University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service student Andrew S. Treviño of Greeley, Colo., has spent the past four months completing his final Capstone project with the Arkansas Department of Human Services Division of Behavioral Health Services (DBHS) working on the Arkansas State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis (Opioid STR), a grant totaling nearly $8 million over a two-year period, which Arkansas received from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in an effort to curb the nation’s opioid epidemic.
For Treviño, this work is personal.
“I lost my older brother, Eric, to an opioid overdose in December of 2016,” Treviño said. “After my family experienced that unbearable heartbreak, I decided that my time at the Clinton School would be devoted to finding real, proven, and lasting solutions for people like my brother who are suffering from this debilitating disease. No family should have to feel that pain.”
That is exactly what Treviño has done.
For his capstone project, Treviño worked directly under the Opioid STR Project Director Roshonda Chaney-Bowden, to assist in DBHS’s efforts to expand medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to three populations of focus struggling with opioid use disorders: pregnant and parenting women, individuals re-entering the community from incarceration, and individuals who received Naloxone for an overdose.
As a result of his assistance, the Opioid STR grant has seen tremendous progress.
“Andrew has provided, and continues to provide, support in every area of this grant, from obtaining STR statistical trend data statewide and nationally to spearheading workgroup meetings with the State’s premier eight-funded substance abuse treatment providers,” Mrs. Chaney-Bowden said. “He truly is a remarkable human being whose dedication and hard work has made a lasting impact in Arkansas’s approach to the STR grant. I am proud to say that this young man possesses the leadership, optimism, motivation, persistence, strong work ethic, teamwork, reliability, and consistency needed to affect positive social change in our world today.”
After graduating in May from the Clinton School, Treviño, who is a concurrent Juris Doctor candidate at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law, plans on working with DBHS on a continuation of the Opioid STR grant while finishing his law degree.
About the Arkansas Division of Behavioral Health Services
Within the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS), the Division of Behavioral Health Services (DBHS) is responsible for ensuring the provision of public behavioral health services, including mental health and substance abuse prevention, treatment, and recovery services throughout the State of Arkansas. DBHS supports, certifies, licenses, and funds behavioral health providers throughout the state. In addition, DBHS operates two behavioral health institutions – the Arkansas State Hospital located in Little Rock and the Arkansas Health Center in Benton.