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RxSafe Marin Newsletter Volume 8 - Issue 4 - April 2020
In this Issue: Opioid Epidemic & Covid-19: When Pandemic & Epidemic Collided I CalFresh Response to Covid-19 I Helping Children Build Resiliency with Covid-19 I Crisis Text Line I California MAT Expansion Project I Stigmatizing Language is a Barrier to SUD Treatment
RxSafe Marin is a broad-based community coalition dedicated to reducing harm from prescription drug abuse and saving lives.
Opioid Epidemic and Covid-19 - When Pandemic & Epidemic Collided      
The Covid-19 pandemic is projected to be the largest mass casualty event in U.S. history but before coronavirus, a different epidemic—the opioid crisis—was killing 130 Americans every day. From 1999 to 2018, there were 446,032 opioid overdoseIs coronavirus a pandemic or an epidemic? | The Angry Grammarian deaths in the United States.
Data indicates that Covid-19 disproportionately affect socially marginalized persons like people with an opioid use disorder (OUD). There is grave concern that Covid-19 will increase opioid overdose death rates especially since persons with OUD are at higher risk for Covid-19 because of respiratory disorders caused by opioid use.
In a Politico.com article, President Trump’s top experts warned the coronavirus pandemic may derail the progress made fighting the opioid crisis. That progress is in jeopardy as social distancing rules and fears of the virus hamper OUD treatment efforts, including syringe exchange programs, peer counseling, and medication-assisted treatment. Click here to read more about how the coronavirus may hinder the fight against the Opioid Epidemic.  Follow this link to read Trump Officials, Health Experts Worry Coronavirus Will Set Back Opioid Fight at Politico.com


Take a deeper dive into the issue:  When Pandemic and Epidemic Collide. Follow one the links below. 
  1. Once The Coronavirus Pandemic Subsides, The Opioid Epidemic Will Rage
  2. Covid-19 Will Worsen the Opioid Overdose Crisis If We Don’t Prepare Now
  3. Collision of the COVID-19 and Addiction Epidemics  
"Your mask protects me and
                   my mask protects you."
RxSafe Marin wants to remind you to wear your mask or face covering when out in public. Face coverings, such as a mask or bandana, are now required in public for those over the age of 12.
For more information, visit Marin County Coronavirus - Masks and Face Coverings.
Please stay connected to daily Marin County Coronavirus updates Coronavirus in Marin County.
Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams, shares ways to create
your own face covering in a few easy steps.
CalFresh Response to COVID-19
CalFresh provides monthly food benefits to individuals and is the largest food program in California and provides an essential hunger safety net. Due to the high volume of newly unemployed workers resulting from Covid-19 pandemic, there are thousands of Californians who need help paying for essentials. CalFresh can help.
CalFresh has expanded existing programs and implemented additional food benefits, administrative flexibilities, and have partnered with local food banks to provide emergency food to help families temporarily unemployed due to Covid-19. Click here to read CalFresh response to Covid-19.
Click here to apply for CalFresh during Covid-19 or call 877-847-3663. Click here to find food assistance or local food bank
Youth Can Build Resiliency Coping with Covid-19
In these extraordinary times, parents and caregivers need to be aware of their children’s mental health. during the Covid-19 pandemic, some youth may show signs of anxiety or concern but will likely manage just fine with the support of parents and caregivers. But some youth may have more intense reactions, including severe anxiety or depression. Adolescence is a tough time to navigate, and the added weight of the Covid-19 quarantine, combined with the lack of stimulation and energy-release that attending school would normally provide can lead to a decline in mental health. Youth may need extra empathy and patience. Parents and caregivers coping with sheltering in place have a unique and rare opportunity to teach real-life skills about how to handle uncertainty and adapt to life-changing situations and emerge even stronger than before.
The Marin Healthy Youth Partnerships (MHYP) has compiled tips, articles, and resources parents and caregivers can utilize to help them support youth through this difficult time. Click here to access this important Marin Healthy Youth resource.
How is America Feeling?
As Covid-19 sweeps across the community, many are afraid for the health of ourselves and loved ones. People are forced to put their work and incomes on hold, homeschooling kids and everyone everywhere must stay away from social situations. It’s scary, isolating, and can be lonely. The Crisis Text Line is a free service that provides mental health support, 24/7 via text message.
The Covid-19 outbreak has caused shifts in how we communicate with one-another, and the words we use in those communications. Families can prioritize their mental health when feeling anxious and lonely by turning off Coronavirus news updates, connecting with friends by scheduling virtual hangouts, and reaching out for help by texting HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Text Line Crisis Counselor. Social distancing may be lonely, but you’re not alone. Click here for more info about the Crisis Text Line
California MAT Expansion Project Progress Report
To combat the opioid epidemic, the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) implemented the Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Expansion Project. The Project aims to increase access to MAT, reduce unmet treatment needs, and reduce opioid overdose-related deaths through the prevention, treatment, and recovery activities.  
Since 2017, over $7 million grant dollars were distributed in 55 of California’s 58 counties. With those monies, the MAT Expansion Project made significant accomplishments such as providing MAT to 22,000 new patients, distributed 244,428 naloxone kits which saved approximately 7,500 lives with the opioid overdose reversal medication, created 650 new access points where patients can receive treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD), trained 395 new providers to prescribe MAT, established 52 hospitals / ERs to provide referrals to OUD treatment for 2,340 individuals and expanded access to MAT in jails and drug courts in 29 counties, providing MAT in jails to 1,646. Click here to learn more about the California MAT Expansion Project or click here to read the California MAT Expansion Project Performance Progress Report
Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones, and Names WILL Hurt Me  
How Stigmatizing Language Hinders Treatment
Changing the stigma of substance use disorder will benefit everyone. It will allow people to regain their self-esteem, allow lawmakers to appropriate funding, allow doctors to treat without the disapproval of their peers, allow insurers to cover treatment, and help the public How Stigma Affects Substance Use Disorder: Treatment and Emergency Response   https://rxsafemarin.org/how-stigma-affects-substance-use-disorder-treatment-and-emergency-response/understand this is a medical condition as real as any other. Changing attitudes will take time, but we can change our vocabulary today. Through awareness, education, and conversation, we can bring addiction into the light, and choosing words carefully is one way we can make a difference to end stigma.
With careful attention to language, we can reduce the burden of stigma surrounding substance use disorders, improve access to health care for people with substance use disorders, and save lives. What we say, and how we say it, matters. Read more about choosing words to end stigma at RxSafeMarin.org

Stigma Archive
How Stigma Affects Substance Use Disorder: Treatment and Emergency Response   
DRUG EPIDEMICS IN THE US – A Historical Perspective of Stigma
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Looking for RxSafe, LLC, makers of the RxSafe 1800 and RxASP automation systems? Click here to visit their website http://rxsafe.com/, or email them info@rxsafe.com. Please note that RxSafe, LLC is not formally affiliated with RxSafe Marin.
RxSafe Marin Newsletter, April 2020
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