California Opioid Safety Network: Saving Lives, Together

Opioids — either prescription medications or an illicit drug — present the most serious drug crisis the US has ever experienced. Nearly 2,000 Californians died last year from opioids, devastating families and communities across the state. All of us - doctors, pharmacists, parents, teachers, advocates, mental health providers, law enforcement, and others - have a role to play in combating this crisis.

We are a network of coalitions fighting the opioid epidemic in our communities. We believe that by working together, we can lower the supply of opioids, promote recovery from addiction, and prevent unnecessary deaths. The Network offers a forum for all coalitions, organizations and individuals working to combat the opioid crisis. Click here to learn more.

Coalition Spotlight

In collaboration with coalitions in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, the National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse is hosting the Dose of Awareness 5k Walk and Health Expo this Sunday, March 25th from 1-3:30pm at Heather Farm Park in Walnut Creek. The event will include activities for youth and adults of all ages, and raise awareness about how the prescription drug and heroin epidemic is impacting Bay Area Communities.

Are you interested in hosting a similar event to help raise coalition funds and build awareness in your community? Feel free to reach out to the event organizer, April Rovero ( rovero@arovero.net) with the National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse for suggestions and tips.

California Coalitions Take On Opioid Safety

Opioids in the news

How America’s Prisons are Fueling the Opioid Epidemic (VOX – Mar. 13, 2018). Click here to find a link to this article and other top news on opioid safety in California and nationally. 

Upcoming webinars & events

Boots on the Ground: Strategies to Decrease the Opioid Supply (register here)
Thursday, March 29 (11:30am - 1:00 pm)

The local burden of the opioid epidemic correlates strongly with the amount of opioids dispensed in a given community. This California Opioid Safetey Network webinar will be the first in our Boots on the Ground series with practical opioid safety strategies for local coalitions. We will look at the evidence behind key strategies for reducing the opioid supply, offer practical suggestions for putting them into practice, and hear from other coalitions who have seen success. The session will be moderated by our clinical lead, Dr. Matt Willis, who is a physician, county health officer, and co-founder of the RxSafeMarin opioid safety coalition.

3/26 and 3/30 Naloxone Webinar Series (webinar)
Part 1: Monday, March 26 (2:00 pm - 3:30 pm) (register here
Part 2: Friday, March 30 (10:00 am  - 11:30 am) (register here)

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention (PDOP) Initiative has partnered with the Harm Reduction Coalition to offer a free, two-part webinar series around naloxone, presented by Eliza Wheeler. Part one of the series will take place on Monday, March 26, 2018 (2:00 pm) and will concentrate on overdose education and naloxone distribution Part two of the series will be held on Friday, March 30, 2018 (10:00 am) and will discuss how to implement naloxone distribution systems . Please register for one or both of the webinars by March 22, 2018. If you prefer to join an in-person naloxone training, the following full-day trainings are scheduled in these regions: Santa Cruz (March 20, 2018); San Diego (April 2018, date TBD); and Fresno (May 2018, date TBD). Additionally, if you are interested in hosting a live regional naloxone training in your community, please contact Elizabeth Jones at CDPH (Elizabeth.Jones@cdph.ca.gov).

4/16 Communicating for Impact: Framing Your Message (register here) Monday, April 16 (11:30am - 1:00 pm)

New research and polling data are shining light on how we can talk about opioid safety in ways that help us surmount apathy and stigma and strengthen support for our strategies. This California Opioid Safety Network webinar will offer a conceptual understanding of “framing,” and help you find the best language to engage your target audiences and move them to act. The presenters will ask you to reflect in real time on messaging that has already been drafted and refined.

Announcements and Updates

The state’s opioid overdose dashboard now breaks out deaths by fentanyl and lists the number on the dashboard home page. These are preliminary data, and may be updated over time. Downloadable state and county snapshot reports are also available. CHCF has prepared a short explainer, with graphics, on how to use the dashboard and easily create your county’s report.

40 AmeriCorps VISTA Members to Work with California Opioid Safety Coalitions

AmeriCorps VISTA is recruiting and hiring up to 40 people to be placed in California opioid safety coalitions. These full-time VISTA members can support coalitions in a range of capacities, including project management, preparing materials, outreach and materials development, or other duties as defined by coalition leadership. If you are interested in becoming an AmeriCorp VISTA member, or want to help recruit VISTA members in your community, please click here or email klustig@healthleadership.org for more information.

Want to stay connected?

Click here to sign up for our monthly newsletter. You can also contact us at amax@healthleadership.org or 510-285-5568.

With generous support from the California Health Care Foundation, the California Opioid Safety Network is a program of the Center for Health Leadership and Practice at the Public Health Institute.