Reducing Supply - Reducing Demand - Saving Lives

Ventura County Behavioral Health

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.

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