University of Rhode Island offers opioid education, training

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The University of Rhode Island is using a $1 million federal grant to offer education and training about opioids to residents in rural areas of the state.

Officials with the university in South Kingstown said Thursday that health professionals and students are getting ready to start the outreach campaign.

Funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will be used to send students and staff to farmers markets, fairs, festivals and other events to discuss issues related to opioids, hand out information about how to obtain overdose-reversal medication and offer related health counseling.

Deborah Sheely, of URI's Cooperative Extension, said they want to remove the stigma associated with opioid misuse and ensure that residents in rural areas have the information and technical assistance they need.

Community organizations can contact URI to schedule a presentation.

The grant will also pay for the development of online training programs, with six short modules for the public and URI staff and four continuing education programs for health care professionals.