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Marin County has been ranked as the overall healthiest county in California by The County Health Ranking reports for the past five years. Conversely, the county has identified that prescription drug misuse and abuse, as well as drug poisoning mortalities are on the rise.
One in four Marin adults needs help for drug and alcohol misuse. Alarmingly, increasing numbers of children under 18 are following suit, easily accessing prescription narcotics in their homes or though peers in schools. In 2012, more people died in Marin from drug overdoses than of breast cancer or automobile crashes, and the majority of overdoses involved prescription drugs.
To address this issue, a cross-sector initiative, RxSafe Marin, has been established with the following goal: Marin County will reduce prescription drug misuse and abuse through measurable strategies and 12-month action plans that address factors across the continuum. “This issue touches so many in Marin, beyond those with personal or family experience,” observed Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis. “We feel that RxSafe Marin is breaking new ground by bringing together key voices from across the community – law enforcement, schools, community groups and medical personnel – to design some real solutions.”
Building on the work of community activists, the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Marin County District Attorney’s Office, the Marin County Public Defender’s Office, and the Marin County Office of Education each have officials co-leading RxSafe Marin Action Teams alongside families, youth, pharmacists and health providers.
RXSAFEMARIN © 2013