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.

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

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

Prescription Drug Take Back Day - October 27, 10am – 2pm

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.2 million Americans misused controlled

Rx DisposalHandout 4x9 Englprescription 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. The 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. 

> Find disposal sites near you
> DEA National Rx Take Back Day Information

Ventura County will sue opioid makers and distributors to recoup expenses

Ventura County supervisors voted Tuesday to sue manufacturers, marketers and distributors of opioids, joining the large number of public entities across the nation lining up to recoup costs of treatment, law enforcement and other expenses linked to the addictive painkillers. Voting 5-0, the Board of Supervisors authorized the litigation that is expected to be decided in federal court. County officials say commonly misused opioids include Vicodin, OxyContin, tramadol and codeine. County Counsel Leroy Smith provided a list of potential defendants that included Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson and other drug companies, along with about a dozen distribution companies. The list of distributors, which were defined as firms that get the drugs to market, included CVS Health Corp., Rite Aid and Walmart.

> Read Ventura County Star article

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



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