National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Postponed

The upcoming National Prescription Drug Take Back Day scheduled for Saturday, April 25, 2020, is postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. DEA will reschedule Take Back Day for a date shortly after the health crisis recedes and national emergency guidelines are lifted.

> https://takebackday.dea.gov/

COVID-19 promotes life-saving policy change for opioid addiction

Facing the US pandemic COVID-19. USA, The US Administration of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. USA (SAMHSA) has announced new policy changes regarding home treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD). Last week, the agency issued a directive to allow some patients in opioid treatment (OTP) programs to take their medications home, announcing that states may request "general exceptions" for all stable patients in an OTP to receive a 28-day supply of home-dose medications such as methadone and buprenorphine, for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD). The agency also said states can now request up to 14 days of take-home medications for patients who are less stable but who, in OTP doctors' opinion, can safely handle this level of take-home medications. "SAMHSA recognizes the evolving problems surrounding COVID-19 and the emerging needs that OTPs continue to face," the agency writes.

> Read the article

Source: NewsDio is a website intended to deliver news related to Business, Tech, Finance, and Sports networks, March 21, 2020
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration https://www.samhsa.gov/coronavirus

Opioid Withdrawal Raises Health Risks for Injection Drug Users: Study

Health Day, March 23, 2020
Having opioid withdrawal symptoms increases the odds that injection drug users will share needles or have a non-fatal overdose, new research suggests. For the study, the researchers questioned more than 800 injection drug users in San Francisco and Los Angeles. "Withdrawal is one of the main chronic health challenges for this population, and we need to be intervening on it," said lead author Ricky Bluthenthal. He's associate dean for social justice at the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine, in Los Angeles. An average 130 people a day die in the United States from an opioid overdose, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Needle sharing increases a person's risk of infections such as HIV and hepatitis, as well as other serious health problems, the CDC says.

> Read the article

News: Eco-tip: Safeguard drug discards in a time of opioid crisis

“Don’t be a drug dealer!” warned a flier distributed to seniors over the past month. The flier advocated safe disposal for expired and unused drugs and promoted a collection event, which collected and safely disposed more than 22 pounds of pills at three senior centers in Oxnard. To combat the problem of seniors unwittingly contributing to the opioid addiction epidemic by storing unused and expired medications in places accessible to friends, family, workers, intruders or just curious children, Eastlake obtained a grant to fund the Senior Volunteer Program, which includes the drug collection program. Using additional funds and assistance provided by the Ventura County Behavioral Health Department, Eastlake is also overseeing additional efforts by STOP, an acronym for Seniors Tackling the Opioid Problem.

> Read the Story, Ventura County Star

News: Lethally potent counterfeit pills taking more lives with drug overdoses in Ventura County

More Ventura County drug abusers are overdosing on pills that look like real medications but are often spiked with a lethally potent synthetic opioid, according to authorities. While the overall number of overdoses appears to be holding steady, authorities are seeing a lower proportion from the street forms of drugs that are injected or smoked, according to the Ventura County Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit. Instead, the trend since the last quarter of 2019 is toward look-alikes of commonly abused prescription pills.

> Read the Story, Ventura County Star

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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"

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

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

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

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

Surgeon General’s Spotlight on Opioids

The Office of the Surgeon General and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) developed this Spotlight on Opioids to provide the latest data on prevalence of substance use, opioid misuse, opioid use disorders, opioid overdoses, and related harms. The Spotlight on Opioids assembles opioid-related information from the Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health to better inform the general public, especially family and friends of people with an elevated risk of opioid overdose, opioid misuse, and/or opioid use disorder. Read the Spotlight on Opioids.

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

Opioid Solutions Summit, August 29, 2017

1opioid summit

 

The Opioid Solutions Summit presented Ventura County's response to the growing problem of prescription pain medication and heroin abuse. Labeled a nationwide crisis and epidemic, reports from professionals and the community made it clear that this region was far from immune. Confronting prescription drug and heroin abuse is essential to protecting the public health and safety of all Ventura County residents. Featured speakers included Sam Quinones, Journalist and Author of Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic, and Danny Trejo, Iconic Actor, Producer and Recovery Advocate.

Read more at Opioid Solutions Summit



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