Opioid misuse and abuse continues to be on the rise. Arkansas has the highest prevalence of non-medical use of pain relievers among those ages 12-17 in the United States, and fourth highest prevalence among those ages 18 – 65 years. The state is 8thin the nation for the number of opioid painkiller prescriptions per 100 people. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) proposes tightening the prescribing guidelines to limit opioid prescriptions and is recommending non-drug approaches such as exercise and cognitive-behavioral approaches. To help fill the non-drug approach access gap, The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service (UACES) is introducing Programs to Address Opioid Misuse and Abuse in Rural Arkansas.Thanks to a Rural Health and Safety Education grant awarded to UACES through USDA/NIFA, UACES has partnered with University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Centers on Aging to offer the Chronic Pain Self-Management Program (CPSMP). CPSMP is a low-cost community-based program led by a team of two trained facilitators. Spanning over six weekly sessions, the aim of CPSMP is to increase participants’ self-efficacy for pain management, leading to improved health outcomes. Sessions are currently being offered in your area. CPSMP sessions cover:
- Techniques to deal with problems such as frustration, fatigue, isolation, and poor sleep
- Appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength, flexibility, and endurance
- Appropriate use of medications
- Communicating effectively with family, friends, and health professionals
- Pacing activity and rest
- How to evaluate new treatments
The overall purpose of this program is to address opioid misuse and abuse by providing complementary and alternative pain management strategies for rural Arkansans suffering from chronic pain, improve the health and well-being of these Arkansans, and to minimize or eliminate the need for opioids for pain treatment. Research studies have shown, on average, people who have participated in CPSMP have more vitality or energy, less pain, less dependence on others, improved mental health, are more involved in everyday activities, and are more satisfied with their lives compared to those who have not taken the program. The leadership team is comprised of faculty from UACES, UAMS Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging – Aging Arkansas Initiative (AAI), and University of Arkansas – Fayetteville. Team members have extensive experience in development, implementation, and evaluation of community-based health and safety education programs; self-management program training and implementation; development of fitness program structure and materials for community-based groups; and outreach education for hard-to-reach populations.
Upcoming sessions in your area will be held in the VBC Quorum Court Room February 6, 13, 20, 27 and March 6 and 13 by Extension Agent, Torrie Caston. Classes will be 1:30 to 3:30. Deadline to register is February 1stand must be done in person at the Van Buren County Extension Office. Contact Torrie Caston at 501-745-7117 for more information. Spots are limited so register soon.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your (insert appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.