Community Response Action Plan

We work with communities interested in being proactive and progressive in their approach to face the heroin and opioid epidemic. We believe to be proactive is more than providing one awareness event. We like to work with the community to identify their needs, assets, create a series of events and also empower the community to start their own community action groups. Our desire is to leave a community with lasting change and resources.

Community Committee: We work with a Community Action Committee as the logistics team and we utilize them in all planning stages of their events which will empower them to identify stakeholders and partners in their community as well as helping them form a lasting community action group. We help them outline what needs to be done in order to host the event series and have them work on the logistics. We also use them to facilitate meetings and perform the Community Tools and Needs Assessment.

Community Tools and Needs Assessment: Truth Pharm will work with the Community Action Committee to identify resources they already have access to and to determine what can be implemented prior to the awareness events in order to present these to the audience. These might include – unused prescription drop off locations, points of access for treatment or crisis, needle exchange or harm reduction locations, naloxone training sites, recovery groups, treatment options, etc. The needs assessment will also identify items the Community Action Committee can continue working on.

Initial Series of Events:

Truth Pharm works with the Community Action Committee to create a series of events that typically includes:

  1. An Initial Community Awareness Event

  2. A Naloxone Training

  3. One or Two Follow-up Forums

  4. A High School Assembly Event

Promoting the Events: Truth Pharm will work with the Community Action Committee to create fliers, write a press releases and create online social media campaigns to promote the events.

  1. An Initial Community Awareness Event:

The goal of the Community Awareness Event is to find a way to encourage as broad attendance as possible from the community. The goal is to raise awareness, reduce the stigma and to provide all attendees a way that they can have an impact on the epidemic.

Impact Panel: Truth Pharm works with the Community Action Committee to create the Impact Panel. If members of the community are suggested that Truth Pharm is not familiar with, we first discuss with them what their presentation will include and we ensure that the speaker will not add to the stigma associated with addiction.

  • Parent affected – to raise empathy and show how the entire family is affected.

  • Person in recovery – to reduce stigma, show common paths to addiction and to shed light on hope and the possibility of recovery.

  • Criminal Justice (Law enforcement or DA) – to present statistics and community impacts.

  • Treatment Resource Specialist – to provide an overview of what is available in their area.

  • Addiction Specialist – to explain the disease of addiction and how opioid and heroin addiction is different.

  • Truth Pharm – to discuss community involvement, actions all citizens can take, breaking the stigma, raising awareness

  1. Naloxone Training:

Provides a free community training and educational opportunity in identifying the signs of a drug overdose and in administering the overdose reversal medication naloxone. In New York State, the training and kits are free.

  1. Follow-up Forums:

Goals and Purpose:

  • Teach about the disease of addiction at a more in-depth level

  • Teach recognizing signs of use and addiction

  • Teach loving support

  • Discuss types of treatment available

  • Educate regarding paths of entry to treatment and typical barriers

  • Teach self-care and preservation to family members affected

  • Allows the community members to tell their stories, identify resources that have been helpful and identify shortfalls or obstacles they’ve faced

  1. High School Assembly:

Truth Pharm’s high school assembly uses two or three speakers typically including a person in recovery, a parent who has lost a child and the educator. The program is best if 1.5-2 hours long, it can be broken into two segments. We present statistics and question the audience to determine how the school measures up to national statistics. This allows for a matter of fact, non-judgmental conversation recognizing there are already students using and possibly addicted. Our presentation is unique in that it ensures every person in the assembly finds themselves a role in the addiction epidemic we are facing even if they have never used and likely never will. It creates a sense of empathy, compassion and builds community amongst the student body. Additionally, rather than focusing on scare tactics and prevention only, it recognizes that many students may already be experimenting or may even be addicted and it allows for harm reduction and treatment discussions.

Finally, as we leave the community:

We work with the Community Action Committee to create a plan for a community action group to identify needs and create change ongoing. We provide them with suggestions for how to keep the momentum going. We offer affiliation through Truth Pharm, but we do not require it.

A note regarding finances: We are a non-profit organization and we ask that the Community Action Committee raise the funds to cover Truth Pharm’s expenses to provide these services which we work very hard to keep low. We have never refused servicing a community group for lack of funds. Contributions from the community are welcomed. The community may also a find grant or sponsor to fund the series.