News & Updates

What You Need to Know About OPIOIDS

opioid handout englSee our newest publication, launched this month. This is a resource for parents and community members to help understand what opioids are, including prescription painkillers, fentanyl and heroin.

It offers advice on what you can do, and ways to access treatment services if you or someone you know may need help.

Remember:

> What You Need to Know About Opioids brochure

Prescription Drug Addiction: A National Epidemic…It Can Happen to Anyone - May 3

Join for an educational and provocative presentation and discussion about drugs, and how their abuse effects our lives and our community. The event is on Thursday, May 3rd at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley. It features a panel of experts that will look at all aspects of addictions to opioids and prescription drugs. Robert Patterson, acting administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will deliver the keynote address in a program about the national and local epidemic. The DEA is partnering with the city, the Simi Valley Police Department, the FBI and Adventist Health Simi Valley to host this event. Simi Valley Police Chief David Livingstone will discuss how narcotics have affected the community and Julia Feig, director of the Simi Valley Hospital emergency room, will address the medical effects of opioid drug use. The film “Chasing the Dragon, the Life of an Opiate Addict” will be shown. Doors open at 6 PM and program starts at 7:00 PM.

> What You Need to Know About Opioids brochure

> In Simi Valley, DEA Acting Administrator Robert Patterson says opioid woes to worsen, VC Star, May 4, 2018

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day - April 28

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet. The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications and overdose deaths.
“Too often, unused prescription drugs find their way into the wrong hands. That's dangerous and often tragic. That's why it was great to see thousands of folks from across the country clean out their medicine cabinets and turn in - safely and anonymously - a record amount of prescription drugs.”

> DEA Take Back Day
> Disposal Bin Locations

Rx Abuse & Heroin Workgroup presents at the Board of Supervisors

saving lives brochure 2On April 17, Ventura County Behavioral Health and members of the Ventura County Rx Abuse & Heroin Workgroup gave a presentation on the Workgroup’s efforts to address the opioid crisis. In 2012, VCBH invited other county agencies to join forces to better coordinate efforts to reduce drug abuse and growing problem of addiction. Since that time, membership has expanded to include both public and private efforts to address the epidemic, multiple training events, public awareness campaigns, conferences and client outreach efforts were launched, and county agencies have collaborated to improve the ability to effectively respond to a rapidly evolving drug crisis that is national in scope. Collaborators from VCBH, the Office of the Medical Examiner, and the Sheriff’s Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit gave updates and the new Ventura County Responds website was shared. 

> Opioid deaths leap in Ventura County, Ventura County Star, April 17, 2018

> View Ventura County Responds brochure

VCBH Medical Directors present the Benzodiazepine Project at the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in Atlanta

Deaths resulting in accidental overdoses related to benzodiazepines has been rising in Ventura County. Of all benzodiazepines, alprazolam is the most commonly prescribed, misused and diverted; however, it is no longer the drug of first choice for most conditions. To help reduce morbidity, mortality and drug diversion, VCBH focused on incorporating good practices into its medical decision-making regarding controlled substances. The project dealt with multifaceted challenges: a growing epidemic of Rx drug abuse in the community, consumers’ lack of awareness of the dangers these substances pose, providers’ lack of awareness of evidenced-based practices, and resistance to change on the part of both patient and prescriber.

> Watch the Video
> Download the Presentation

Surgeon General’s Advisory on Naloxone and Opioid Overdose. Urges more individuals to carry life-saving medication.

"I, Surgeon General of the United States Public Health Service, VADM Jerome Adams, am emphasizing the importance of the overdose-reversing drug naloxone. For patients currently taking high doses of opioids as prescribed for pain, individuals misusing prescription opioids, individuals using illicit opioids such as heroin or fentanyl, health care practitioners, family and friends of people who have an opioid use disorder, and community members who come into contact with people at risk for opioid overdose, knowing how to use naloxone and keeping it within reach can save a life." Read the Media Advisory

NIH launches HEAL Initiative

At the 2018 National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit, National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., announced the launch of the HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) Initiative, an aggressive, trans-agency effort to speed scientific solutions to stem the national opioid public health crisis. “Every day, more than 115 Americans die after overdosing on opioids,” said Dr. Collins. “That is a four-fold increase since 2000, and the numbers continue to climb. Read more at NIH

Countdown to the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit 2018 – April 2-5, Atlanta, GA

Since 2012, the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit has been a venue where leaders from diverse backgrounds come together with solutions for a common goal in addressing the Opioid crisis. It is the annual gathering for stakeholders to discuss what’s working in prevention and treatment. This year, a delegation from Ventura County, including staff, Prevention contract providers, and more will be attending. We are honored that two VCBH proposals were approved by the Summit this year: 1) Safe Alprazolam Prescribing and Benzodiazepine Monitoring Program, Brian S. Taylor, MD, Medical Director, VCBH; Celia Woods, MD, Quality Medical Director, VCBH and 2) The Intersection of Law Enforcement and Healthcare: Increased Utilization of California's PDMP, Victor Fazio, EdD, MACJ, Detective Sergeant, Ventura County Sheriff’s Office; Dan Hicks, Manager Prevention Services, VCBH.

We look forward to networking, sharing our Ventura County experiences on a national platform, and gaining new ideas and momentum to continue our good work. 

Follow us live from the Summit on Twitter at twitter.com/VCLimits #venturacountyresponds



©2018 Ventura County Behavioral Health • Hanstad Consulting • Website: Idea Engineering