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A year in review: Since launching on Overdose Awareness Day 2022, CareOregon, counties have distributed more than 60,000 doses of Naloxone to community organizations

Aug 31, 2023, 15:56 PM

Last year on Aug. 31, Overdose Awareness Day, CareOregon joined with Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties to announce a new effort to distribute overdose reversal drug Naloxone to community settings. CareOregon’s $3.9 million investment covered the costs of harm reduction kits that were distributed by the counties to organizations in their communities—making this lifesaving drug available at no cost to community members.  

Between August 2022 and August 2023, more than 60,000 doses of Naloxone were distributed community partner organizations, including law enforcement, substance use disorder and mental health treatment facilities and other social services to combat the rise of overdose related deaths in the region.

Community partners have reported that access to Naloxone has prompted an effective overdose response.

Staff at City Central Concern, for example, have noted that in the six months prior to this distribution implementation (June – December 2022), Naloxone was administered by residents, staff or guests in 52% of reported known or suspected overdose events in their housing portfolio. In the six months since distribution (January – June 2023), that percentage has increased to 75%.

"Having accessible Naloxone on every floor of our housing complexes has already made an impact on overdose response within our housing portfolio,” said Juliana DePietro, Overdose Prevention Program Manager at Central City Concern. “It’s saving lives.

The program also included policy development and staff training at receiving organizations, so they would be prepared to use the medication.

“Having access to Naloxone is an essential part of keeping our patients and staff safe while they’re in our clinic and when they’re in the community,” said Kayla Carlson, Senior Manager of Clinical Operations at Fora Health.

“Naloxone is now easily accessible throughout our clinic, and we frequently train staff on it. Every patient who leaves our services receives a kit, and anyone who walks through our doors can take Naloxone home with them. Our goal is to create a space where patients feel supported and not stigmatized, and with the Naloxone donation we received, we have been able to accomplish that.”

Making Naloxone visible and accessible in communities is also critical to reducing stigma around drug use and overdose. Partners have noted that having Naloxone visible has prompted supportive conversations around drug use and overdose risk. These conversations can help to prevent drug use in isolation, a significant risk factor for fatal overdose.

Fentanyl-related overdose deaths in Oregon increased 600% between 2019 and 2021, according to a review of unintentional drug overdose and death certificate data by the Oregon Health Authority. The surge in fentanyl fatalities is driving overall overdose rates to the highest levels ever seen.

In response to the sharp increase in the number of overdose deaths over the past few years, CareOregon announced in 2022 a new partnership with Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties to urgently deliver thousands of doses of the overdose reversal drug Naloxone and other harm reduction supplies to community settings. The aim of the initial $3 million investment was to distribute 20,000 doses of nasal Naloxone and 20,000 of harm reduction kits—the program has since expanded to become a $3.9 million investment distributing more than 60,000 doses of Naloxone.

“No barrier access to Naloxone kits is lifesaving,” said Stacie Andoniadis, Substance Use Disorder Program manager for CareOregon. “They are going into the hands of the people who need it most. Accessibility changes the culture around Naloxone—more law enforcement and security teams are requesting it and more EMS leave it behind with patients. This is exactly what we need to reduce and prevent fatal overdoses.”

Participating partner organizations:

Health Systems / EDs / EMS

  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Legacy Health
  • OHSU Improving Addiction Care Team (IMPACT)
  • OHSU ED
  • Portland Fire and Rescue – CHAT Program
  • Adventist Health System

County Programs

  • Clackamas County Public Health
  • Multnomah County Health Department Harm Reduction Program
  • Multnomah County Health Department Sexual Transmitted Disease (STD) Program
  • Multnomah County Library Location Services
  • Multnomah County/DCHS/Long Term Services and Supports (LTCC)
  • Multnomah County Health Department – Integrated Behavioral Health and Addictions
  • Multnomah County Department of Community Justice
  • Multnomah County, ODHS District 2, Child Welfare & Self Sufficiency Programs
  • Washington County Disability, Aging and Veteran Services
  • Washington County Encampment Management Program
  • Washington County (Facilities, Fleet & Parks)
  • Washington County Homeless Services Division
  • Washington County Supportive Housing Services Program
  • Clackamas County Behavioral Health Mobile Crisis Team
  • Clackamas County Get Trained to Help Suicide Prevention Team
  • Clackamas County Public Health Vaccine Clinics
  • Clackamas County Milwaukie Library
  • Clackamas Women's Services

Law Enforcement / Corrections

  • Portland Police Bureau
  • Multnomah County Sheriff's Office - Patrol / Outreach
  • Multnomah County Sheriff's Office - MCDC Programs/Counseling
  • Multnomah County HD/Corrections Health/Transition Services Program (TSP)
  • Washington County Sheriff's Office
  • Washington County Jail
  • City of Beaverton Police Department
  • Clackamas County Sheriff's Office
  • Clackamas County Jail

Schools

  • Multnomah Education Service District
  • Portland Public Schools
  • Linfield University, Portland Campus
  • OHSU School of Nursing
  • La Salle

SUD/Mental Health Treatment, Other Social Service

  • 4th Dimension Recovery Center
  • Alano Club of Portland / Project RED
  • Blanchet House of Hospitality
  • Bridges to Change
  • CareKitBloc Team
  • CareOregon
  • Central City Concern
  • CODA - OP
  • CODA-OTP
  • Community of Mutual Aid Volunteers
  • Family Justice Center of Washington County
  • Fora Health Treatment and Recovery
  • Forest Grove Foundation
  • Home Forward
  • Iron Tribe Network
  • Juntos
  • Lift Urban Portland (Lift UP)
  • Lifeworks NW - Substance Use Services
  • Northwest Instituto Latino
  • Mental Health and Addiction Association of Oregon (MHAAO)
  • Morrison Child and Family Services
  • Mountainview Christian Church
  • Native Wellness Institute
  • NARA NW, Inc. (Native American Rehabilitation Association)
  • Need 4 Narcan: Join Our Mission
  • New Narrative
  • New Avenues for Youth
  • Northwest Instituto Latino
  • Northwest Treatment
  • Outside In
  • Oxford House Inc.
  • Portland Street Medicine
  • Quest Center for Integrative Health
  • Rahab's Sisters
  • Recovery Works NW
  • Right to Dream 2
  • R.R.C.S. (Resolute Recovery Community Services)
  • S.A.C.O.O. (Smali American Council of Oregon)
  • Sequoia Mental Health
  • Street Books
  • Telecare ACT
  • Tigard Comprehensive Treatment Center
  • Tualatin Together
  • Volunteers of America Oregon
  • Wallace Medical Concern
  • Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic
  • Adult & Teen Challenge
  • Oregon Chinese Coalition
  • Bottle Drop Chicks
  • Phoenix Rising
  • BSA Scout Troop Oregon City
  • The Father's Heart
  • Chinese Friendship Association of Portland
  • Timberlake Job Corps
  • City Auto Wholesale
  • Todos Juntos
  • Living Room
  • Transcending Hope
  • Love One
  • Slavic Community Center of NW

 

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