Overdose Rescue Project


“My cousin wouldn’t be here today if naloxone hadn’t been there for us at that time and place. It saved his life — and then it kick-started me to sign up for my own treatment the next week.” – Ventura County resident in treatment



Opioids are powerful psychoactive chemicals that have the ability to effectively relieve serious pain by binding with key receptors in the brain. When used as prescribed, opioids may help relieve and control severe or chronic pain.

Because prescription opioids can create a sense of euphoria, some people misuse them to get high. If used too much, dependency and addiction can occur and the risk of overdose increases.

Commonly misused opioids include: Roxicodone, hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone, (OxyContin), tramadol and codeine (cough medicine).


Fentanyl was developed as a strong prescription painkiller for patients with severe, long-term pain. It is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent and extremely dangerous to misuse. Improperly ingesting or touching even a tiny amount can cause overdose or death.


Heroin is a dangerous and illegal street opioid. People sometimes try it as a replacement for legal pain medication but it has no medical use. It is highly addictive and often deadly.


Naloxone is a safe and legal antidote to reverse an opioid overdose. It neutralizes the opioids (prescription pain meds, heroin or methadone), reverses fatal side effects and helps someone breathe again. The NO OD Project educates family, friends, and loved ones, while targeting groups at elevated risk. Local data collection helps to guide education, outreach and distribution. The Rx Abuse & Heroin Workgroup provides hands-on training, as well as rescue kits, to the Ventura County community.


The NO OD Project was launched in late 2014, as a pilot project of the county’s Rx Abuse & Heroin Workgroup. The program targets individuals with an elevated risk of experiencing an opioid overdose or those who are likely to come into contact with someone who may experience an overdose. Since then, the program has expanded to 33 distribution sites across the county, providing overdose prevention, recognition, and response. The success of this innovative program is largely due to the multiagency collaborative approach and the robust evaluation component that was built into the program since its inception, allowing the county to effectively measure the program’s reach and outcomes. Data collection strategies were incorporated to monitor key metrics and refine the program as it was implemented.


As of June 2019

Local Distribution Sites

  • 4,252 - Overdose Rescue Kits Distributed Countywide
  • 35 - Distribution / Education Sites
  • 405 - Overdose Prevention Educators Trained
  • 630 - Lives Saved!

First Responder Overdose Readiness

  • 8 - Participating Law Enforcement Agencies, including Oxnard Police Department, Ventura County Sheriff's Office, Simi Valley Police Department, Port Hueneme Police Department, Ventura Police Department, Ventura County Probation Agency, Medical Examiner Office Investigators, Santa Paula Police Department
  • 857 -  Overdose Rescue Kits Distributed to Agencies
  • 570 -  Officers Trained in Overdose Response
  • 17  - NARCAN Administrations


Overall, what impact has participating in this program had on your drug use?


impact on drug use chart



od project demographics


YOU CAN SAVE A LIFE. NO OD. For information about getting a free OVERDOSE RESCUE KIT: Call (805) 667-NO-OD. Naloxone can reverse ODs caused by opioid drugs (heroin, prescription pain meds or methadone).


Ventura County Overdose Prevention Program, Initial and Refill Kits: Summary Findings, October 2014 - December 2016, Evalcorp:


Local Research: Drug-Related Deaths in Ventura County 2008-2014, Kayleigh Hunnicutt, M.A., M.Ed., April 2017:


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