The Alabama Provider Capacity Project held both an in-person and virtual focus group last week in Etowah County to discuss the impact of substance abuse within the community.
Representatives from the David Mathews Center for Civic Life, the Behavioral Health Group and New Life for Women met during the focus group to discuss the barriers for treatment for substance abuse, what substances they are seeing in their centers and the various resources available to those who deal with addiction.
Because of privacy and confidentiality within the focus group, the names of those who participated were not disclosed, and specific details about conversations within the group also were regarded as confidential.
The primary goal of the APCP is to work with providers — which was defined as anyone working adjacent to the issue of substance abuse disorders in the state — to determine what resources are needed to get treatment to people.
Other goals of the project included bridging “the gap between behavioral health providers, social service representatives, workforce developers and other relevant stakeholders in Alabama,” according to its website.
The project held or will be holding similar focus groups in all 67 Alabama counties. Participants have or will be selected based on their roles within their communities that will allow for “rich and informed discussions.”
“This research is not like just any regular focus group and survey.” according to the project’s website, “The focus groups will be interactive and involve visual components to organize ideas about SUD treatment in Alabama.
The focus group was sponsored by the Alabama Medicaid Agency, the Alabama Department of Mental Health and the Vital initiative at the University of Alabama School of Social Work.
Funding also came from a grant from the University of Alabama Center for Economic Development.