INDIANAPOLIS -- With the opioid crisis dominating national headlines, local communities across Indiana are witnessing firsthand the devastating impact opioid addiction is having on individuals and families. In fact, the Centers of Disease Control & Prevention reports more than 1,200 overdose-related deaths in Indiana in 2015, a seven percent increase over the previous year.
In an effort to help localize this national conversation, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, with support from its parent foundation, has teamed with the National Urban League (NUL), to develop What’s Up With Opioids? a free online toolkit designed specifically to help non-profits, faith-based groups, parents and others keep their communities safe by preventing opioid misuse and addiction - especially among young adults.
The website includes a workshop kit with ready-to-use materials and a step-by-step guide for hosting a local discussion or town hall meeting. Presented in an easy to understand format, the kit features a video and slideshow designed to help people learn about opioids, risk factors, warnings signs and prevention strategies. The workshop kit also provides tips for inviting key community experts such as pharmacists, doctors and first responders who bring expertise and local insights that are impactful to the conversation, as well as customizable post cards and social media posts to help organizers promote their event. And, for individuals that need help for substance abuse disorders, the site also provides links to helpful community resources.
“We know opioid addition doesn’t discriminate, and all our communities are at risk. Bringing communities together to address prevention is a vital part of the conversation and helps support the larger public health strategy to address opioid addiction,” said Joseph Fox, M.D., medical director for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana. “This free online resource is another way parents, local churches, service organizations and others in our community can become better informed and help raise awareness on this important issue facing so many.”
The collaboration with National Urban League leverages the insights of a trusted community organization that understands the public health issues facing local communities and their residents and how to address and identify gaps and remove barriers to create effective outreach programs. Earlier this year, both organizations collaborated on another initiative aimed at reducing health disparities.
To access the free online toolkit visit: whatsupwithopioids.org
About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ® ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana is available at www.anthem.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AskAnthem, www.twitter.com/AnthemBCBS_News and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AskAnthem.