The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has awarded 12 grants to local community organizations to fund opioid safety activities. Among the recipients were three of the California Medical Association's component medical societies—Alameda-Contra Costa Medical Association's Community Health Foundation, San Diego County Medical Society and Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society.
These grants are part of the state’s multi-agency effort to prevent deaths and injuries caused by opioid misuse. These awardees will be implementing comprehensive local opioid safety coalition activities beginning June 2017 through February 2019. These coalitions will focus on several core program elements:
- Safe opioid prescribing and naloxone co-prescribing
- Communications and media messaging
- Health care policy development and adoption
- Increased access to medication assisted treatment
- Safe disposal and storage of prescription medication
- Data analysis and reporting
The issue of opioid-related misuse, abuse and overdose continues to be a major policy issue at the federal, state and local level. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there has been a documented increase over the last decade in opioid overdoses. From 2000 to 2014, nearly half a million people in the United States died from drug overdoses, with prescription opioids and heroin as the main drugs associated with overdose deaths.
These grants will be used to reduce the number of opioid overdose incidents, deaths and unsafe opioid prescriptions in targeted California counties.