Opioid Misuse and Overdose Prevention and Safety

Alameda County had a 49% Decrease in Opioid Mortality Rates

Recently released data for 2017, revealed that Alameda County had a 49% decrease in opioid overdose deaths since 2015. On average, 115 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose according to the Centers for Disease Control. The Alameda County Health Care Services Agency is working with multiple partners to reduce and prevent the misuse of opioids and associated mortality rates. A coalition that includes the Alameda- Contra Costa Medical Association (ACCMA), the Safety Net Coalition led by the County Health Care Services Agency, and the MEDS Coalition are working together to address opioid abuse in Alameda County.

“The collective effort of providers from the entire medical community is making a life-saving difference. Especially with the growing threat of fentanyl, now is the time to re-double our efforts to improve access to Medication Assisted Treatment and help individuals suffering from addiction walk the road to recovery,” said Dr. Thomas Sugarman, ACCMA President.

“The increase in availability in Buprenorphine makes life-saving treatment more accessible for patients; contributing to the decrease in overdoses and prescriptions in Alameda County,” said Kathleen Clanon, MD, Medical Director, Alameda County Health Care Services Agency.

The collaborative is experiencing success in its opioid misuse and overdose prevention and safety initiative.

  • Prescriptions of opioids decreased 12% since 2015 in Alameda County.
  • Prescriptions for Buprenorphine increased 16% since 2015. Buprenorphine (“Bupe”) is a drug that allows people who use opioids to focus on improving their health instead of grappling with a vicious cycle of addiction and withdrawal. Bupe offers the brain a chance to recover and heal, allowing the patient to find more time to engage in behaviors that promote recovery.
  • It is also estimated that nearly 300 lives have been saved through the use of community based Naloxone kits to prevent overdose through May 2018.

The strategy to reduce opioid use and overdose includes positively impacting the lives of abusers through needle exchanges and street medicine. First responders who will carry naloxone kits are being trained. The number of doctors who will prescribe Bupe for patients is being increased. Although ongoing work is needed, a lot of progress has been made through these efforts.

For more information, please view the PowerPoint presentation below.

View Presentation Here

Jun 4, 2018