NAU’s Civic Service Institute looking for partner organizations to address opioid crisis

May 16, 2019

As part of an effort to combat the ongoing opioid crisis affecting Arizona, the Civic Service Institute at Northern Arizona University has been awarded almost $303,000 through the Corporation for National and Community Service to begin the Alternatives to Managing Pain (AMP) AmeriCorps program, designed to put professionals into communities who can help people struggling with opioid addiction.

The AMP AmeriCorps program is located in Coconino, Maricopa, Mohave, Navajo and Yavapai counties. It focuses on assisting proprietary health and nonprofit organizations in educating their communities about the dangers of opioid misuses and healthy ways to manage pain. The project aims to reach people 50 years and older who may be at risk for being prescribed opioids, are at risk of abusing opioids or need assistance with non-medical pain management alternatives.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, while drug-related deaths have increased among all groups, older adults have seen the greatest percentage increase in the last five years. These deaths have largely been related to misuse of legally proscribed opioids. In addition, numerous factors including accessibility, over-prescribing, chronic pain, physiological changes and other issues increase risks for addiction for older adults, compared to younger people.

The Civic Service Institute is seeking partner site organizations to host AMP AmeriCorps members. Partner sites pay a cost match to host members to serve homebound clients. AMP AmeriCorps members provide home visits, education, support and transportation to alternative treatment to managing pain to clients.

AmeriCorps members receive modest living stipends, professional development and training on alternatives to managing pain and healthy coping skills. Additionally, members earn a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award after successfully completing their term of service.

For more information, contact Andrew Facemire at AmeriCorps@nau.edu or (928) 523-6395.