RESOURCES FOR PRESCRIBERS, STAFF AND PATIENTS ABOUT THE PROBLEMS AND PREVENTION OF PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE.
Reducing Supply - Reducing Demand - Saving Lives
Addressing the Twofold Epidemic of Rx Painkiller and Heroin Abuse
The Ventura County Rx Abuse & Heroin Workgroup was developed in early 2012 in response to the escalating opioid epidemic, part of a nationwide crisis that crosses boundaries and demographics. Opioids have been the most widely-prescribed painkillers for many years, while heroin is an illegal street opioid that is lower cost for a comparable high. Both are extremely addictive, driving the transition for many prescription opioid abusers to the cheaper, more readily available heroin.
Ventura County’s opioid abuse response can be meaningfully focused through a supply-and-demand model first suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and tailored for our local conditions and needs. Reducing the supply of opioids while also decreasing the demand for them, will lead to a greater possibility of improving and saving lives.In this report, we highlight and share identified strategies and opportunities to reverse the trends which have led to this epidemic. We invite you to join us in connecting and enhancing resources to prevent and reduce prescription drug and heroin abuse. Together we can reduce opioid supply, reduce opioid demand, and save lives.
> Reducing Supply - Reducing Demand - Saving Lives Brochure
Prescribers may underestimate the risks of opioid addiction while overestimating painkiller benefits. The Ventura County Rx Abuse & Heroin Workgroup offers prescribers, hospitals and clinics up-to-date information and training for safe prescribing and on-site patient education. Safe prescriber education addresses the opioid epidemic by training prescribers to respond before opioids are prescribed.
Over 2,500 Ventura County prescribers and dispensers of medication received multiple educational Rx RISK mailings and e-blasts to update them on best practices for prescribing opioids and to share CURES 2.0 registration tips.
Informing the Community
Safe Pain Prescribing Guidelines
- Safe Pain Medicine Prescribing for Emergency Departments Flyer- English
- Safe Pain Medicine Prescribing for Emergency Departments Flyer- Spanish
- Safe Pain Medicine Prescribing for Urgent Care Flyer - English
- Safe Pain Medicine Prescribing for Urgent Care Flyer - Spanish
- CDC Opioid Guideline Resources: Clinical Tools
- Guideline Resources: CDC Opioid Guideline Mobile App
- CDC Releases Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain
- Checklist fo r prescribing opioids for chronic pain
Safe Opioid Prescribing Media Event
Hospitals unite on new pain medication policy for emergency departments. 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 at Los Robles Hospital, Thousand Oaks, CA
> Read about the event
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.
Rx RISK PRESCRIBERS TOOLKIT
Resources that may be used to inform patients and staff about the problems and prevention of Rx misuse.
> See our Rx RISK Prescribers Toolkit
Naloxone is a safe and legal antidote to reverse an opioid overdose. It neutralizes the opioids (prescription pain meds, heroin or methadone), reverses the possible fatal side effects and helps someone breathe again. The Overdose Prevention and Rescue Program works to educate family, friends, and loved ones about opioid overdose prevention. Targeted to groups at elevated risk for overdose, data collection helps to guide education and distribution. The Ventura County Rx Abuse & Heroin Workgroup, in partnership with Project SAFER, provides outreach, training and overdose rescue kits to the Ventura County community.
- Ventura County Overdose Prevention Program Summary Findings 2016
- SAMHSA Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit
- Preventing Overdose
- Prescribe to Prevent
- Prevent and Protect
This 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. See the event presentations.
> Opioid Solutions Summit
MEASURING WHAT MATTERS“Unless we know where we stand, we’re not going to be able to continuously improve.”
– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit, Atlanta, 2016
- Local Research: Drug-Related Deaths in Ventura County 2008-2014
- Ventura County Community Health Survey: Selected Findings - Rx & OTC Drugs FY 14-15
- Taking Action to Address Opioid Misuse, Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network
- Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT). SAMHSA
- Introducing MATx Mobile App to Support Medication-Assisted Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder, SAMHSA
- Safe Med LA Resources. See the resources related to Medication-Assisted Treatment.