COAST Year One Progress Event

November 12, 2019

The Ventura County Opioid Abuse Suppression Taskforce (COAST) celebrated its first year of successes made possible by funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance. Speakers included Mike Powers, Ventura County C.E.O.; Dr. Sevet Johnson, Director, Behavioral Health Department; Dr. Loretta Denering, Chief, Alcohol and Drug Programs Division; Dan Hicks, Manager, Preventions Services; Sheila Murphy, COAST Grant Administrator; Erica Pachmann, Evalcorp; Dr. Christopher Young, Chief Medical Examiner; Dr. Theresa Cho, CEO, Medical Director of Ambulatory Care; Commander Romano Bassi, Ventura County Sheriff’s Office; Rigo Vargas, Public Health Director; and Chris Rosa, Deputy Administrator, Ventura County EMS Agency.

> Read more about the COAST award
> See the Safe Prescribing Toolkit

 

Coast Denering

Dr. Loretta Denering, Chief, Alcohol and Drug Programs Division

Coast Powers

Mike Powers, Ventura County C.E.O.

Coast Young

Dr. Christopher Young, Chief Medical Examiner

Prescription Drug Take Back Day - October 26, 2019 – 10am - 2pm

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.9 million Americans misused 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 DEA’s Take Back Day provides an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths.

> Find local disposal sites near you
> See the Medication Safety at Home brochure
> DEA National Rx Take Back Day Information

 

medication safety at home

HHS Announces Guide for Appropriate Tapering or Discontinuation of Long-Term Opioid Use

On October 10, 2019, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published a new Guide for Clinicians on the Appropriate Dosage Reduction or Discontinuation of Long-Term Opioid Analgesics. Individual patients, as well as the health of the public, benefit when opioids are prescribed only when the benefit of using opioids outweighs the risks.  But once a patient is on opioids for a prolonged duration, any abrupt change in the patient’s regimen may put the patient at risk of harm and should include a thorough, deliberative case review and discussion with the patient. The HHS Guide provides advice to clinicians who are contemplating or initiating a change in opioid dosage.

“Care must be a patient-centered experience. We need to treat people with compassion, and emphasize personalized care tailored to the specific circumstances and unique needs of each patient,” said Adm. Brett P. Giroir, M.D., assistant secretary for health. “This Guide provides more resources for clinicians to best help patients achieve the dual goals of effective pain management and reduction in the risk for addiction.”

> HHS Announces Guide for Appropriate Tapering or Discontinuation of Long-Term Opioid Use,, October 10, 2019
> Guide for Clinicians on the Appropriate Dosage Reduction or Discontinuation of Long-Term Opioid Analgesics

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Simi Valley Police Officer Saves Man Suffering Opioid Overdose by Administering Naloxone

9/6/19, KTLA

A Simi Valley officer saved a man’s life on Tuesday, after he determined the man was suffering an opioid overdose and administered Naloxone. The Simi Valley Police Department has been equipping patrols with Naloxone kits since April 2018. The nasal spray medication reverses the effects of opioids such as heroin, morphine, methadone, oxycodone, oxycontin, hydrocodone, and fentanyl. Read the article at https://bit.ly/2kq73q9

AMA's "Opioid Task Force 2019 Progress Report”

The AMA Opioid Task Force urges physicians and other health care professions to continue taking action to help reverse the nation’s opioid epidemic, and the Task Force also calls on policymakers to take specific steps to remove barriers to evidence-based care for patients with pain and those with a substance use disorder. The 2019 progress report highlights physician action and the immediate need for policymakers to focus on removing barriers to evidence-based treatment.

  • America’s physicians are using state prescription drug monitoring programs more than ever.
  • The AMA Opioid Task Force encourages all physicians to enhance their education.
  • The AMA Opioid Task Force urges expanded access to Naloxone.

> Download the Report

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day - April 27, 2019 at 10AM – 2PM

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6 million Americans misused 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 DEA’s Take Back Day events provide an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction 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.”

Rx Drop-Off Day – Oxnard Police Department – April 27, 2019 – 10AM-2PM

Protect your family from getting your medicines that could be harmful to them. Drop off your expired and unused medications!

OPD DropOffDay FNLREV rightcol

> Read more about Medication Safety at Home

> Learn about Medication Disposal

Countdown to the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in Atlanta, April 22-25, 2019, Atlanta, GA



The Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit is the largest national collaboration of professionals from local, state, and federal agencies, business, academia, treatment providers, and allied communities impacted by prescription drug abuse and heroin use. It is the event for decision makers and allied professionals working to address this public health emergency. The Summit is now the annual gathering for stakeholders to discuss what’s working in prevention and treatment. This year Ventura County Behavioral Health will be presenting on “Saving Lives: Ventura County’s Overdose Prevention Program.” Presenters include Loretta Denering, DrPH, MS, Chief, Alcohol and Drug Programs Division, Kristen Donovan, PhD, Evalcorp, Research & Consulting, Daniel Hicks, Manager, Prevention Services, and Ashley Nettles, Overdose Prevention Program.  

The Overdose Prevention Program was designed to address the opioid epidemic locally by providing response training and naloxone kits to individuals with an elevated risk of experiencing an overdose or those likely to come into contact with someone who may experience overdose. The program provides overdose education to substance users, their families and key public agencies, to generate actionable data. The program launched in 2014 through the county’s Rx Abuse & Heroin Workgroup to reduce opioid-related deaths at a local level. Core components of the program include overdose prevention, recognition, and response education, as well as kit tracking and utilization data.

As of February 2019, over 3,020 Overdose Rescue Kits have been distributed countywide, and 563 lives saved!

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

If you are at the Summit, come see us at our presentation "Saving Lives: Ventura County’s Overdose Prevention Program" on Tuesday, April 23, 11:15 AM - 12:30 PM!

> Read more about the Overdose Prevention Program

> Read about the Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit

Ventura County: 2018 Overdose Report

dr young

 Christopher R. Young, M.D. Chief Medical Examiner

1,563 deaths were reported to the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office during calendar year 2018. Jurisdiction was accepted for 806 of these deaths, requiring further investigation and certification. Postmortem examinations were performed on 626 cases. Of the cases investigated, 170 deaths were due to medications, alcohol and or illicit drugs. Of the 170 deaths, 156 were accidents, 13 were suicide and one death was undetermined.

Of the overdose deaths, men accounted for 112 deaths (65.7%) and women accounted for 58 deaths (34.3%). Multiple drugs or medications may be involved in one case; therefore, one should not add the numbers of individual substances. The same case may be represented multiple times by different drugs or drug categories.

Noteworthy trends:

  • Total overdose deaths jumped by 49 between 2016 and 2017 but only increased by 5 between 2017 and 2018. Accidental overdoses rose by 37 between 2016 and 2017 and by 14 between 2017 and 2018.
  • Of the specific drug types and categories, the largest increase in 2018 involved methamphetamine (up 28 compared to 2017).
  • Except for ethanol, all drug types and categories increased compared to 2017 (opioid, heroin, fentanyl, benzodiazepine, methamphetamine and cocaine).
  • The highest rate of overdose deaths in 2018 was between ages 51 to 60 years (48 deaths).
  • Of the 40 deaths involving benzodiazepines, all were mixed substance overdoses with the exception of one suicide.

> Download the Report

> Letter from the Medical Examiner

> HOOKED | Overdose deaths up in 2018, though no one drug is to blame, VC Reporter, May 20, 2019

15th Statewide Integrated Care Conference - October 24

The 15th Statewide Integrated Care Conference was held on October 24-25, 2018 at the Hilton Universal Hotel, Universal City, California. This year’s conference theme was “Integrating Substance Use, Mental Health, and Primary Care Services: Disruptive Innovations and Sustaining Change.”

Ventura County Behavioral Health staff presented on Data-Driven Overdose Prevention: Ventura County’s “NO-OD” Program. The presentation included how an opioid overdose prevention program began as a pilot project and evolved over four years as a data-informed community health project using best practices on a tight budget. Speakers were Dr. Loretta Denering, Chief, Alcohol and Drug Programs VCBH; Dan Hicks, Prevention Services Manager, VCBH ADP; Kim O’Neil, Executive Director, Project SAFER; and Dr. Kristen Donovan, President, EVALCORP.

 

ICC 1

 Kristen Donovan, Kim O'Neil, Dan Hicks, Loretta Denering

> Read about the Conference

> Learn about the Overdose Program



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