Safe Opioid Prescribing Media Event

Ventura County Behavioral Health, Ventura County Public Health, Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center, Allied Emergency Departments Countywide
January 29, 2015

Dr. Julia Feig, Dr. Celia Woods, Dr. Neil Canby, Dr. Carlo Reyes, Dr. Anthony H. Ho, Dr. Thomas Duncan, Dr. Marty Ehrlich

Los Robles Hospital, Thousand Oaks, CA

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


Safe Pain Medicine Prescribing Policy Launched Countywide

Multi-agency collaboration focused on preventing Rx drug misuse. The new policy, used by all eight emergency departments will include:
  • 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


Patrick Zarate, Chair, Ventura County Rx Drug and Heroin Workgroup
Carlo Reyes, M.D., Director, Emergency Department, Los Robles Medical Center
Robert Levin,M.D., Medical Director, Ventura County Public Health Department


  • Like other parts of the nation, accidental deaths involving opiates have risen in recent years; with a population of 820,000 residents, there were 103 accidental drug deaths in 2012 - 87 from opioids.
  • 20% of 11th graders in Ventura County used a prescription pain killer to “get high” and opioids are the fastest growing component of accidental deaths nationally.
  • The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) endorses safer prescribing guidelines. Learn more at California ACEP.
  • By adopting uniform policies, a consistent message will be provided to patients countywide about how powerful prescription medications are made available in the Emergency Department.

Media Coverage

Photographer: Roland E. Roberts
TAGS: Youth, Parents
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