A grant to UNH Cooperative Extension aims to help to help New Hampshire residents better manage chronic pain and avoid the pitfalls of addictive opioids. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) awarded nearly one million dollars to provide free online resources and in-person workshops to educate both chronic pain sufferers and health professionals about alternative pain management strategies and the proper use of prescription medications.
“New Hampshire has one of the highest drug-related death rates in the nation,” said Kendra Lewis, Extension youth and family resiliency state specialist. “The opioid epidemic is not just an urban issue, it is a big concern in rural areas, which are highly concentrated with older adult residents dealing with pain on a daily basis. Our hope is to offer all residents confronted with chronic pain, and their healthcare providers, different pain management options.”
UNH Extension will partner with the New Hampshire State Opioid Response Team to increase opportunities in rural communities to engage in prevention activities such as the Chronic Pain Self-Management Program (CPSMP), online education and skill building and training for healthcare professionals on alternative pain management strategies and preventing opioid misuse in patient populations.