Marin County has been ranked as the overall healthiest county in California by The County Health Ranking reports for the past five years. Conversely, the county has identified that prescription drug misuse and abuse, as well as drug poisoning mortalities, are on the rise.
One in four Marin adults needs help for drug and alcohol misuse. Alarmingly, increasing numbers of children under 18 are following suit, easily accessing prescription opioids such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, and fentanyl in their homes or though peers in schools. In 2012, more people died in Marin from drug overdoses than of breast cancer or automobile crashes, and the majority of overdoses involved prescription drugs. Today, the majority of overdoses involve opioids, both prescription and non-prescription.
To address this issue, a cross-sector initiative, RxSafe Marin, has been established with the following goal: Marin County will reduce prescription drug misuse and abuse through measurable strategies and 12-month action plans that address factors across the continuum. “This issue touches so many in Marin, beyond those with personal or family experience,” observed Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis. “We feel that RxSafe Marin is breaking new ground by bringing together key voices from across the community – law enforcement, schools, community groups and medical personnel – to design some real solutions.”
Building on the work of community activists, the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Marin County District Attorney’s Office, the Marin County Public Defender’s Office, and the Marin County Office of Education each have officials co-leading RxSafe Marin Action Teams alongside families, youth, pharmacists and health providers.
California Opioid Safety Network: Saving Lives, Together
Opioids — either prescription medications or an illicit drug — present the most serious drug crisis the US has ever experienced. Nearly 2,000 Californians died last year from opioids, devastating families and communities across the state. All of us – doctors, pharmacists, parents, teachers, advocates, mental health providers, law enforcement, and others – have a role to play in combating this crisis. This is a network of coalitions fighting the opioid epidemic in our communities. RxSafe Marin is a member. We believe that by working together, we can lower the supply of opioids, promote recovery from addiction, and prevent unnecessary deaths. The Network offers a forum for all coalitions, organizations and individuals working to combat the opioid crisis. Click here to learn more.
40 AmeriCorps VISTA Members Working with California Opioid Safety Coalitions
AmeriCorps VISTA partners with the California Opioid Prevention Network (COPN) to place 40 individuals in California opioid safety coalitions. These full-time VISTA members support coalitions in a range of capacities, including project management, preparing materials, outreach and materials development, or other duties as defined by coalition leadership. If you are interested in becoming an AmeriCorp VISTA member, or want to help recruit VISTA members in your community, please go to the Americorps website or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.