Overdose Prevention Task Force (OPTF)

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MISSION: To eliminate overdose deaths around the country through Osteopathic Medical Student advocacy and action.

The Overdose Prevention Task Force will focus on six different public health matters that contribute to overdose deaths in our communities. These issues include Good Samaritan Laws, Naloxone distribution, MAT, harm reduction education, stigma, and barriers to access. The priorities and tactics to address each matter will depend on local and state laws, policies, and resources. The OP Task Forces main responsibilities will be to research each COM’s unique public health environment and create an Action Plan that focuses on each of matter.

Overdose Prevention Pillars:

  • Good Samaritan Laws and Policies
  • Naloxone Training and Distribution
  • Harm Reduction
  • Medical Assisted Treatment (MAT)
  • Access to Care
  • Stigma

Overdose Prevention Strategy:

  • The OP Task Force will create tailor-made Action Plans in coordination with each Osteopathic Medical School to fulfill the mission and goals with a focus on the overdose prevention pillars
  • Each school will have a team of leaders that will work to carry out the Action Plans with their fellow colleagues
  • Action Plans will adapt as progress is made through communication with the OP Task Force and school leaders

OPTF Two Year Goals:

Phase I:

  • Within one year of the Task Forces creation, establish in every COM that are in states with preexisting standing orders for naloxone and Good Samaritan Laws a train-the-trainer program and have students working in the community to distribute naloxone
  • Within two years, have all states with a COM have Good Samaritan Laws that protect individuals administering naloxone in good faith and protects individuals who call first responders regardless of parole statues and drug paraphernalia on site.
  • Within two years, have every state with a COM have a standing order for naloxone established
  • Within one year of the establishment of Good Samaritan Laws and standing order, create a train-the-trainer program and have students working in the community to distribute naloxone in the COMs in that state
  • Create and promote sustainable naloxone programs and funding (decrease cost and alternative delivery devices)
  • Advocate for all first responders to carry and administer naloxone
  • Research barriers to MAT prescription and utilization

Phase II:

  • Create/improve policies to reduce barriers to MAT
  • Increase MAT prescription and utilization
  • Research three of the following:
    • Effective healthcare models for addiction treatment (hub and spoke)
    • Best prescribing practices for opioids
    • Alternative therapies for chronic pain
    • Consequences of incarceration and prison reform
    • Mental health and other comorbidities
    • Standards for “Rehab Centers”

Ongoing Priorities:

  • Education and destigmatizing addiction
  • Advocating and educating on harm reduction
  • Improving access to care
  • Networking and partnerships

For more information, please contact optf@studentdo.org

OPTF Leadership Team

Shaun Antonio

Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine

Giselle Irio
Vice Chair

Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine

Jenna Campbell
Region I Representative

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Catherine Lower
Region II Representative

Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine

Hannah DePoy
Region III Representative

Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine - Virginia

Aaminah Farooq
Region IV Representative

UIWTX-School of Osteopathic Medicine

Amy Nham
Region V Representative

Western University of Health Sciences