History of the Coalition
Why the Coalition formed
History of the SLO Opioid Safety Coalition
The SLO County Opioid Safety Coalition was established in January 2016 to reduce prescription drug misuse. The initiative is driven by a diverse coalition of community members, including law enforcement, physicians, pharmacists, treatment professionals, Behavioral Health Department, Public Health Department, educators and others who are working to collaboratively address the problem in San Luis Obispo County.
Why did the SLO Opioid Safety Coalition Form?
Since 1999, the U.S. has seen a dramatic increase in the number of pain medications, sedatives, and stimulants prescribed. Every community has been affected by this trend. Prescription drugs are easily accessible, perceived to be safer than street drugs, and are highly addictive. When misused, they are usually obtained freely or stolen from friends or family. As abuse increases, so do accidental deaths.
Today, drug overdoses kill more than cars, guns, and falling. Prescription drug abuse crosses all boundaries — gender, ethnicity, economic status, and age. Because all sectors of society are impacted, solutions will require integrated community-wide approach.
The coalition utilizes a variety of strategies to reduce opioid use and risks, promote access to harm reduction and treatment services, and increase collaboration to improve supportive services to the community.
Coalition membership is open to any SLO County resident or organization. The coalition hosts regular summits and trainings, provides access to online newsletters and resources, and encourages member participation in all coalition initiatives. Contact us if you'd like to connect!
To explore more data regarding local opioid safety, please visit SLO Health Counts.
Data Collection and Monitoring
In order to fully address the problem in San Luis Obispo County, the Coalition first needs an understanding of the issue based on accurate, relevant data. The Data Collection and Monitoring Team addresses this need by determining what data best describes prescription drug misuse in the County, as well as the community behaviors and prescribing practices that can impact them.
Community Prevention Team
The community prevention action team focuses on raising awareness of opioid and prescription drug misuse through community campaigns, school outreach, and educational presentations.
Medication Assisted Treatment Team
The Medication Assisted Treatment Action Team is dedicated to increasing treatment services with access to healthcare, medically assisted treatment options, employment, and ongoing psychological and social support for those in recovery.
Overdose Prevention Team
This team provides overdose prevention training and access to naloxone. Naloxone (Narcan™) is a medication that reverses an opioid-related overdose. Because of its effectiveness and life-saving potential, the team advocates for low barrier, confidential access to naloxone for all community members.
- Utilize data to inform coalition initiatives
- Promote public education and awareness
- Increase access to medication assisted treatment services
- Increase access to harm reduction services
- Increase naloxone availability and distribution sites
- Conduct drug prevention activities to reduce the negative consequences of substance use