LAWRENCE — In 2016, the Kansas City Opioid Treatment Work Group made a recommendation for a more comprehensive community needs assessment of the addiction continuum of care in the Greater Kansas City metropolitan area to address concerns about rising opioid-related deaths and overdoses.
Nancy Jo Kepple, University of Kansas assistant professor of social welfare, and doctoral student Amittia Parker, in collaboration with First Call Alcohol/Drug Prevention & Recovery, conducted a comprehensive community needs assessment that examined the availability, capacity and accessibility of addiction services in the Kansas City metropolitan area between September 2017 and April 2018. The goal of this assessment was to clearly identify service gaps for all substance-related needs, with special attention to opioid-related services, that policymakers and providers could strategically target to be better prepared to address the growing substance-related needs of the community.
Researchers will report their findings at an event from 8:30 a.m. to noon Sept. 5 at the KU Edwards Campus. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. For attendees interested, three CEUs will be provided for attending the full workshop.
The first part of the workshop will focus on understanding the major findings from the assessment, including visual mapping of service availability, discussion of private and public sector services, gaps in services addressing the needs of specific populations, the state of recovery-oriented services and service sector tolerance of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid-related disorders. The workshop will also include active discussion about the implications of the findings for policy, services and consumers, and attendees will brainstorm ways to apply this data to their roles within the community. The goal of this workshop is to actively engage with the data to develop creative ways to build a more responsive addiction continuum of care in the Kansas City metropolitan area.