RxSafe Marin Newsletter Volume 7 - Issue 3 - March 2020
In this Issue: March is a Prescription Mug Abuse Awareness Month I Marin COVID-19 Info 
Harm Reduction Service Still Available I Stigma in Healthcare Setting
RxSafe Marin is a broad-based community coalition dedicated to reducing harm from prescription drug abuse and saving lives.
California’s Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness Month
In 2014, the California State Legislature adopted a Resolution marking March in California as, Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness Month in response to the astronomical death toll from opioid prescription drugs. Because California is the most populous state in the country, the sheer number of people who misuse or are dependent upon prescription opioid medication is alarming. Prevention and awareness campaigns were put in place to combat the health crisis.
Prescription drug awareness and prevention are very important because overdose deaths involving opioid pain relievers often exceed OD deaths from heroin and cocaine combined. Drug diversion is fueling the opioid crisis because almost 70% of people who abuse prescription drugs get them from a relative or friend instead of a doctor. Click here to read more about Prescription Drug Awareness and Prevention Tools for Parents...
Marin County Public Health Officer Tests Positive for COVID-19
As COVID-19 cases continue to surge around the Bay Area, Marin County Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis confirms he tested positive for COVID-19. The source of his exposure is unknown, as he has been actively meeting with health care workers around the Bay Area as part of his work to coordinate Marin County’s COVID-19 response.
In a video message, Dr. Willis stressed the importance of social distancing and sheltering-at-home, especially for the safety of older adults, vulnerable residents, and to ease the burden on health care workers. “Stay in place and limit anything outside the home to only essential trips, said Dr. Willis. “We need to double down on our efforts to limit countywide exposures.”
For updated COVID-19 info/activity in Marin and the State
CLICK image for info bout Harm Reduction during Coronvirus
The SPARH Center Continues to Provide Life Saving
Harm Reduction During COVID-19

The Spahr Center will continue to operate the Marin County Syringe Access Program and provide harm reduction services. COVID-19 social distancing rules prohibit providing services inside facility buildings at following three regular locations, Wellness Center on Kerner, Ritter Center and South Novato Boulevard building. Spahr staff will use the mobile unit as a temporary space for services and park as close to the affected facilities as possible. 
Spahr is committed to fight against sexually transmitted diseases and drug overdoses during the shelter-in-place order by providing confidential care services, syringes, safer injection supplies, safer smoking supplies, fentanyl tests strips, sharps disposal, naloxone (Narcan) training / distribution, HIV & HEP A, B & C rapid testing, navigation to MAT,HIV/ HCV treatment at each location . If you or someone you know need harm reduction, please visit the Spahr Center to learn about programs or Spahr Mobile Services Schedule Revised
DEA Drug Take-Back Day
The DEA sponsors two DEA Drug Take Back Day events annually, in April and October. The October 2019 Drug Take-Back Day collected in excess of 440 tons unwanted medication and 460 tons was collected at the April 2019 event, a total of nearly 1,000 tons of unwanted, unused or expired prescription & over-the-counter medications, vitamins & supplements, liquid and pet meds were safely disposed! That’s over a million pounds of unwanted and unused drugs collected in just 2 days!  
The April 25, 2020 DEA Drug Take-Back Day has been canceled due to the Coronavirus pandemic but don’t worry because safe drug disposal can happen everyday of the year thanks to many year-round safe drug disposal locations. You can keep your family, children, pets and community safe, prevent accidental drug overdose, stop drug diversion and reduce harm to the environment by safely disposing of prescription and over-the-counter meds, vitamins & supplements at safe drug disposal receptacles.  For a list of take-back locations in Marin near you, visit MED-Project™
Healthcare Experience Provider Stigma , Education is Needed to Remove Barriers toTreatment
From 1999–2018, the Opioid Epidemic killed almost 450,000 Americans. Drug overdose deaths topped 67,000 in 2018, making it a leading cause of injury-related death in the United States. Two out of three drug overdose deaths in 2018 involved an opioid. US officials learned of the growing health crisis beginning in 2006 when top US scientists, the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institutes of Health tried to warn health officials and the public of the imminent health crisis and requested urgent action. But no action, not until 2015. In the nearly 10 years after the initial findings, over 454,700 died from an opioid-related overdose. Finally, President Obama pushed Congress for legislation to address the opioid epidemic. The following year, the landmark report Facing Addiction in America, The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs and The Surgeon General’s Spotlight on Opioids were released.

Why did it take so long for anyone to address the opioid health crisis? Based solely on deaths, the opioid epidemic makes the coronavirus pandemic look meager. Did stigma prevent individuals, communities, society and government from taking quick decisive action to prevent overdose deaths?
CLICK here to read more about how stigma in healthcare deters people from getting treatment.
Ending Stigma, Saving Lives: Yale Doctors Take on Opioid Addiction
Dr. Gail D’Onofrio
“The number-one reason why people don’t go into treatment is stigma,” D’Onofrio said, adding that it’s an obstacle for some doctors as well as for many patients. “We have states where doctors decide whether to treat or not. This is not acceptable.”
Dr. Gail D’Onofrio who chairs Yale’s Department of Emergency Medicine, works to improve outcomes for people with opioid use disorder, and she’s on a crusade against stigma for a simple reason: social fear hinders treatment. 

CLICK on the image below to read thee entire article on addiction stigma in healthcare 
An illustration of a doctor throwing a patient a life preserver
Looking for RxSafe, LLC, makers of the RxSafe 1800 and RxASP automation systems? Click here to visit their website, or email them Please note that RxSafe, LLC is not formally affiliated with RxSafe Marin.
RxSafe Marin Newsletter, February 2020
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