Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) and Dr. Chris Farnitano, the county’s health officer, issued a health advisory Tuesday regarding the continuing epidemic of prescription opioid abuse.
The Contra Costa Board of Supervisors also proclaimed March to be Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness Month at its meeting Tuesday.
The actions are part of a national effort to draw attention to an epidemic that causes thousands of deaths every year across the country.
CCHS works closely with local medical providers and community partners to combat the prevalence and misuse of opioid painkillers such as hydrocodone (Norco), oxycodone (OxyContin) and fentanyl.
The health advisory, available at cchealth.org/providers, urges all local medical providers to follow the prescribing guidelines developed by the Alameda-Contra Costa Medical Association and already in use at all county hospitals and urgent care clinics.
The advisory also urges wider use of Naloxone, a drug that can reverse life-threatening opioid overdoses, and identifies resources for safe prescribing, safe disposal and treatment in Contra Costa.
Up-to-date information about California’s opioid epidemic, including county statistics for deaths, overdose-related visits to emergency departments and per-capita prescriptions for opioid medications, is available through the California Department of Public Health’s Opioid Overdose Surveillance Dashboard.