The Iowa Opioid State Targeted Response (STR) is a two-year, state-wide initiative to expand and enhance opioid use disorder prevention and treatment services across Iowa. The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) awarded Prelude grant funds through STR to perform a needs assessment of opioid use in Johnson, Washington, Iowa and Cedar counties in Eastern Iowa. The assessment was facilitated by Prelude’s prevention staff and the results were shared with community members at an event hosted by Prelude. We also received funds to provide training on the use of Narcan and distributed 72 boxes of the medication to local law enforcement agencies and first responders. Narcan (naloxone) is designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose by binding to opioid receptors and blocking the effects of opioids.
Efforts are also underway in Iowa to expand access to Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). Suboxone is used to treat adults who are dependent on opioids. It helps to relieve withdrawal symptoms and decrease cravings. Medication, combined with behavioral counseling, offers a “whole patient” approach to deal with dependency on opioids. Grant funds allowed Prelude to co-host a training session featuring Dr. David Mee Lee, a leading national expert in MAT services, who shared information with local health care professionals to use in their practices. Prelude is currently training staff and preparing to become a MAT provider in Iowa. We'll share more information about MAT services in the near future.