Armed with overdose drug Narcan, Oxnard police aim to reduce opioid fatalities

Ventura County Star, January 10, 2020

Public safety personnel locally and nationwide have seen a dramatic increase in drug overdose calls in recent years. In 2018, Oxnard police responded to 190 overdose calls, or nearly four per week. The Oxnard Police Department has responded to the opioid epidemic by training officers to administer an overdose-reversal drug and changing the protocol for logging overdose calls. In early 2018, the department began equipping officers with naloxone, also known as Narcan, a nasal spray that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. Today, 150 officers are equipped with naloxone kits, Cmdr. Sharon Giles said Tuesday in a report to the City Council.
“If you have someone that you believe is suffering from drug dependency and has overdosed, this goes into the nostril, a couple pumps and it’s administered,” Giles told the council while showing the nasal spray. In 2018, 19 of the 96 opioid-related deaths in Ventura County were in Oxnard. Figures for 2019 were not yet available, but Giles said she expects the number will be lower due to naloxone. 2019 was the first full year in which officers were equipped with naloxone. Officers used the nasal spray nine times.

> Read the Story, Ventura County Star
> See the Video "Oxnard Police Respond to the Opioid Epidemic in Ventura County"

Findings from the 2019 Monitoring the Future (MTF) Survey

Findings from the 2019 Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey demonstrate the appeal of vaping to teens, as seen in the increased prevalence of marijuana use as well as nicotine vaping. Results from the annual MTF survey, a nationally representative sample of eighth, 10th and 12th graders in hundreds of U.S. schools, were announced today by the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, along with the University of Michigan scientist who leads the research team. "We are heartened to see the continuing decline in the use of many drugs, particularly non-medical use of prescription opioids; however, teens are clearly attracted to vaping products, which are often concentrated amounts of drugs disguised as electronic gadgets," said NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow.

Prescription Drugs:

  • Past year rates of misuse of the opioid pain reliever Oxycontin dropped significantly among 12th graders over the past five years, with only 1.7% reporting in 2019–the lowest level of use since it was first measured in 2002 (at 4.0%).
  • Past year rates of misuse of the opioid pain reliever Vicodin is now at 1.1% for both 12th graders and 10th graders. For 12th graders, it is a significant drop from 2018 and the lowest rate since it was first measured in 2002 (at 9.6%). These rates represent a significant five-year decline in these two grades.
  • Past year misuse of the ADHD medication Adderall saw a significant decline over the past five years among 10th and 12th graders–from 4.6% to 3.1% for 10th graders and from 6.8% to 3.9%, for 12th graders. However, there was a significant increase among eighth graders⸺now reported to be 2.5%, up from 1.3% in 2014.

NIDA. (2019, December 18). Vaping of marijuana on the rise among teens.

CMS Roadmap: Fighting the Opioid Crisis

  • Opioids killed more than 47,000 in 2017, or 130 people per day
  • 36% of all opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid
  • 3 out of 4 people who used heroin misused Rx opioids first
  • Over 2M people have an Opioud Use Disorder (OUD)
  • Only 20% of people with OUD receive treatment

> See the Infographic, CMS.gov, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, November 2019

Ventura County Sheriff’s Deputy Saves Life from Overdose

On November 21, 2019, Ventura County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a report of a 35-year-old male not breathing. A Ventura County Sheriff’s Deputy was the first emergency personnel to arrive on scene. He determined the victim was suffering from an opioid overdose and immediately administered Naloxone (Narcan). Moments later, the victim began breathing on his own and he was subsequently transported to a local hospital for further treatment. This was the first victim saved with the administration of Naloxone by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office. In addition to other law enforcement agencies in the county, the Sheriff’s Office began deploying Naloxone kits in every patrol vehicle. The Sheriff’s Office began equipping patrol vehicles with Naloxone kits in August of 2019. Naloxone is a medication that reverses the effects of opioid overdose.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office continues to support prevention and intervention strategies to decrease the misuse of prescription pain medications as well as the abuse of heroin. The Sheriff’s Office requests that individuals promptly call 9-1-1 at the first signs someone may be overdosing or having a medical emergency. Law enforcement will not arrest individuals for being under the influence or possessing drugs who call for help or are experiencing an overdose. Naloxone kits are available to the public through Ventura County Behavioral Health.

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.”



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