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Community partnerships are educating the public about opioid risks and misuse

Posted: 2:14 PM, Jan 16, 2020
Updated: 2020-01-17 09:57:51-05
Community partnerships are educating the public about opioid risks and misuse

Intermountain Healthcare is actively involved in the 'Use Only As Directed' campaign.  Lisa Nichols, AVP Community Health, Intermountain Healthcare, says they recognized the significant need for a comprehensive approach to address Utah's epidemic numbers of prescription opioid-related deaths.

Consequently, Intermountain Healthcare's Community Benefit program developed a three-pronged effect to reduce the misuse and abuse of prescription opioid medications among their patients and within the community including a public awareness campaign, provider education, and access to treatment services to help reduce the number of unintentional deaths due to misuse and abuse of prescription opiods in Utah.

Nichols says, " We`re very pleased to be part of this local public awareness initiative, with partners that include the Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health and the Use Only as Directed prevention campaign. We also brought in valued partners from SelectHealth and Regence BlueCross and BlueShield of Utah to develop a unique project using augmented reality."

The partners came together to develop an interactive display and banners that use augmented reality to capture people's attention and educate them about risks associated with opioid use.  When people use their smartphone and a connection to Facebook, an animated figure emerges from a prescription bottle on the banners.

As each figure steps toward the viewer, an organ like the brain and lungs materializes from their bodies, followed by information about how opioids affect several organs specifically.

These innovative, engaging banners support Utah`s public education program: Speak Out. Opt Out. Throw Out. People can learn more and watch the Augmented Realty Experience useonlyasdirected.org.

They are currently located in our community at Northwest Recreation Center and Magna Fitness and Recreation Center in Salt Lake County. Plans are underway to place banners in several other locations in 2020.