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Doctor of Social Work (DSW)


Social Work


Debora S. Rice


Prevention, social work, and community awareness programs have not led to the successful reduction of opioid overdose deaths nationwide, and particularly in Ohio. This study explored social work perspectives about trauma-€informed care (TIC) for persons with opioid use disorder in Ohio. The research questions for this study examined how social workers in Ohio implemented TIC when providing outpatient treatment to opioid users and what challenges they faced when providing TIC. Using an action research methodology, data were collected through individual semistructured interviews with 5 social work professionals, selected through purposive sampling based on experience in the field of substance use in Ohio and the use of TIC. Contemporary trauma theory and TIC were chosen to frame the research project. Three themes emerged through thematic analysis of the data: appreciation for trauma-€informed opioid use disorder treatment, organizational and professional challenges to the use of trauma-€informed opioid use disorder treatment, and environmental barriers to successful trauma-€informed outpatient opioid use disorder programming. The study aligned with the social work core values of competence and principles of harm reduction. The findings from the study might bring about social change by igniting dialogue among treatment providers about how TIC interventions could support integrated treatment and holistic approaches to combatting opioid addiction in Ohio.

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