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Lassen County Times
Susanville, California
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March 8, 2016     Lassen County Times
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March 8, 2016
 

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Lassen County Times, Westwood PinePress Tuesday, March 8, 2016 78 Lassen County agencies are participating with Coalition. Graphics submitted Lassen County agencies are participating with Plumas, Sierra and Modoc in the development of the Northern Sierra Opioid Safety Coalition. The Northern Sierra Opioid Safety Coalition is committed to reducing oPioids prescribed in Lassen County by 15 percent over the next three years. The coalition is dedicated to making meaningful change in the practice of opioid overuse and abuse in our community. The coalition is dedicated to the ensuring providers receive continuing education on safe prescribing procedures and Coalition aims Delaine Fragnoli Staff Writer .dfragnoli@plumasnews.com It's not often that Plumas ranks number one in anything. But the disturbing reality is that from 2008 to 2012, the county had the highest death rate in the state from prescription opioid overdoses. In 2013, Plumas had the highest rate of opioid-related emergency visits: 63 per 100,000, far ahead of number- two Humboldt County, at 43 per 100,000. The Plumas County Public Health Agency calls the misuse of opioids "an epidemic." Funded by a grant, the agency is leading a four- county coalition, called the Northern Sierra Opioid Safety Coalition, to tackle the problem head on. In addition to Plumas, the coalition includes Lassen, Sierra and Modoc counties. Information on this issue from the Lassen County Public Health Department was not available at deadline. Representatives from the four counties met with other healthcare partners in late January for a kick-off meeting. Since then, the; group has divided into three action teams, which will meet monthly as the effort moves forward, according to James Wilson, a health education specialist for Plumas County. Each action team focuses on a proven intervention strategy: promoting safe prescribing practices; increasing access to medication-assisted addiction treatment; and increasing access to Naloxone, a life-saving opi0id blocker that reverses the effects of an overdose. "There is no question, you will save lives," said Dr. Matt Willis, a guest speaker at the kickoff. The three-prong approach is "super high yield." J Plumas, Sierra and Modoc in the development of the Northern Sierra Opioid Safety alternative treatment resources. Lassen County is simultaneously collaborating with many community agencies in the newly developed Lassen Healthcare Collaborative in coordination with Partnership Healthplan of California to identify and address health disparities faced by Lassen County residents. Between the coordinated efforts of both groups, it is anticipated a noticeable improvement in our community's ability to ensure safe practices iri pain management. to save lives Average l 'Lassen That's enough opiolds for ......... : every man, woman and tO medicate themselves around the clock for ~!~ ~2:~ weeks each year. ~z