County Wins Federal Opioid Response Grant. DOJ funds to expand Rx and Heroin Suppression

Ventura County Opioid Abuse Suppression Taskforce (COAST)

The Ventura County Behavioral Health Department, in cooperation with the County’s Prescription Drug Abuse and Heroin Workgroup, announced today that the County of Ventura has been awarded a competitive grant under the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Site-based Program; federal funding provided by the U.S. Department of Justice to combat opioid misuse. The Behavioral Health Department’s successful proposal for $935,401 was funded in full; falling just under the $1 million maximum and the largest award of two California county grants in this category. Dr. Loretta Denering, Division Chief for Alcohol and Drug Programs noted, “With this new funding, we will dramatically expand our ability to leverage information from multiple sources—our behavioral health,public health, emergency medical services, medical examiner and public safety data—to analyze trends and target efforts to reduce local impacts.” The award marks the first major funding dedicated to addressing local opioid issues and the plan enjoyed endorsements from many agencies. “This is truly about data-driven collaboration,” said Sheriff Geoff Dean, who was a strong supporter of the proposed approach, “We know that opioid abuse is really hitting home here in Ventura County, and it takes strong teamwork to reverse the trends we’ve seen over the last decade.”

> Read the Press Release

Opioid Awareness Month

Visit the Opioid Awareness Month display at the Ventura County Government Center Hall of Administration during the month of October.

 

med cabinet display crop

 

> Read the Opioid Medicine Cabinet 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

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

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



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