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

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

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

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



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