New grant to help NEO A&M combat substance abuse


MIAMI, Okla. – Northeast Oklahoma A&M College receives a $50,000 grant from the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education to battle substance abuse.

The State Opioid Response Higher Education Community Outreach Grant (SOR) provides funds to develop communication and outreach programming to train students, staff, and faculty in culturally responsive approaches to identifying and treating opioid abuse. Officials at NEO say they are already putting the fuds to use through several training sessions. Staff participated in sessions focusing on the prevalence of substance dependency in individuals with “adverse childhood experiences,” providing resources to students who may turn to substance-seeking coping mechanisms during the rapid transition to online and distance learning, and the implications of the pandemic on addiction/overdoses.

“The pandemic has limited our ability to host in-person trainings, but we’ve been able to conduct some impactful initiatives that prepare our staff and faculty to support students,” said Rachel Lloyd, Title III Grant Coordinator. “We’ve also been able to reach out to experts in motivation and healthy coping to engage our students.”

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), Oklahoma has made strides in recent years to combat opioid dependency and death, but providers still prescribed opioids for nearly 80 people per every 100 in 2018.