The Center for Rural Opioid Prevention, Treatment and Recovery (CROP+TR) was developed with the goal of developing and disseminating training and technical assistance (TTA) to rural communities for prevention, treatment, and recovery from opioid misuse. CROP+TR leverages 1) statewide Extension-based drug use prevention infrastructure, 2) expertise in providing TTA for opioid treatment and recovery, and 3) relationships with other SAMHSA TTA efforts to provide rural Washington (WA) communities with the high quality TTA they need to combat the opioid epidemic. CROP+TR has the potential to impact the lives of the 750,000 people living in rural WA through our Extension offices located in all 39 counties.
From 2002 to 2017, the rate of opioid related deaths increased from 6.7 to 10.9/100,000 residents in WA. From 2002 to 2015 there was a 257% increase in opioid related treatment admission in our state. In response to the opioid crisis, the Governor signed executive order Addressing the Opioid Public Health Crisis, which directed the implementation of a state opioid response plan. This plan outlines goals to prevent, identify, and treat opioid use disorders; reduce opioid-related morbidity and mortality; and use data to monitor and evaluate interventions. CROP-TR addresses each of these goals within rural communities.
Rural areas are disproportionately impacted by the opioid epidemic. In 2017, Kittitas County (40% rural) opioid-related deaths increased from 0.9 to 6.8/100,000 residents, while Yakima County (24% rural) opioid-related deaths increased from 3.3 to 6.7/100,000 individuals. Rural communities present unique challenges to addressing opioid misuse including limited access to treatment, transportation barriers, and slow adoption of evidence-based approaches. Overwhelmingly, rural areas lack support to address these challenges, and providers reported that treating opioid misuse was their second biggest healthcare challenge, with 67% saying a lack of treatment for opioids was a significant challenge for their community.
The goal of CROP+TR is to provide opioid misuse prevention, treatment, and recovery TTA for rural communities throughout WA. To accomplish this, we will 1) Build on existing Extension programs; 2) Coordinate our TTA efforts with SAMHSA State Opioid Response and Tribal Opioid Response providers; 3) Provide public, on-demand training through our website; and 4) Coordinate with SAMHSA State Targeted technical assistance teams and three Region 10 Technology Transfer Centers.
CROP+TR is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and led by faculty from the Washington State University College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences, the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, and Extension.