The California Opioid Safety Network is a statewide forum for all coalitions, organizations and individuals working to combat the opioid crisis in California.
 Network Digest
- May 2019

Dear <<First Name>>,

The quarterly meeting of the Statewide Opioid Safety workgroup, run by California’s Department of Public Health focused on the Native American population in California. In a presentation, we learned that the opioid overdose death rate for American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations was dramatically higher than for all other ethnic groups. But we also learned that AI/AN data only captures "single race" and "non-Hispanic" data fields rather than a more inclusive definition which would include more deaths, but a lower proportionate rate.

Presenters reported on progress with the Department of Health Care Services, Tribal Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Expansion Project and the efforts to create tribal driven programs. One key takeaway that we heard time and time again was to listen to, engage with, and collaborate through tribal consultation. Bring in tribal leaders as subject matter experts and ask them how together we can address disparities in Native American populations.

Carmen Rita Nevarez, MD, MPH
Director, Center for Health Leadership and Practice
Vice President, External Relations and Preventive Medicine
Public Health Institute

In this Issue

Coalition Highlights

RxSafe Marin Promotes Drug Take Back
Ahead of last month’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, RxSafe Marin collaborated with their local sanitary district to produce a 30 second PSA on the harm of leftover prescription medication misuse and improper disposal. During the video, viewers are directed to take back locations in the county housed by business and law enforcement partners. RxSafe Marin also worked with the San Rafael Alcohol & Other Drug Coalition and their Youth For Justice youth coalition to ensure that resources are accessible to Spanish speaking communities by creating Spanish-language versions of the Safe Drug Disposal brochure and this community bulletin.
Susan Kim, AmeriCorp VISTA, presents Rx Safe Marin's safe drug disposal pamphlet while doing community outreach.
Members of the Youth For Justice youth coalition gathering during their DEA Prescription Drug Take Back Day community canvassing.
Safe Rx Mendocino Collects Medication at Take Back Event
Approximately 150 people attended Safe Rx Mendocino Opioid Safety Coalition's 3x3 basketball tournament and drug take back event in April. The event educated the community regarding safe disposal practices that protect our waterways and youth in a community building environment. Youth age group tournament winners won awesome prizes donated by local businesses and organizations, and the coalition collected 16 pounds of medication. 


Celebrating Families! California Expansion Project (Prevention Partnership)
Proposal deadline extended to May 24, 2019
The California Office of Child Abuse Prevention is funding Prevention Partnership International (PPI) to identify, train and support agencies statewide to provide the Celebrating Families! Program (CF!). PPI will provide training, technical assistance, materials, and evaluation at no cost to two sites. Selected sites must demonstrate that they are able to fund the cost of implementing the program. The CF! program is an evidence-based, trauma-informed, skill building program comprised of 16 sessions serving the whole family: children ages birth -17, their parents and caregivers. The program: gives parents dealing with addiction needed skills to stay sober, to begin to heal, and to build healthy, non-violent relationships with their children; decreases risks of child abuse/neglect and of children repeating the family cycles of addiction and related violent lifestyles of their parents; utilizes an intergenerational, dual-family approach, that demonstrably improves rates of family reunification, while reducing time, when determined safe.

How to Start Syringe Access Programs in California (CDPH, HRC)
Webinar on May 24, 2019 2:00-3:30 PM
The CDPH Office of AIDS and Harm Reduction Coalition will hold a webinar with introductory information on starting syringe services programs (SSPs) and related harm reduction programming for organizations based in California. Following the webinar, CDPH and HRC will offer an ongoing, cohort-based learning collaborative through which interested groups can dive deeper and emerge with an authorized, supported SSP. Learn more.

Funding Opportunities

For a full list of active funding opportunities and descriptions click here.
  • Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program Training and Technical Assistance Program (BJA) Applications due May 28, 2019
  • Provider’s Clinical Support System – Universities Grants (SAMHSA) Applications due June 7, 2019
  • Rural Opioid Technical Assistance Grants (SAMHSA) Applications due June 7, 2019

Opioids in the News

Overdoses in California prisons up 113% in three years - nearly 1,000 incidents in 2018

(San Francisco Chronicle)
Officials are observing an alarming spike in overdoses in California prisons. They attribute the trend to synthetic opioids like fentanyl and the nationwide opioid crisis. Even the most secure prison facilities are challenged by fentanyl because of the strength of small doses and the ease of smuggling such quantities. Autopsy reports reveal that fentanyl contributed to at least four deaths in San Quentin in the past two years. Moving forward, State Sen. Nancy Skinner, chairwoman of the Senate Public Safety Committee says that "this year’s state prison budget will focus more on the root cause of overdoses" and prioritize treatment.

Top Executives at Major Opioid Company Found Guilty of Criminal Racketeering

Last week, the founder and several executives at Insys Therapeutics, a major opioid company, were found guilty of criminal racketeering. The trial revealed that Insy went to great lengths to promote their product including paying doctors to prescribe heavily, lying to insurance companies, giving doctors lap dances, ridiculous marketing strategies including producing a rap video. There are hundreds of lawsuits filed against pharmaceutical companies and hopefully this is one of many instances where they will be held accountable for their involvement in today's drug overdose crisis. 
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