Educational programs will be offered to improve the public’s capacity to recognize and avoid the dangers of misuse/abuse of prescription opioids. Evidence provides a direct link between opioid addiction and trauma, especially for individuals that have had early adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Opioid misusers are more likely to encounter employment losses, below average physical and mental health, suicide and disjointed family and social relationships. Amongst those who have misused opioids, employment loss, suicidal behavior, poor physical and mental health, disjointed family and social relationships compound the problem (2017, Press & Yoe et al). Addictive behaviors more likely follow ACEs. It is estimated that 75% of persons with substance use disorders have traumatic history and for those who have an opioid addiction, the rates are higher. Any attempt at prevention and treatment must address the opioid epidemic as well as recognize the correlation between ACEs, trauma and addiction. Trauma-informed prevention and intervention must be considered as a treatment modality. The 1998 Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Study conducted by Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) discovered a strong link between various adverse childhood experiences and child sexual, physical and emotional abuse, neglect, spousal abuse, parental incarceration, substance abuse and chronic illness during adulthood (Press & Yoe et al, 2017).
Educational programs will be tailored to meet the needs of participants who have experienced opioid use/misuse; suffered from other addictions; experienced ACEs/trauma; and those who continue to support them. In partnership with Project Lazarus, the Bridge to Life CORP leadership, staff, partners, and community leaders/members will participate in ongoing educational trainings, workshops, and technical assistance to build capacity in an effort to collectively address the opioid crisis. Screenings will be conducted in person wearing PPE.