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
- July 2019

Dear <<First Name>>,

In June, health leaders from across the country convened in Sacramento for the Public Health Institute's 2019 National Opioid Leadership Summit. A few highlights include: Check out other highlights from the day's events in this collection of tweets. 

Local coalitions built valuable partnerships at the summit, including one coalition that connected with justice system officials regarding its efforts to implement MAT in jails. Let's continue to leverage our cross-sectoral partnerships and engage with each other to maximize our collective impact on this epidemic.

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


Integrating Harm Reduction into Opioid Safety Coalitions
Harm Reduction Coalition developed a 2-pager on principles, interventions, and strategies that coalitions can employ. Please distribute this resource among your partners and reference this language if you experience pushback to your coalition's harm reduction efforts.
Cultural Competency for Behavioral Health Professionals
The U.S. Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health (HHS OMH) announced a new, free and accredited e-learning program: Improving Cultural Competency for Behavioral Health Professionals.
Overcoming Objections to MAT
A short paper from the California Health Care Foundation, MAT for Opioid Use Disorder: Overcoming Objections, lists common objections and evidence-based responses.
Safe(r) Drug Use Information
Harm Reduction Coalition's 1-pager on safe(r) drug use includes strategies, safer injection practices, and information on skin and soft tissue infections.
Prevent opioid misuse
During his keynote address at the National Opioid Leadership Summit, the U.S. Surgeon General shared his postcard which outlines five key prevention strategies.

Coalition Highlights

Napa educates, trains, and builds community
Last month, nearly 150 people attended Napa Opioid Safety Coalition’s town hall focused on community education and training. Following opening presentations from local officials, attendees, including local pharmacy students, learned how to perform CPR and administer Narcan. All attendees received a box of Narcan to employ if needed in their community. The event also included a vendor fair with local health agencies and recovery services.
Lake County elevates stories of OUD
SafeRx Lake County is partnering with their local newspaper to publish stories from people in opioid use disorder recovery and their friends or family. These narrative-based pieces include interviews and are woven with educational materials on opioid misuse and opioid safety strategies. The coalition recently met with a group to ask questions about their experiences and perspectives on medication-assisted treatment (MAT), and future conversation topics include: safe storage and disposal, polysubstance use, and Narcan.
Butte Glenn engages with providers
Butte-Glenn Medical Society Drug Abuse Prevention Task Force held a dinner event to promote providers obtaining an X-waiver to treat opioid use disorder while giving the medical community an update on the local opioid epidemic. The coalition partnered with Butte County Public Health to provide educational resources such as safe prescribing guidelines, Deterra safe drug disposal bags, and local options for medication assisted treatment and sharp and medication disposal. 


New Indicators on California’s Opioid Dashboard
The California Opioid Overdose Surveillance Dashboard has been updated with new indicators and data. It now includes morbidity and mortality indicators for “opioids combined with other drugs” and “other drug poisonings,” both for benzodiazepines, amphetamines, and cocaine. Full-year 2018 emergency department data are also available.

Revised Date for August Tribal MAT ECHO Clinic
The August Tribal MAT ECHO Clinic will be held on August 27 instead of August 20 to avoid conflicting with the DHCS Substance Use Disorder Statewide Conference. Click here to see the revised series flyer.

Funding Opportunities

For a full list of active funding opportunities and descriptions click here.
  • Rural Responses to the Opioid Epidemic Grant (BJA) Applications due July 26, 2019
  • Expansion of Practitioner Education (SAMHSA) Applications due August 2, 2019
  • Tribal Opioid Response Grant (SAMHSA) Applications due August 6, 2019
  • Mental and Substance Use Disorders Prevalence Study (SAMHSA) Applications due August 16, 2019

Opioids in the News

(NPR, Fresh Air)

Author Travis Rieder, joined Terry Gross on Fresh Air to discuss his new book, In Pain, A Bioethicist's Personal Struggle With Opioids. They talked about his struggle with tapering, the cost of opioids versus alternative pain therapies, and compared the response to prescription drug misuse versus the criminalization of heroin use. Click here to listen to the full interview or read the interview highlights.
(The Washington Post)

In this article, Keith Humphreys, professor of psychiatry at Stanford University and affiliated faculty member at Stanford Law School and the Stanford Neurosciences Institute compares Vancouver. B.C. and West Virginia’s policy response to the opioid epidemic. The two regions implemented two different unilateral approaches - one overwhelmingly limited the upstream supply of opioids, and another provided harm reduction services, yet their drug overdose death rates are nearly identical. Humphreys asserts that one cannot fully address the epidemic without the other. Both approaches are needed to save lives and create lasting change. Click here to read more.
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