Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Dr. Robert Mcwhirt


Prescription opioid abuse in the United States is an alarming health issue. In 2015, approximately 2 million people abused prescription opioids, and 12 million individuals misused their prescription opioid pain relievers. The percentage of individuals who died as a result of opiate abuse increased from 22% in 2013 to 76% in 2014. The purpose of this project was to evaluate the influence of an inner-city drug treatment (DTBF) program on opioid users' behavior. The practice question addressed whether knowledge of signs and symptoms of opioid withdrawal obtained from the DTBF program resulted in a significant behavioral change in opioid use in 45 adults ages 18 to 25. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention framework for program evaluation was used to guide the study. Data were collected using a pretest and posttest with the Clinical Opiate Withdrawal Scale (COWS) over a 6-month period. Results of t-test analysis indicated a significant change in drug use (p = .000). Recommendations to clinic administrators included encouraging all staff to use the COWS in screening individuals and observing them at each clinic visit. The implication of this study for social change is that findings may be used to reduce drug abuse and misuse among prescription opioid users.