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CDPH Awarded CDC Grant to Prevent Opioid Overdoses 

Date: 9/2/2015 
Number: 15-064 
Contact: Anita Gore, Orville Thomas (916) 440-7259 

SACRAMENTO – California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith today announced the department has been awarded more than $3,700,000 over four years to enhance the state’s multi-agency effort to prevent deaths and injuries caused by opioid misuse. 

“Prescription opioid misuse can hurt anyone who has access to these medications, as well as their families and loved ones,” said Dr. Smith. “People often associate drug abuse with illegal drugs, but this effort targets the misuse of drugs that were prescribed for pain management.” 

This grant will be used to help improve safe prescribing of opioid painkillers. 

California is one of only 16 states to receive this prevention-strategy funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

In 2013, more than 16,000 people died from prescription opioid overdoses in the U.S. In that same year, there were 4,318 deaths from drug poisonings in California alone. The majority was from prescription medications, with opioids being the mostly frequently prescribed. 

In 2014, California formed the Prescription Opioid Misuse and Overdose Prevention Workgroup, bringing together state departments to alert health care providers, pharmacists and the public of this epidemic. CDPH developed the grant application with support from this workgroup, and will partner with the Department of Justice and the Department of Health Care Services, with assistance by the University of California Davis Medical Center, the California HealthCare Foundation and the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

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