Managing pain and raising opioid awareness in Michigan communities

The misuse of and addiction to opioids – including prescription pain relievers and heroin – is a serious national public health crisis. To help, MSU Extension offers educational programs and facilitates critical partnerships with community groups.

Opioids

Opioids are drugs that act on the nervous system to relieve pain. The misuse of and addiction to opioids – including prescription pain relievers and heroin – is a serious national public health crisis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 42,000 people died from opioid-related causes in 2016, more than any previous year on record. 

In an effort to help support Michigan residents in this area, Michigan State University Extension offers educational programs and facilitates critical partnerships with community groups. Community film screening and panel discussion events engage with audiences throughout the state to discuss substance use issues. Personal Action Toward Health (PATH) programs equip participants with the skills and tools needed to face the daily challenges of living with one or more chronic conditions.  

In 2017, PATH programs reached over 430 people, and community film screening in Wayne, Genesee, Manistee and Crawford counties reached approximately 200 people. Opioid community presentations throughout Michigan reached 500 people. 

  • 48% of PATH participants developed greater confidence in keeping physical discomfort or pain from interfering with life, and 45% experienced decreased pain symptoms.
  • 98% of opioid presentation attendees would do something personally, and 100% would do something in their communities to lessen the impact of the opioid crisis.

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