State Opioid Response III (SORIII)

Reducing opioid use and saving lives

Arkansas ranks as the second highest state the U.S. in overall opioid prescribing rates, especially for older adults who use Medicare. 

Individuals who have a high daily dosage of prescription pain relievers, such as oxycodone or hydrocodone, are more susceptible to overdose and death. 

In 2020 there were 546 over dose deaths in Arkansas, most involving opioids. [CDC National Vital Statistics System] 

SORIII funds from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) are intended to address this crisis. The program improves Arkansas’s continuum of prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery support services for opioid use disorder. 

The following programs receive funding through SORIII. 

Arkansas Improving Multidisciplinary Pain Care Treatment (AR-IMPACT)

A weekly interactive video conference providing free provider education credit for physicians, physician assistants, nurses, and pharmacists. The goal of AR-IMPACT is to help Arkansas health providers manage chronic pain patients through opioid-sparing modalities. AR-IMPACT was developed in partnership with UAMS, Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield and Office of the Drug Director/DAABHS, and the Arkansas Department of Health.

Visit UAMS for information on times and weekly conference access.

Opioid Prevention for Aging and Longevity (OPAL)

A program that teaches senior adults and their healthcare providers about opioid pain medications, non-opioid pain medications, and integrative medicine therapies like tai chi, yoga, mindfulness meditation, and other therapies for the management of chronic pain. This program is operated by the UAMS Reynolds Institute on Aging in collaboration with the nine Centers on Aging, nursing facilities served by UAMS, and community clinics. 

Visit the UAMS OPAL site to learn more about their activities.

Arkansas Naloxone Project

Provides in-person and online training to improve communication between individuals and their health care providers. The project also trains first responders about overdose response and the administration of naloxone, a medication to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. This project is operated by the Criminal Justice Institute.

“Don’t Run Call 911”

Is a media campaign focused on the importance of calling 911 in the event of an overdose. It educates the public about the Joshua Ashley-Pauley Act “Good Samaritan” law in Arkansas. SORIII funds this campaign in the counties listed below in partnership with the Blue and You Foundation.

SORIII funds and programs are targeted toward 18 Arkansas counties with a high prevalence of opioid misuse.

  • Clark
  • Columbia
  • Conway
  • Dallas
  • Fulton
  • Grant
  • Howard
  • Lafayette
  • Little River
  • Madison
  • Montgomery
  • Nevada
  • Newton
  • Perry
  • Polk
  • Searcy
  • Sevier
  • Yell