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.

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

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

Opioid Solutions Summit, August 29, 2017

1opioid summit

 

The Opioid Solutions Summit presented Ventura County's response to the growing problem of prescription pain medication and heroin abuse. Labeled a nationwide crisis and epidemic, reports from professionals and the community made it clear that this region was far from immune. Confronting prescription drug and heroin abuse is essential to protecting the public health and safety of all Ventura County residents. Featured speakers included Sam Quinones, Journalist and Author of Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic, and Danny Trejo, Iconic Actor, Producer and Recovery Advocate.

Read more at Opioid Solutions Summit

Informing the Community: Plane of Pills Media Event 2016

To earn media attention and spread the word about the epidemic of painkiller overdoses, the Ventura County Rx Abuse & Heroin Workgroup hosted a press event on May 18, 2016, to unveil the Plane of Pills campaign. Featuring concerns by the CA Department of Justice and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, resulting stories in local papers, radio and social media increased awareness of the enormity of the painkiller overdose problem. The workgroup is a multiagency collaboration, including the Medical Examiner, Public Health, Sheriff’s Department, Behavioral Health and others committed to reducing Rx drug-related problems. Featured speakers included Mike Small, California Department of Justice, CURES Program Manager, Gary Pentis, Undersheriff, Ventura County Sheriff’s Office and Patrick Zarate, Ventura County Prescription Drug Abuse Workgroup Chair.

The mission of California's Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) is to facilitate safe prescribing and dispensing of controlled drugs to minimize prescription drug related deaths and injuries. Local prescribers are registering and utilizing the CURES 2.0 at increasing rates. The interactive CURES database provides the highest level of prescription drug monitoring available. It discourages “doctor shopping,” reduces overprescribing, contains information on the prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances, including opioids, and protects patients who require painkiller medication. Our objective is to encourage and facilitate CURES registration and utilization with local education, on-site training, and promotion.

Read more at California's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (CURES) Media Event

 

plane of pills poster

Safe Pain Medicine Prescribing Policy Launched Countywide, January 29, 2015

Hospitals Unite on New Pain Meds Policy – Collaboration to Counter Drug Abuse, Improve Emergency Department Care

This multi-agency collaboration focused on preventing Rx drug misuse. Agencies included Ventura County Behavioral Health, Ventura County Public Health, Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center, and Allied Emergency Departments Countywide. The new policy, used by all eight emergency departments includes:

  • When necessary, limited amounts of pain killers will be prescribed
  • EDs will not refill stolen prescriptions, but may refer patients to police
  • May ask people to show a photo ID when receiving a pain prescription
  • All patients will be provided copies of new prescribing policy

By adopting uniform policies, a consistent message was provided to patients countywide about how powerful prescription medications are made available in the Emergency Department.

Read more at Safe Opioid Prescribing Media Event

 

vcr safeprescribing er event

L. to R.: Dr. Julia Feig, Dr. Celia Woods, Dr. Neil Canby, Dr. Carlo Reyes, Dr. Anthony H. Ho, Dr. Thomas Duncan and Dr. Martin Ehrlich



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