Methods: As part of a larger mixed method evaluation study, in-depth phone interviews were conducted with key stakeholders (n=24) from 18 different agencies. Purposeful sampling was utilized to include providers, trainers, and state employees. Interviews focused on the implementation progress, accomplishments, and challenges of the various STORI programs. With the exception of one, all interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using NVivo 12. This paper presents a preliminary overview of themes from the qualitative data.
Results: Stakeholders noted that these new programs filled important gaps in services, offering novel and innovative methods to addressing opioid misuse. Partnerships were key to the success of most programs, as they depended heavily on both formal and informal partnerships for outreach and coordination of services. There were challenges in coordinating across programs and some client barriers related to transportation, housing, and communication. Some programs experienced challenges with implementation due to the short funding time frame, delays in staffing, and lack of guidance for new program models. Overall however, stakeholders noted that program goals were generally met, and responses to the various programs were overwhelmingly positive. Most emphasized a sense of accomplishment in developing new models of services that engage and empower individuals and families dealing with opioid use disorder.
Conclusions & Implications: Overall, stakeholders reported successful implementation of the various STORI programs and positive responses to the programs in their communities. Although there were challenges in coordination of services, these programs offer social workers and other professionals innovative ways to address a much-needed gap in services for opioid misuse.