AKRON, Ohio — The University of Akron is receiving a $1.3 million grant to help families of opioid users deal with the trauma associated with opioid abuse. The project, “Interdisciplinary Training Initative for Children, Adolescents and Families Impacted by Opioid User Disorder,” is a collaborative effort with Drexel University that will enhance and expand community-based experiential training, focusing on youth and their families.
“Many people suffer from opioid addiction. The individuals who suffer from opioid addiction may receive treatment, but most families related to users do not,” said Rikki Patton, associate professor at UA who is leading the project. “The impacts of the addiction and how it affects the family unit is overlooked.”
The project received a $1.3 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
The project involves training of site supervisors and students who study marriage and family therapy and/or community mental health. Over the course of a year, they will participate in an online educational modules, webinars and reality simulations.
The university will pick from their own students, who will receive a stipend for undergoing training.
“We know how badly affected this community and others have been hit by the opioid epidemic,” said Patton. “There is a painful ripple effect of addiction and developing an integrated treatment that focuses on both the user and the extended family is needed.”
On October 10, a fundraiser will be held at The Venue Banquet Center from 4 p.m to 8 p.m. in Tallmadge. More than 50 vendors will be on hand and money raised will benefit the Honor Amanda Foundation, Keys to Serenity and OhioCAN Summit County chapter.