Prescription & OTC Drugs: Rx RISK: Prescribers Portal


“More than 40 Americans die each day from prescription opioid overdoses. Over-prescribing opioids - largely for chronic pain - is a key driver of America’s drug-overdose epidemic."

- Tom Frieden, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

CDC Releases Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain

Improving the way opioids are prescribed through clinical practice guidelines can ensure patients have access to safer, more effective chronic pain treatment while reducing the number of people who misuse, abuse, or overdose from these drugs. – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • An estimated 1 out of 5 patients with non-cancer pain or pain-related diagnoses are prescribed opioids.
  • Nearly 2 million Americans abused or were dependent on prescription opioids in 2014.
  • From 1999 to 2014, more than 165, 000 people died from overdose related to prescription opioids.
The guideline will give physicians and patients the information they need to make more informed decisions about treatment. CDC developed materials to assist providers with implementing the recommendations.


California’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

CURES 2.0 (Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System) is a database of Schedule II, III and IV controlled substance prescriptions dispensed in California serving the public health, regulatory oversight agencies, and law enforcement. CURES 2.0 is committed to the reduction of prescription drug abuse and diversion without affecting legitimate medical practice or patient care. Prescribers must submit an application before July 1, 2016, or upon receipt of a federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration, whichever occurs


  • As part of his national campaign on the prescription opioid epidemic, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy launched This site provides critical information about opioids, including risks, benefits and clear guidance on how best to prescribe these medications. For clinicians, there are tools for treatment and in-the-trenches stories from colleagues who are on the front lines of fighting this epidemic. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, U.S. Surgeon General.


  • Ventura County Safe Prescribing. This Ventura County multi-agency collaboration is focused on preventing prescription drug misuse. This page has educational materials for practitioners and communication guidelines for patients.
  • American Medical Association (AMA). The AMA believes that it is up to physicians to be leaders in preventing and reducing abuse, misuse, overdose and death from prescription drugs through ensuring appropriate prescribing practices as one part of a multi-pronged public health strategy. 
  • San Diego Safe Prescribing. The San Diego County Medical Society (SDCMS) is a non-profit organization founded in 1870 and chartered by the California Medical Association (CMA).


> To see all of our publications go to Rx RISK Prescribers Toolkit


California's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (CURES) Media Event
May 18, 2016, Oxnard, CA
The Ventura County Prescription Drug Abuse 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.
Speakers: Mike Small, California Department of Justice, CURES Program Manager, Gary Pentis, Undersheriff, Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, Patrick Zarate, Ventura County Prescription Drug Abuse Workgroup Chair
> See Media Event

Safe Pain Medicine Prescriber Training & CURES Registration
November 5, 2015, Simi Valley Hospital, Simi Valley, CA. Ventura County Behavioral Health, Ventura County Sheriff's Office
Speakers: Dr. Celia Woods, MD, VCHCA, Medical Director, VCBH Adult Mental Health Services & ADP; Sergeant Victor Fazio, Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit.
> See the event flyer
> See the presentation: Dr. Celia Woods, Opiate Prescribing: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly; Sgt. Victor Fazio, Safe Prescribing: Local Law Enforcement and Changing Requirements

Safe Opioid Prescribing Media Event

Hospitals Unite on New Pain Meds Policy - Collaboration to Counter Drug Abuse, Improve Emergency Department Care.
January 29, 2015, Ventura County Behavioral Health, Ventura County Public Health, Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center, Allied Emergency Departments Countywide
> Read more

Rx Drug and Heroin Abuse in Ventura County: What You Need to Know
November 21, 2014, Ventura County Behavioral Health, Ventura County Sheriff's Office, Ventura County Health Care Agency, Ventura County Office of Education
> Read more

ER / LA Opioid REMS: Achieving Safe Use While Improving Patient Care
March 15, 2014, Ventura County Health Care Agency, CME Training, Dr. Celia Woods, MD
> Read more

National Rx Drug Abuse Summit 2014, Atlanta, GA
April 22, 2014, Presentation by Patrick Zarate, Division Manager, Alcohol & Drug Programs
> See the presentation

Aging and Addiction: How C.U.R.E.S. and Other Modalities Can Assist in Addressing Addiction in Older Adults
April 30, 2014, Ventura County Health Care Agency, CME Training, Dr. Celia Woods, MD, VCBH; Mike Small, DOJ CURES Administrator
> See the presentation

What Every Prescriber Needs to Know About Addiction to Rx Pain Medications
January 18, 2013, Ventura County Behavioral Health, Elinore F. McCance-Katz, MD, PhD
> Read more

Rx Drug Abuse Summit 2013
September 26, 2013, Ventura County Behavioral Health
> Read more

Recovery Happens Conference 2009: Rx and OTC Abuse, Prescription for Change
September 29, 2009, Ventura County Behavioral Health
> Read more

Preventing Overdose through Safe Prescribing

The Ventura County Health Care Agency won the prestigious 2016 CAPH/SNI Quality Leaders Award for Data-Driven Organizations for our entry, Safe Alprazolam Prescribing. This award was presented to our HCA team at the CAPH/SNI Annual Conference, December 7-9 at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena, CA. This is the video we presented at the awards ceremony.

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