As drug overdose deaths continue to rise, it is imperative that social workers are equipped with the skills to face this crisis, both from a micro and macro perspective. In this course, students will engage with the crisis from a policy perspective as they explore potential solutions. Students will participate in a simulation through which they will explore the role of the government in combating the opioid crisis. Examples of roles that students will take include: policymakers, policy advocates, prescribing doctors, and community stakeholders. Students will be assigned a role, will research their character, and will engage with the other participates as that character throughout the duration of the simulation.
This course will be a good fit for students interested in expanding their understanding of the policymaking process, the role of stakeholders in that process, and the impact that advocacy groups and professionals can have in policy development. Additionally, students, both with a micro and macro focus, with an interest in substance abuse and mental health will have a particular interest in the content of the simulation.
- Describe the policymaking process and the limits of governmental intervention.
- Describe policy issues from a variety of perspectives and develop persuasive arguments for a position determined for them.
- Identify positions of policymakers and other decisions makers on issues.
- Students will develop a biography for their assigned simulation character that will be shared with and used by the other participants.
- Students will engage with each other using the ViewPoint platform throughout the duration of the course.
- Describe strategies for coalition building.
- Participate in a simulated press conference in which they share their policy recommendations.
- Students will complete a debrief about their experience in the simulation.
- Identify key factors influencing the opioid crisis.
- Describe the opioid crisis from a policy perspective as they explore potential solutions.
- Describe potential methods for combating the opioid crisis.
- Identify advocacy tools to engage policymakers about the opioid crisis.
- Describe the role of social workers in policymaking.
- Describe how to transfer the skills learned in this simulation to other topic areas.