Seventy-one percent of all drug poisoning deaths in Clark County are opioid related, according to data pulled earlier this year by Clark County Public Health. The Prevent Coalition aims to reduce the toll opioids are taking on our community by taking targeted action throughout April on awareness and prevention. The organization’s plans include:
- Partnering with Washington State Department of Social and Health Services on the statewide opioid campaign It Starts with One (getthefactsrx.com). The campaign is designed to inform and educate young adults, their parents, and older adults about the dangers of prescription drug misuse and the importance of safe storage, use, and disposal.
- Prevent Coalition, in partnership with eight partnering substance abuse prevention coalitions, is raising awareness in Clark, Skamania and Klickitat counties using this campaign’s messaging on social media and in newspaper and movie theater ads, as well as disseminating information with prescription opioids through pharmacies.
- Hosting Prevent Coalition’s spring coalition meeting on April 19: Community Conversations About Youth and Opioids in Clark County.
- The public forum will bring together community members and a panel of experts from public health, neuroscience, prevention, intervention and law enforcement to discuss the real issues with youth opioid use in Clark County and identify solutions for prevention and intervention.
- Panelists include: Adiba Ali, Epidemiologist with Clark County Public Health; Jim Jensen, Clinician with InAct, a program of Volunteers of America; Denise Livingston, Prevention Intervention Specialist with ESD 112; David Helgeson, Ph.D., MHP, CDP with Juvenile Recovery Court / School Based Services at Lifeline Connections and Gerardo Gutierrez School Resource Officer with Mountain View High School.
- The event is free and open to the public on Thursday, April 19, from 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at ESD 112 Conference Center (2500 NE 65th Ave Vancouver, WA 98661).
- The month’s focused and collaborative efforts culminate with five Drug Take Back events on April 28th at:
- PeaceHealth Southwest Urgent Care, 33rd & Main (S. Back Lot), Vancouver
- Kaiser Permanente Cascade Park, 12607 SE Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver
- Battle Ground Police Department, 507 SW 1st St., Battle Ground
- Washougal Silver Star Search & Rescue, 1220 A St., Washougal
- Skamania County Sheriff’s Office, 200 NW Vancouver Ave., Stevenson
“The first step in dealing with the opioid crises is awareness,” said Joy Lyons, Prevention Intervention Manager at ESD 112. “The bulk of our efforts in April are focused on starting those conversations, specifically how we can protect our youth.”