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Julius L. Chambers Biomedical/Biotechnology Research Institute (BBRI), North Carolina Central University (NCCU), in conjunction with TRY, has launched an interactive opioid abatement toolkit to help combat the opioid epidemic in Durham and throughout the country. The toolkit, Communiversity Developed and Tested Toolkit for Abuse Abatement, include five modules are especially geared to minoritized groups but useful for anyone seeking easy-to-understand information about opioids. Durham citizens have weighed in on what should be in the modules, and the team, spearheaded by Dr. Dasherline Johnson, sought community input throughout the development of the project, which is provided both online and in print format.

The website offers bright graphics, videos, and relevant information for a variety of users, including an explanation of how opioids (such as fentanyl) work and strategies for handling peer pressure to use drugs. Five strong modules, which have been tested and reviewed by Durham residents, cover what people want to know:

  • Introduction:  An overview of how our area has been affected by the opioid crisis and basic information about opioids
  • Module 1: How Opioids Work, History of Drug Laws, and Terminology to know
  • Module 2: How a Community Can Come Together to Fight Opioid Problems
  • Module 3: Know and Learn to utilize information about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Peer Pressure to decrease likelihood of drug use
  • Module 4: What is, how to use, when to use, and where to get Narcan (naloxone), a drug that can save lives. Learn basic overdose lifesaving skills.
  • Module 5: Three drugs are available for treatment —which is best for you? What resources are available for pregnant women, babies, those releases from incarceration or discharged from hospital, and veterans?
Opioid-Abatement Toolkit


  1. Interactive Online/Web toolkit. For access to the online interactive, please click link:
  2. Professional Print toolkit. For the print toolkit, please click link:
  3. Opioid Awareness Educational, please click on link:
    1. Brochures in English and Spanish
    2. Palm Cards in English and Spanish
    3. How to recognize overdose; b) How to respond to overdose
  4. A resource guide for those seeking treatment and/or more information, please click


The website and print volume have been created with input from several groups working together to determine what is important and how it can be presented to best serve the people in our community.  North Carolina Central University, an HBCU, is represented by Dr. Dasherline Johnson, from Julius Chambers Biological and Biotechnical Institute and the Principal Investigator/Research Scientist for the opioid abatement and recovery research program.

TRY (Together for Resilient Youth) is represented by Dr. Wanda Boone, bringing the perspective of harm-reduction methods.

After the initial development of the toolkit, feedback from community providers and leaders as well as community members has been incorporated to further refine the material. We welcome additional feedback from the community so these resources can be a vital part of positive change in our community and beyond, to lessen the scourge of opioid abuse by fostering healing and wholeness.

Dr. Johnson is a trained practitioner-scholar who graduated at the top of her class and earned the award for outstanding dissertation/recognition for contribution of excellence in scholarship. Her research interests include reducing health disparities, social justice, religion, and acculturation.

She developed an award-winning culturally sensitive diagnostic assessment protocol for Somalis Living in the Twin Cities, which is used to improve cultural competency among mental health providers with the goal of reducing health disparities for the Somali community.


Online/Web and Print Toolkit Opioid Abatement curricula: Johnson, D. C., et al. (2023, December). Communiversity Developed and Tested Toolkit for Abuse Abatement: Opioid-Abatement Toolkit. North Carolina Central University, Durham, North Carolina.

Book: Johnson D.C., (2022). From Refugee to Doctor: A Story of Perseverance and Faith. Covenant Books Publisher, South Carolina. Website: Amazon:

Lead Article Online Publication: Johnson, D. C. (2016). Culturally-Sensitive Diagnostic Interviewing Protocol MN Psychologist Online Publication date: Dec 5, 2016.

Dissertation: Johnson, D. C. (2015). Culturally-Sensitive Diagnostic Interviewing Protocol for Somali Immigrants and Refugees. ProQuest Online:

Professional Presentation: Johnson, D. C. (2016). Culturally-Sensitive Diagnostic Interviewing Protocol for Somali Immigrants and Refugees. Speaker/presenter at the Minnesota Psychological Association (MPA) 80th Annual Conference, Minnetonka, Minnesota.

Professional Presentation: Solberg, K, Johnson, D. C., et al. (2011). Development of Attitudes Toward Psychotherapy (ATP) Scale. Poster session presented at the Minnesota Psychological Association (MPA) 75th Annual Conference, Minnetonka.


Dr. Johnson received a $380,000 grant for “Opioid Abatement and Recovery Research Program 2022” sponsored by the North Carolina Collaboratory at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (“UNC-Chapel Hill”).