A community readiness survey for coalitions to address the growing epidemic of prescription opioid misuse was developed in this four-part study. A total of 70 coalition members participated. 1) We conducted 30-minute phone interviews with coalition members (n=30) and a literature review to develop an item list. 2) Coalition members rated these 60 items for three criteria: importance, confidence in own answer, confidence in others 'answer. 3) Highly rated items were included in a revised survey that was tested with coalition members (n=10) using in-person cognitive interviewing to assess how coalition members were interpreting the questions. 4) Lastly, pre-testing and satisfaction testing with additional coalition members (n=30). Most (83%) of the respondents reported positive overall impressions of the survey.
KEY WORDS: coalition, drug, readiness, survey, prescription, opioid, misuse
There is a prescription drug overdose epidemic in the United States (CDC 2012; ONDCP, 2014). Prescription opioids, widely available and easily obtained by young people, offer an inexpensive means of altering one's mental and physical state. For these reasons, prescription opioids have become an increasingly popular drug option in younger age groups. Meanwhile, the dangers of prescription drug misuse are not well-understood: As Dr. Volkow stated in testimony to the U.S. Congress last year, "Because prescription drugs are safe and effective when used properly and are broadly marketed to the public, the notion that they are also harmful and addictive when abused can be a difficult one to convey" (Department of Health and Human Services, 2014).
Early efforts to reduce prescription opioid misuse/abuse within communities utilized a general approach, including predominantly non-targeted educational interventions. There have been both local (Georgia's http://genrx.us/: Utah's http://www.useonlvasdirected.org/campaign) and national (e.g., http:// www.awarerx.org/:http://www.upandawav.org/) public awareness campaigns (SAMHSA, 2015a). The Governor's Opioid Working group in Massachusetts is currently launching a Stop Addiction in its Tracks media campaign to educate parents about how to prevent opioid misuse (http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/ gov/departments/dph/stop-addiction/stop-addiction-campaigns.html). In addition, many organizations, including the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) have responded to this emerging public health problem by developing research reports (e.g., "Prescription for Danger;" 2008) as a means of drawing public awareness to the problem. For example, a report on Prescription Drug Abuse (NIDA, 2014) is included within the NIDA Research Report series which "simplifies the science of research findings for the educated lay public, legislators, educational groups, and practitioners." There are also resources available on the Web; for example, the nonprofit organization Partnership for Drug-Free Kids (2015), formerly known as Partnership for a Drug-Free America, has comprehensive resources on their website pertaining to prescription drug abuse. These information-based resources are useful but require significant publicity to reach their target audience; they may not be specific enough to change public attitudes and behaviors because the public may not be ready to hear these messages.
It is necessary to address educational and prevention messages in such a way that local communities can come to a consensus to set goals and respond effectively to prescription opioid misuse and abuse. Community anti-drug coalitions offer a potential avenue...