Throughout the past year we highlighted various Opioid Heroes of the Month within our county, with many of them still actively working to mitigate the opioid epidemic. We spoke with physicians from specialties such as Emergency Medicine and Family Medicine. We talked to clinical leaders and substance use navigators. Time and time again each one of these individuals discussed the impact of the opioid epidemic in their fields, and their motivations for wanting to tackle the issues individuals with substance use disorder struggle with. Many of these inspirational stories emphasized the importance of becoming involved in a meaningful way, yet the path to involvement is not always clear. Below we have listed some information and resources to help you help your community by combating the opioid epidemic.
If you are someone who is interested in getting involved in the efforts against the opioid epidemic, here are some ways to do so:
- Find local organizations in your city or county that work to decrease fatalities from opioid use disorder, or look to provide harm reduction services.
- The Safe Project provides a plethora of information and resources for those wanting to get involved, as well as for finding support for those struggling with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD).
- The Harm Reduction Institute (HRI) was founded by 2 of our previous Opioid Heroes, Mahan Naeim & Dr. Banimahd. They provide a number of resources that can reduce the risks involved with opioid use, such as fentanyl strips and naloxone. They are located in Santa Ana and are always looking for volunteers to help with their narcan distribution.
- Be Well OC brings together a robust, community-based, cross-sector strategy to create a community-wide ecosystem to support those with mental health and substance use disorders.
- Transitions Clinic Network is a national network of medical homes for individuals with chronic health conditions recently released from incarceration. Many of these individuals suffer from substance use disorders and often face significant barriers to healthcare.
- Stay Informed!
- Follow reliable pages and organizations that provide accurate, up to date information on research and news related to opioids.
- The most reliable resource on substance use is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. They are a leading organization and part of the US Department of Health and Human Services, which advocates and provides public health efforts in improving the behavioral health of individuals. You can find them at their website https://www.samhsa.gov/, and news on their Twitter .
- A state-level organization with similar reliability is the CA Bridge Program, who are continually finding innovative methods to improve access to treatment for people who use drugs. Based in Oakland, California, the CA bridge program’s goal is to ensure every hospital in California can provide evidence-based care for those struggling with substance use disorder through low-barrier programs and treatments that eliminate the need for unnecessary tests and ensure immediate attention to the patients in need. The CA Bridge Program frequently holds webinars and presentations on how different hospitals have strategized their approach to reducing risks associated with opioid use. These topics include how to setup naloxone distributions or obtaining fentanyl strips. Feel free to check them out at their website https://cabridge.org/, and follow them at their Twitter.
- For county level information feel free to follow us at https://twitter.com/SafeRxOC and keep up to date with information on our website, https://www.saferxoc.org/.
- Join the Discussion!
- Start a conversation with peers, colleagues, and leadership figures in your community about opioid use. If you know someone who uses opioids, make sure they stay informed of the risks and have the resources to use safely.
Opioid Hero of the Month: