Opioid Safety Coalition
The County formed the SLO Opioid Safety Coalition in January 2016 to address the local epidemic of opioid (painkiller medication and heroin) misuse with grant funding from the California HealthCare Foundation. The Department received one of 12 grants from the California HealthCare Foundation to help address the opioid epidemic locally.
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 approaches.
The SLO County Opioid Safety Coalition was established in January 2016 to reduce prescription drug misuse and abuse. The Initiative is driven by a diverse coalition of community members, including law enforcement, physicians, pharmacists, treatment professionals, Public Health Department, Behavioral Health Department, educators and others who are working to collaboratively address the problem in San Luis Obispo County.
Full Coalition Summits are held 3 times a year to provide an opportunity for all the Action Teams to collaborate, share their successes and upcoming plans, and to highlight current events.
To explore more data regarding local opioid safety, please visit SLO Health Counts.