Abstract for: Structural and Behavioral Validation of a Simulation Model to Inform Community Strategies that Reduce Opioid Overdose Fatality

The trends for opioid overdose and fatalities have been a concern in the US nationwide and the recent COVID-19 pandemic has made the situation more complicated. Community stakeholders need effective tools to support local decision-making about how best to address the problem of opioid use disorder (OUD). System dynamics (SD) modeling offers a rigorous methodology for simulating local ecologies of OUD risk. However, model utility and validity are key to help diverse community stakeholders identify OUD risks, and effectively implement evidence-based interventions to reduce morbidity and mortality at the local level. In this work-in-progress paper, we report on our approach for building confidence in our models across structure, behavior and context dimensions, and capture the evolution of how community coalitions conceptualize OUD in their communities and the challenges and enabling factors for the implementation of evidence-based practices in each county.