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Addressing the Opioid Crisis in Communities

Purdue Extension is addressing Indiana’s opioid crisis by providing community-based prevention education. We are dedicated to partnering with local communities to serve as a proactive, preventive, and positive force in tackling this complex issue.

Strengthening Families

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Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth 10-14

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Purdue Extension offers the Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth 10-14 in multiple locations throughout the state. The program consists of 7, 2-hour sessions held over a 7 week period. This evidence-based parent, youth, and family skills-building curriculum is proven to:

  • Delay the onset of adolescent substance use
  • Lower levels of aggression in youth
  • Increase the resistance to peer pressure in youth
  • Reduce youth conduct problems in school
  • Improve parent skills including building a positive relationship with their youth, setting appropriate limits, and following through on consequences while showing love and support for their children

Of 6,000 programs analyzed for long-term effects on substance use/misuse, Strengthening Families ranks #1 with the World Health Organization.

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Supporting Mental Health

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Purdue Extension has a team of certified facilitators of Mental Health First Aid who are ready to bring this important, and sometimes life-saving, course to your community, organization, or business.

Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour training to teach participants how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The evidence behind the program demonstrates that it helps trainees identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Mental Health First Aid is included on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices.

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If you work with or in the agriculture industry, this may be a valuable course to attend. The agriculture industry can be very stressful with possible on-the-farm injuries, large loans for land and equipment, and volatile pricing. These circumstances lead to high rates of stress and leave individuals looking for ways to cope, which puts a strain on their mental health and overall well-being, as well as that of their families.

  • Nearly 75% of farmers and farmworkers say they have been directly impacted by the opioid epidemic
  • Individuals in the farming, fishing & forestry occupational group are statistically more likely to die by suicide than any other

Where Can I Attend a Course?

Current offerings of Mental Health First Aid courses are below. Please check back often as more courses will be added. Each course is held from 8:00 AM until 5:30 PM local time. Cost of the course is $50 and includes a participant workbook and lunch. Select a course below to register.

If your community, organization or business is interested in providing Mental Health First Aid, please contact Stephanie Woodcox, Purdue Extension Health & Wellness Specialist.

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Reducing Stigma

Purdue Extension is a partner of the “Know the O Facts” campaign created by the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, Division of Mental Health and Addiction. This campaign aims to educate about opioids and opioid use disorder, while helping to reduce the stigma associated with seeking resources and treatment for substance use disorders.

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Preventing Abuse

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Use as Directed: Preventing Prescription Drug Overdoses

This publication will help you learn more about the risks of prescription medications if they are not used as prescribed by a healthcare professional, including possible prescription drug overdose. This applies to medications we use ourselves and those we give to our loved ones.

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Combating Opioids

Purdue Extension, in partnership with the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, hosts a quarterly webinar series title Combating Opioids. This webinar series is free and open to all to participate, including community members, community-based organizations, coalitions, healthcare professionals, Extension professionals, and businesses.

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The series aims to share information and best practices to prevent opioid misuse and abuse, increase professional capacity to engage in health leadership, and increase health literacy of opioid misuse and abuse.

Archived Webinars:

Participate in the Webinar Series

Please join us for future webinars and discussion. Additional information available to you regarding archived webinars include the ability to view recordings, access presentation slides and handouts, and learn more about the presenters.

Webinar Series

This work is supported by the United States Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (grant opportunity #: USDA-NIFA-RHSE-006360)

Purdue Extension Program Areas

Purdue Extension is dedicated to uniting all of its program areas to be a proactive, preventive, and positive force to tackle this issue in partnership with local communities.

  • Agriculture and Natural Resources personnel have established relationships with the agricultural and rural communities in all 92 counties, providing a proven, trusted point of contact for information, including directing families, farmers and residents to resources and programming to address the opioid crisis.
  • Our Community Development team helps local leaders and decision-makers leverage resources and build capacity for multifaceted, community conversations and policy actions, including those related to opioids.
  • Health and Human Sciences provides parenting and family programs, health education, and can provide help in identifying additional local resources to help answer questions or provide more personalized care related to the opioid crisis.
  • Indiana 4-H Youth Development is the premier youth development program that provides afterschool activities as a productive outlet for youth interests and offers a framework to build positive life skills alongside positive role models.