Monday, May 8, 2017

Solano [County] grand jury urges more be done about opioid abuses

FAIRFIELD — The Solano County grand jury issued a report Wednesday that states nearly 85 percent of county residents had been provided prescriptions for opioids in 2015.
The report noted there were 28 million opioid pills dispensed that year.
The grand jury noted a 2011-13 study of local schools found that nearly 25 percent of 11th-grade students in Fairfield self-reported using prescription medications for recreational purposes.
The report also mentions the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 50 opioid deaths in Solano County between 2009 and 2014, and that the California Department of Public Health recorded 56 deaths in Solano County due to opioid poisoning or suicide in 2013.
The report mentions an online state-operated database, the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES), that can be used by doctors and pharmacists to see if patients have multiple prescriptions. The report notes that of the more than 1,000 doctors and pharmacists in Solano County in 2015, none of them had used the database.
The report says the Sheriff-Coroner’s Office is not using available resources to identify and investigate opioid deaths within Solano County and should be using the CURES database. The report also says the Sheriff-Coroner’s Office should expand the investigation of opioid-related deaths.
The report also faults the Solano County Department of Health and Social Service for not having a coordinated response to the problem of opioid-related deaths and said the department should collaborate with the Solano County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office and that they should both urge the Board of Supervisors to form a committee to monitor, investigate and mitigate opioid abuse and deaths.
The report also recommended that Health and Social Services establish an effective year-round prescription drug take-back program.
May 4, 2017
Fairfield Daily Republic
By Jess Sullivan

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