Marin County repeatedly ranks as one of the healthiest counties in California. However, opioid overdose deaths present a serious public health threat. In 2021, opioid overdose was the leading cause of accidental death in Marin County.
Founded in 2014 by community activists, RxSafe Marin is a coalition that includes parents, youth, pharmacists, health providers, community members, and County staff working together to prevent misuse of opioids and other drugs. RxSafe is made up of six Action Teams: Data Collection and Monitoring; Community Based Prevention; Prescribers and Pharmacists; Intervention, Treatment, and Recovery; Law Enforcement; and the Youth Action Team.
While initially focused on reducing prescription drug misuse, recently RxSafe Marin supports the needs of people struggling with substance use disorders and those impacted by synthetic opioids like fentanyl. The program has expanded over the years to include partnerships with harm reduction agencies (especially for people who use drugs) and agencies that serve youth. Preventing substance misuse, promoting safe prescription drug disposal, distributing naloxone (the life-saving opioid overdose medication), and reducing the stigma surrounding substance use are just a few of RxSafe Marin’s recent areas of focus.
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.