Center Focuses on Making Vital Resources on the Opioid Crisis Available in Spanish
In September 2022, the Center for the Study and Promotion of Communities, Families, and Children (CFC Center) at the College of Social Work was awarded a two-year Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grant funding the Southeast Rural Opioid Technical Assistance Regional Center (ROTA-RC).
ROTA-RC develops and disseminates information on the opioid crisis, including training courses, workshops, webinars and resources like interactive maps, presentations, infographics, and pocket guides. They also offer technical assistance through staff available by email, phone or Zoom to provide community members and leaders with information surrounding the opioid epidemic and connect them to local resources.
The Hispanic/Latino community is the largest minority population, with a growing population of more than 60.6 million people in the United States.
A recent report published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) indicated one of the most commonly cited issues facing prevention, treatment and recovery strategies related to the opioid crisis is the need for bilingual providers and resources in Spanish for Hispanic/Latino communities.
ROTA-RC is addressing the need for accessible resources in Spanish. It has translated several resources into Spanish to make them more readily available to the 168 rural counties and their communities ROTA-RC serves in the Southeastern United States. Resources that have been translated into Spanish include:
- Course: Learn How to Respond to an Overdose: Naloxone (Narcan) Training
- Pocket Guide: How to Respond to an Overdose
- Infographic: How to Recognize an Overdose
- Infographic: "Remove the Risk" (How to properly dispose of unwanted/unneeded Opiates)
The resources were translated into Spanish thanks to the efforts of graduate student Yeimy Roberto. From Colombia, Yeimy has a passion for language studies, earning her bachelor's degree in English Language Teaching from Universidad Industrial de Santander in Bucaramanga and a master's degree in Linguistics from Instituto Caro y Cuervo in Bogota. She is a doctoral candidate at Florida State in Hispanic Linguistics, serving as a Spanish teaching assistant and research assistant in the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics.
"ROTA-RC's mission is to destigmatize substance use and educate communities on the opioid epidemic, how it affects them, and how to prevent substance dependence and life-threatening situations due to drugs," said Ellen Piekalkiewicz, director for the CFC Center and principal investigator for ROTA-RC. "The more we can make these resources accessible, the more people we hope to connect with the resources and support they need to end the cycle of addiction."
The ROTA-RC and Center for the Study and Promotion of Communities, Families and Children are eager to collaborate with its network of academic institutions, cooperative extension offices and other community stakeholders, including libraries, to stem the impact on rural communities and their citizens.