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"

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.

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



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