The Alberta Rural Development Network (ARDN) is partnering with 13 organizations to raise awareness within their local communities about how opioids are affecting rural Alberta. These grassroots-led initiatives have been made possible through a community-based grant from Alberta Health which allocated $1.4 million to 29 projects across the province.
The Rural Community Opioid Outreach Program (RCOOP) is one of 29 projects providing funding and support for local, community-driven opioid public awareness and education outreach sessions. 13 rural communities are currently conducting public awareness sessions that are specific to raising awareness and providing resources about opioids (fentanyl, oxycodone, heroin,etc.) and the opioid crisis.
"Rural Alberta communities are struggling with the opioid crisis, yet often lack the resources to support those struggling with substance use. This lack of awareness and knowledge may lead to lives lost. With the Rural Community Opioid Outreach Program, the Alberta Rural Development Network will provide support and assistance to rural communities who want to educate citizens in a way that’s adapted to their local needs, and enhance access to services in a way that will provide them the tools and information needed to save lives.” – Dee Ann Benard, Executive Director
These projects focus on reducing stigma, direct people to where they can access life-saving resources and educate families, friends and neighbours on how they could potentially save a life. Education sessions run from July 2018 to March 2019 in communities near you: