A woman overdosing on opioids was rescued by Humboldt Bay Fire and City Ambulance paramedics equipped with Narcan last month at the Eureka Gazebo. Photo: Andrew Goff.


Press release from Rx Safe Humboldt:

Recent Data Shows a Decline in Opioid Overdose Rates 2018 data from the California Opioid OverdoseSurveillance Dashboard from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) indicate a decline in opioid overdose deaths in Humboldt County. The Humboldt 2018 overdose death rate is 10.52 per 100,000 residents, down from the 2017 rate of 21.03. Humboldt currently has the 11th highest rate of opioid overdose deaths among California counties (an improvement on the 2017 ranking, in which Humboldt had the 2nd highest rate in the state). The County saw a decline in overdose rate even as the California rate slightly increased from 5.22 (2017) to 5.54 (2018).

“We are pleased that the data demonstrates declining opioid overdose rates in our community” says Rosemary Den Ouden, Chair of the RxSafe Humboldt Coalition. “While there is still work ahead of us, the data is beginning to reflect the impact of the multi-pronged approach our coalition, partners, and the community have taken to address the opioid epidemic in Humboldt County.”

RxSafe Humboldt is Humboldt County’s opioid safety coalition. Founded in 2013, the coalition is focused on providing safer care and better outcomes to address diagnosis and treatment of chronic and acute pain, and developing strategies to minimize misuse and diversion of prescription pain medications. With robust local participation, the Coalition currently has a broad membership across medical, law enforcement, social service, public health, treatment, and behavioral health sectors. Collectively and through aligned efforts, the coalition and partners have engaged in activities to address opioid overdose. Some of these include:

Distribution of naloxone through the RxSafe Humboldt Naloxone Distribution and Training Workgroup and the Humboldt Area Center for Harm Reduction.

Data from January 2018-July 2019 indicates that:

  • 4,765 naloxone kits have been distributed
  • 438 reported overdose reversals have been reported

Supporting 12 medication disposal sites throughout Humboldt County, which collect thousands of pounds of unused opioid and other medication annually

Development of Multi-media community education campaigns to address medication safety, overdose prevention, and alternative pain management strategies, including stopoverdosehumboldt.org

The efforts of RxSafe Humboldt and Partners, along with many other initiatives and organizations, are proactive steps to address the opioid epidemic in Humboldt County.

For more detail about RxSafe Humboldt or the California Opioid Surveillance Dashboard data, please visit: RxSafeHumboldt.org