The Drug Safe Solano was founded in Fall of 2018 with a generous grant for start up funding and continued support from MedMark Treatment Centers in Fairfield. The Solano Coalition for Better Health took the lead and formed this coalition, originally named the Solano Opioid Safety Coalition. In September 2019, Drug Safe Solano transitioned to join Touro University California. They will be working closely with other partners to empower communities to respond to the challenges of the opiate epidemic.
The Solano Coalition has successfully brought together a motivated multidisciplinary team to address opioid addiction issues in our community. Strategies are currently in development to improve opioid addiction, prevention, safety, and treatment efforts.
Furthermore, the coalition is a member of the Expanding Medication-Assisted Treatment in the Jails Learning Collaborative that started in August 2018. Members of the collaborative include the Sheriff’s office, the courts, probation, Drug Safe Solano and the County Administrators office.
As DSS looks at long-term sustainability of the Coalition, the need for programmatic continuity is imperative. In August 2019, DSS moved from the Solano County Coalition for Better Health to Touro University California (TUC). The transition of DSS to TUC is in alignment with the TUC mission to train primary care providers that serve in underserved communities with a foundation in social justice. For more information about Touro , click here.
Mission and Vision
The mission of Drug Safe Solano is threefold:
1. We seek to decrease the stigma of addiction, serve as a resource for patients and professionals, and increase public education of the opioid crisis and the use of naloxone.
2. We are committed to saving lives by preventing opioid overdoses and deaths through reducing the number of opioid prescriptions and the safe disposal of prescription opioids.
3. We will work to expand access to Medication Assisted Treatment and other forms of treatment, both in inpatient and outpatient settings.
All Solano county residents have equitable access to opportunities that enable them to lead healthy lives within a safe and healthy community free of misuse of drugs.
- Lower opioid prescription rates
- Increase access to MAT and outpatient treatment and resources
- Increase naloxone availability in the community and to first responders
- Increase awareness about opioid addiction in the community and with medical providers
- Secure funding to sustain the Opioid Coalition and its project activities
- Built a 40-member coalition that includes representatives from the county’s four healthcare systems, eight federally qualified health centers, largest ambulance service, independent pharmacies, county substance abuse services, jail, drug courts, county medical and dental societies, and Touro University, as well as the county’s hub and spoke Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) facility (including MedMark), Medi-Cal (Medicaid) administrator, and public health department.
- Developed action teams focusing on preventing and reducing the numbers of opioid prescriptions, increasing access to Medication–AssistedTreatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder, enhancing the distribution of the lifesaving drug Naloxone, and training various professional groups such as physicians and first responders.
- Provided educational training for the community, including one at the Fairfield Civic Center Library on April 1st, 2019 and one at the Benicia Public Library on August 19th, 2019, about the opioid epidemic and resources for the community with plans to reach out to all the libraries.
- Earned multiple grants — including one to participate on the California Opioid Safety Network Accelerator Program, which allows access to subject matter experts in the field — as well as monthly coaching calls and state-wide resources such as webinars, tool kits, and opportunities to learn from 32 other counties participating in the program. This grant also provides funding for an AmeriCorps VISTA worker to help support and expand our coalition capacity and our activities to combat the opioid epidemic.
- On July 23rd, the Solano County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the expansion of medication-assisted treatment into Solano County Jails. This program will help inmates who have an opioid addiction be managed safely and with compassion. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder typically involves the use of a medicine called Buprenorphine to take away the cravings that result with the withdrawal of the opioid, allowing the person to work on positive behavioral changes.
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