Design Thinking Applied to Rural Opioid Addiction

Professor Colleen Syron, MHDI Faculty Affiliate, asked design students in the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts to create a public service campaign to address Dr. Dombrowski’s call to action found in his recent article “The Scope and Scale of Rural Drug Use” in Reducing Health Disparities Volume II.

After a series of Design Thinking workshops (ideal for human-centric ideation and prototyping), undergraduate students were broken into four teams each targeting one of Dombrowski’s recommendations.

Students conducted ethnographic research with nurses, police officers, policy makers, pharmacists and recovering drug addicts, not to mention, parents, employers, fellow students and family members. Each group was given a $50 budget and 4 weeks. Executions included logos, posters, flyers, commercials, petitions, documentaries, Facebook support pages, and websites.

We humbly present this work to the Minority Health Disparities community and ask you for your feedback.

If you like the work, it is for free distribution. We have signed photo, video and audio releases from all participants. You may download our templates, modify phone numbers, web URLs and if they can at all be helpful to rural populations to get the word out, we welcome it’s distribution. If you need help modifying files, we can help you there too.

Below find the thoughts, words and strategies behind each group.

Group 1: Opioid Addiction Awareness Campaign

Group 2: Opiate Substitution Treatment

Group 3: Needle/Syringe Exchange

Group 4: Nalaxone Overdose Kit

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