SafeRx Santa Cruz County (SafeRx) is a local substance use safety coalition comprised of social service, government, behavioral health, and healthcare organizations dedicated to aligning and accelerating best practices for opioids and other substances, as well as current best practice guidelines to reduce death. SafeRx works
towards a healthy, thriving, safe, equitable Santa Cruz County through prevention, increased treatment access (particularly with proven-effective and promising
medications for treating substance use), and evidence-based, harm reduction practices, to improve community well-being and save lives.
SafeRx Santa Cruz County
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic those living with addiction will inevitably experience increased levels of isolation and stress. Please keep in mind that our response to the opioid epidemic has been hindered by physical distancing policies and increased barriers to SUD care. Sam Quinones has written about the grace that will be needed from all of us during these times. To see his article on grace for those living with addiction please visit the following website.
History of SafeRx
SafeRx was originally brought together with funding from the California Health Care Foundation in November of 2015 to decrease opioid-related misuse and deaths by focusing on three federal priority areas:
Safer prescribing practices
Improved access to medication-assisted substance use disorder treatment
Increased availability of overdose reversal medication (Naloxone, Narcan)
Today, SafeRx is maintained through funding from the California Public Health Department, Janus' Hub and Spoke grant, and Santa Cruz County Substance Use Disorder Services Prevention Division. Rooted in the unique concept of opioid failure (the medications have failed the patient; the patient has not failed the treatment), SafeRx continues to address the local opioid epidemic.
The Steering Committee meets quarterly to help keep work groups on track
and provide guidance and support to initiative leads in meeting their goals.
Prescriber Practices Initiative
to develop resources for addressing the 3 federal priority areas: supporting safe prescribing, increasing access to MAT, and increasing access to Naloxone
to develop a community dashboard with accurate, relevant, and easily tracked data
Community Education Initiative
to develop and publicize patient and community education messaging around prescription medication safety