Safe Prescribing Practices Save Lives

Prescription drug misuse and abuse is a complex social problem that requires us to work collaboratively, in an attempt to address the many interconnected clinical, behavioral and underlying social issues. Because Contra Costa Health Services Department recognizes that a comprehensive approach is necessary, we are working together in an integrated manner combining our expertise and resources to effectively and efficiently respond to the Opioid Crisis.

Monitoring Prescribing Rates

There were 704,647 prescriptions for opioids in Contra Costa in 2017 (excluding buprenorphine, a treatment drug). The annual prescribing rate during that period was 614.1 per 1,000 residents. This represents a 14% decrease in prescribing from 2015. The following chart presents the opioid prescribing rate from 2008 to 2017.

Additional Resources

These guidelines should be used for treating acute pain in the emergency department and urgent care settings.

Click here to learn more.


NIDA provides comprehensive information about drugs of abuse, emerging trends, drug abuse prevention strategies, adolescent brain cognitive development, the neuroscience of addiction and the latest science related to substance abuse treatment:

  • Commonly Abused Drug and Withdrawal Symptoms
  • Emerging Trends and Alerts
  • Easy to Read Drug Facts
  • Education Materials for Download/Print

Click here to learn more.

The CDC Opioid Fact Sheet for Patients


Prescribing guidelines and practices for treating acute pain that patients should be aware of and supportive of. 

  • Implementation Checklist – Safe Prescribing Guidelines for EDs and Urgent Care Facilities
  • “Best Practices Toolkit”
  • The Providers Clinical Support System (PCSS)

Click here to learn more.

Health plan toolkit: CHCF and Manatt Health, in collaboration with Smart Care California, created a toolkit for health plans executing opioid safety initiatives. It includes practical tools, best practices, and real-world success stories combined with a straightforward step-by-step approach.

Primary care toolkit: The California Improvement Network created this toolkit to help organizations integrate substance use disorder treatment into primary care teams, with proven strategies and best practices to expand care team capability.

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