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

Ventura County: 2018 Overdose Report

dr young

 Christopher R. Young, M.D. Chief Medical Examiner

1,563 deaths were reported to the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office during calendar year 2018. Jurisdiction was accepted for 806 of these deaths, requiring further investigation and certification. Postmortem examinations were performed on 626 cases. Of the cases investigated, 170 deaths were due to medications, alcohol and or illicit drugs. Of the 170 deaths, 156 were accidents, 13 were suicide and one death was undetermined.

Of the overdose deaths, men accounted for 112 deaths (65.7%) and women accounted for 58 deaths (34.3%). Multiple drugs or medications may be involved in one case; therefore, one should not add the numbers of individual substances. The same case may be represented multiple times by different drugs or drug categories.

Noteworthy trends:

  • Total overdose deaths jumped by 49 between 2016 and 2017 but only increased by 5 between 2017 and 2018. Accidental overdoses rose by 37 between 2016 and 2017 and by 14 between 2017 and 2018.
  • Of the specific drug types and categories, the largest increase in 2018 involved methamphetamine (up 28 compared to 2017).
  • Except for ethanol, all drug types and categories increased compared to 2017 (opioid, heroin, fentanyl, benzodiazepine, methamphetamine and cocaine).
  • The highest rate of overdose deaths in 2018 was between ages 51 to 60 years (48 deaths).
  • Of the 40 deaths involving benzodiazepines, all were mixed substance overdoses with the exception of one suicide.

> Download the Report

> Letter from the Medical Examiner

> HOOKED | Overdose deaths up in 2018, though no one drug is to blame, VC Reporter, May 20, 2019

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

Opioid Awareness Month

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

 

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> Read the Opioid Medicine Cabinet Brochure

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.

What You Need to Know About OPIOIDS

opioid handout englSee our newest publication, launched this month. This is a resource for parents and community members to help understand what opioids are, including prescription painkillers, fentanyl and heroin.

It offers advice on what you can do, and ways to access treatment services if you or someone you know may need help.

Remember:

> What You Need to Know About Opioids brochure



©2019 Ventura County Behavioral Health • Hanstad Consulting • Website: Idea Engineering