.gov.