Erick Lauber (PI) and Victor Garcia, faculty members with the Journalism and
Public Relations and the Anthropology departments, respectively, at Indiana
University of Pennsylvania (IUP) and team members at the Mid-Atlantic Research
and Training Institute for Community and Behavioral Health (MARTI-CBH), are
streamlining a study titled “Opioid Overdose Death Rate Investigation.”
primary focus of the study examines why there has been a reduction of overdose
deaths and drug-use related EMS visits in Indiana and Armstrong counties, while
Cambria and Blair counties overdose deaths and EMS visits continue to remain
high. In each of the counties, the drugs fentanyl, heroin, oxycodone, and
others have been persistent contributors to overdose deaths in recent years.
With this is in mind, the drop in overdose-related deaths in some counties in
the commonwealth and the increase in others is puzzling at the moment.
study seeks to speak to those directly involved with the fluctuating drug
climate to gain an understanding of what might be contributing to the changing
numbers. In each of the four counties, the subject population will consist of
coroners, EMS responders, ER personnel, treatment providers, and police
(subject population 1). The subject population of the study will also include
current drug users and ex-users (subject population 2).
The research subjects
in subject population 1 will be interviewed using semi-structured and
open-ended questionnaires. The content of the questionnaires will differ from
one group to another, but there will also be an overlap in the questions. The
research subjects in subject population 2 will also be interviewed using
semi-structured and open-ended questionnaires.
In each of the four counties
individual interviews will be held with a combination of 10 active and ex-drug
users. Also, in each county, three focus groups, comprised of six to eight
active and ex-drug users, will be held.
The proposed project will benefit drug
users, their families, and their communities in our region and beyond in three
ways. It will
General project findings will be
shared with project participants and the community-at-large. The findings will
be shared in community forums at different locales, such as in churches and