RxSafe Marin Newsletter Volume 14- Issue 2- May 2021
In this Issue: Coalition SPOTLIGHT I Safe Drug Disposal Every Month I New HHS Guidelines Expand Access to Buprenorphine I Now is the Time to Redouble Efforts Against the Opioid Crisis I Stigma Corner
RxSafe Marin is a broad-based community coalition dedicated to reducing harm from prescription drug abuse and saving lives.
RxSafe Marin Community Coalition
RxSafe's Community Based Prevention Action Team invites you to a virtual event:
The Gateway Film Screening and Panel Discussion!

RxSafe Marin is sponsoring a screening of the short film Gateway, "A Story of How Surgery and Opioids Transformed the Lives of Three Families." 

This FREE virtual film and panel discussion is Monday, May 17, 2021, at 6:30 pm. See the post-film panel and register to attend at
Monday, May 17, 2021, at 6:30 PM
Prescribers and Pharmacist Action Team   
Pharmacy Partnership Project   
This month, RxSafe Marin members Aglaia Panos, Pharm D, Touro University Professor and Susan Kim, AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer, visited 18 of the 40 pharmacies in Marin to distribute public awareness educational materials and urge pharmacists to promote safe drug disposal, an effective tool against the opioid health crisis. They will visit all 40 locations in the coming months.

Pharmacies are vital touch-points. The goal of this outreach is to educate pharmacists about the opioid epidemic, Substance Use Disorders (SUD), drug stigma, naloxone distribution and upcoming virtual trainings for CE units. The in-person visits were well received and all of the pharmacies agreed to distribute RxSafe Marin safe drug disposal materials.    


Awareness Posters Displayed at Partner Pharmacies in Marin
Personal stories are powerful and resonate with others: Would you like to share your story of struggle, sorrow or hope? RxSafe Marin will publish selected stories on its website to help others. If interested, please send an email to
Welcome to the new RxSafe Coordinator!
Anita Renzetti joined RxSafe Marin as the new senior program coordinator on April 26. Besides years of service in tobacco control and a Master's in Educational Administration from UC Berkeley, Anita served as education director for the California Society for Addiction Medicine (CSAM) in San Francisco. Recently, Anita shared lived experiences related to her new role: “My younger brother Jerry tragically overdosed in late 2018 in a remote county where Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) was not on anyone’s radar. On a happier note, my mother Grace has been in recovery from a prescription drug substance use disorder for over 40 years, the last 25 with her Native American life partner, also in recovery. I look forward to using my educational and professional skills to enhance the Coalition’s life-saving work!”
April was Prescription Drug Take Back Month in Marin...but it's never too late to properly dispose of unwanted medication!
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reported that its National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day in April 2021 collected 829,543 pounds of unused, expired, and unwanted medications across the country.  When you safely dispose of unwanted, unneeded or expired meds, you keep them out of the hands of those who will misuse them. Safe drug disposal keeps toxins from entering waterways, stops accidental poisoning, overdoses and illegal abuse. 

Find a Safe Disposal Location near you  or  Order a Mail-Back Envelope


Safe Disposal Saves Lives 
HHS Releases New Buprenorphine Practice Guidelines,
Expanding Access to Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder
In an effort to get evidenced-based treatment to more Americans with opioid use disorder, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is releasing new buprenorphine practice guidelines that among other things, remove a longtime requirement tied to training, which some practitioners have cited as a barrier to treating patients with SUDs. Read more
We Can’t Wait for the Pandemic to End to Fight the Opioid Epidemic: Time to Redouble Efforts (Opinion written by US Senator Rob Portman, Ohio)
Drug-related opioid overdose deaths are surging during the coronavirus pandemic. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says fentanyl deaths rose nearly 40%, the largest spike of any drug. This deadly synthetic opioid is devastating individuals and families across the country.
The American Medical Association announced that more than 40 states reported an increase in opioid-related deaths during the pandemic. Policymakers are rightly focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccines, testing and other public health measures BUT we can’t ignore the growing opioid epidemic and risk it spiraling even further out of control. See full article hereRead more on this topic. 
Stigma Corner by Susan Kim, Vista AmeriCorps
Welcome to the Stigma Corner, where stigma is addressed and discussed so that people can begin to understand the negative impact stigma has on many aspects of society.  Stigma is the biggest barrier to treatment for substance use disorder (SUD) and as a society, we need to support and empathize with those suffering from SUD. Combatting stigma is an important tool in fighting the opioid crisis.  

This edition of Stigma Corner addresses substance use treatment in prisons and jails. There are 2.3 million Americans behind bars, equaling more than 1 in 100 adults incarcerated in state and federal prisons and local jails. Twenty percent of the prison population is nonviolent drug offenders. With over 600,000 men and women released from prison each year and more than 80% of those leaving state prisons being re-arrested, current strategies used by the justice system to achieve rehabilitation and increased public safety are simply not working,

Read Rehab or Jail? The Choice is Clear to learn more.

Explore More Stigma Blogs  - click links below to read past articles
  1. Is Stigma Stronger Than Safety – Ask an Inmate
  2. How to address Stigma Effectively? Considerations to Consider
  3. How Stigma Affects Substance Use Disorder: Treatment and Emergency Response   
  4. DRUG EPIDEMICS IN THE US – A Historical Perspective of Stigma
  5. Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones, and Names WILL Hurt Me: How Stigmatizing Language Hinders Treatment
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, May 2021 
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