Drug overdose is the leading cause of unintentional death in the US, and opioid addiction is driving this epidemic. The Public Health Institute believes that all of us—doctors, pharmacists, parents, teachers, advocates, mental health providers, law enforcement, and others—have a role to play in combating this crisis. By working together, communities can launch multi-pronged approaches that advance priority, effective strategies to help prevent and treat overdoses and ensure safe opioid prescribing.

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PHI's strategic initiatives are urgent or emerging health issues that need attention, resources and expertise. Here's how you can help.

Applying what works to address a leading cause of preventable deaths

PHI programs use evidence-based medicine to treat substance use disorders by increasing access to treatment in every community, working with 70+ health facilities a in an accelerated training program to enhance access to around-the-clock substance use disorder treatment in communities hit hardest by the opioid epidemic. PHI is home to the largest opioid safety network in the country, with 43 active coalitions in 58 counties, reaching 90% of California’s 39.9 million people. Kelly Pfeifer, MD, Deputy Director, Behavioral Health, at California Department of Health Care Services, discusses the impact of stigma on opioid treatment at PHI’s 2019 Opioid Summit:

PHI Priority

Updating MAT protocols to address COVID-19

How do we protect the already vulnerable population of people using opioids during a pandemic? Within a few days of the first California COVID-19 cases, PHI's California BRIDGE issues updated protocols on how to immediately reduce person-to-person contact when offering Medication Assisted Treatment for opioid use. Protocols aim to slow COVID-19 spread by implementing social distancing into all aspects of care, and to ensure access and availability to medications.

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California Bridge is working to get Medication Assisted Treatment to clients in hospitals 24/7

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New PHI Study on Breakthrough Infection Shows Steep Vaccine Efficacy Decline Over Six Months

A PHI study in the journal Science analyzed COVID infection by vaccination status among 780,225 Veterans. Researchers found that protection against any COVID-19 infection declined for all vaccine types, with overall vaccine protection declining from 87.9% in February to 48.1% by October 2021.

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