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Substance Use: Advance health and resilience by advocating for prevention, treatment, risk mitigation, and recovery for people affected by substance use disorders.

Experience and Importance

How would we experience improved health and resiliency in our community?

Haywood County would be healthier and happier as a result of reduction of substance misuse. According to previous community partner meetings, community members would experience the following:

  • A community that offers support to people experiencing substance use disorder (SUD).
  • Overall health, optimizing well-being, a community in which all are supported doing those things.
  • Stigma-free environment: people feel comfortable and no ashamed by reaching out for help.
  • Access to and affordable primary care.
  • Whole-person focus from providers.

What information led to the selection of this health issue and related result?

  • Opioid Use/Substance Use
    • 12.4% Used Opiates/Opioids in the Past Year, With or Without a Prescription (decrease) (WNC Health Network, 2021)
    • "Story" Data (Online Key Informant Survey-WNCHN, 2021) 
      • Qualities of a healthy community: ‘Having a ‘no wrong door’ approach.  If you cannot help someone, you offer a warm handoff and connect them with someone who can help.’  -Public Health Representative
      • Challenges from COVID-19: ‘The drug prevention education classes normally offered to eighth-grade students at public middle schools in Haywood County were unable to be held due to the COVID-19 pandemic.’  2020 State of the County Health report
  • Alcohol Use
    • 12.5% Binge drinking[Single Occasion - 5+ Drinks Men, 4+ Women] (increase) (WNCHN, 2021)
    • 17.4% Excessive drinking (increase) (WNCHN, 2021)
  • Tobacco Use
    • 13.3% Currently smoke (decrease) (WNCHN, 2021)
    • 3.2 % Use vaping products (such as e-cigarettes) (decrease) (WNCHN 2021)
  • Secondary (Hospital/EMS) Data (NC Opioid Action Plan Dashboard, 2021)
    • Accidental Overdose Death
      • 14 in 2018 (22.6 per 100,000 residents); 17 in 2019 (27.3 per 100,000 residents)
    • Emergency department visits with an Opioid Overdose Diagnosis
      • 54 in 2019 (86.7 per 100,000 residents); 63 in 2020 (101.1 per 100,000 residents)

The Healthy Haywood Coalition and Substance Use Prevention Alliance were presented with relevant community health assessment data (above). Both groups received information about the relevance, impact, and feasibility around substance misuse, specifically looking at opioid, tobacco/vaping, and alcohol data. Social determinants of health data such as poverty, community resiliency estimates, and other community-based data were also provided. The community members in attendance then unanimously voted to move forward with the substance abuse priority as a result of evaluating the primary and secondary community health data. This is a continuation from previous years’ health priorities. 

Known risk factors for this issue are as follows: 

  • Family
  • Social Network/Support Networks
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
  • Income Level/ Experiencing Poverty
  • Educational Attainment

Clear Impact Suite is an easy-to-use, web-based software platform that helps your staff collaborate with external stakeholders and community partners by utilizing the combination of data collection, performance reporting, and program planning.

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