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Advancing Innovative Opioid Prevention Partnerships to Save Lives

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PHI's assessment of the California Health Care Foundation's statewide network of opioid safety coalitions found success in all three areas of the work: safer opioid prescribing, use of medication-assisted addiction treatment (MAT), and access to medication to reverse drug overdoses.

90% More than 90% of opioid safety coalitions reported adoption of safer prescribing guidelines.

75% More than 75% increased access to medications to reverse overdoses.

50% More than 50% expanded the use of medication-assisted addiction treatment.

The opioid epidemic is having a devastating impact in communities across the nation, fueling a dramatic increase in premature deaths. In California, there were almost 2,000 opioid overdose deaths in 2016. In late 2015, the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) launched a statewide network of 16 local coalitions in 23 counties focused on three priority strategies—safe opioid prescribing, use of medication-assisted addiction treatment (MAT), and access to naloxone to reverse drug overdoses.

In 2017, PHI conducted an assessment of the California Health Care Foundation’s network of opioid safety coalitions to identify what strategies are working at the local level. Some of the successes include:

  • In Monterey County clinicians lowered opioid prescribing rates by 50% and increased the use of non-opioid therapies by 300%.
  • In the rural Placer and Nevada Counties, equipping all police officers with the overdose-reversing drug naloxone resulted in over 100 lives saved through overdose reversals.
  • In four Northern Sierra California Counties where there were previously no MAT centers, MAT rates exceeded state averages.

Overall, PHI found that more than 90% of coalitions facilitated adoption of safer prescribing guidelines, more than 75% increased access to naloxone to reverse overdoses, and more than 50% expanded use of medication-assisted addiction treatment.

Learn more from the report, Tackling an Epidemic: An Assessment of the California Opioid Safety Coalitions Network.

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