Recent Events

Fentanyl Awareness Event at Pine Hollow Middle School in Concord, California

February 29, 2024: The Contra Costa County MEDS Coalition presented at the Fentanyl Awareness event at Pine Hollow Middle School in Concord, California, with the goal of bringing fentanyl awareness and education to parents and students. The coalition representatives, Ms. Mariella Sanding and Mr. Darris Thomas, provided valuable information and resources about fentanyl, the local risk of fentanyl in Contra Costa County, and resources to help keep the youth of Contra Costa County safe from fentanyl and fentanyl-laced products. The MEDS Coalition distributed ___ Narcan kits to parents and families at the event.

Mount Diablo Unified School District Issues Resolution Recognizing March as "Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness Month".

February 21, 2024: The Mount Diablo Unified School District issued Resolution 23/24-29 recognizing the month of March as “Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness Month” at their board meeting. Mount Diablo Unified School District has been supporting this issue with annual resolutions since the 2020-21 school year. Read the resolution below. 

City of Antioch Unhoused Resource Fair at Nick Rodriguez Community Center in Antioch, California

February 2, 2024: The Contra Costa County MEDS Coalition presented at the City of Antioch’s Unhoused Resource Fair in Antioch, California, with the goal of bringing fentanyl awareness and education to participants and attendees. The coalition representatives, Ms. Mariella Sanding and Mr. Darris Thomas, provided valuable information and resources about fentanyl and xylazine, the local risk of fentanyl and xylazine in Contra Costa County, and resources to help keep the unhoused communities and individuals of Antioch safe from fentanyl and fentanyl-laced products. The MEDS Coalition distributed 34 Narcan kits, 58 xylazine test strips, and 66 fentanyl test strips to participants at the event.

Fentanyl Awareness Event at Oak Grove Middle School in Concord, California

February 1, 2024: The Contra Costa County MEDS Coalition presented at the Fentanyl Awareness event at Oak Grove Middle School in Concord, California, with the goal of bringing fentanyl awareness and education to parents and students. The coalition representatives, Ms. Mariella Sanding and Mr. Darris Thomas, provided valuable information and resources about fentanyl, the local risk of fentanyl in Contra Costa County, and resources to help keep the youth of Contra Costa County safe from fentanyl and fentanyl-laced products. The MEDS Coalition distributed 82 Narcan kits to parents and families at the event.

End of Year Wrap-Up: Accomplishments in 2023

January 5, 2024: We had a very busy year in 2023, giving many presentations in the community as well as at many local high schools throughout Contra Costa County. We distributed over 1,500 Narcan overdose rescue kits and tabled at numerous community events throughout Contra Costa County. We gave over 40 educational presentations to schools, recovery centers, health clinics, public libraries, and more (both in-person and virtually). Additionally, we grew our social media following and spread education and prevention awareness throughout Contra Costa County. 

December Coalition Meeting With Dr. Veronica Madrigal of the Contra Costa Pharmacists Association

December 14, 2023: We would like to thank Dr. Veronica Madrigal of the Contra Costa Pharmacists Association for her informative presentation entitled “A Pharmacist’s Role in Treatment and Prevention of OUD” at our monthly coalition meeting. Her presentation highlighted the various practice settings where pharmacists can help prevent opioid overdoses, the barriers to naloxone use, naloxone access and furnishing by community pharmacies, the similarities and differences between over-the-counter naloxone nasal spray and Opvee nasal spray, and so much more. 

Fentanyl Awareness Event at Mount Diablo High School in Concord, California

December 12, 2023: The Contra Costa County MEDS Coalition presented at the Fentanyl Awareness event at Mount Diablo High School in Concord, California, with the goal of bringing fentanyl awareness and education to parents and students. The coalition representatives, Ms. Mariella Sanding and Mr. Darris Thomas, provided valuable information and resources about fentanyl, the local risk of fentanyl in Contra Costa County, and resources to help keep the youth of Contra Costa County safe from fentanyl and fentanyl-laced products. The MEDS Coalition distributed 90 Narcan kits to parents and families at the event.  

Fentanyl Awareness Event at Northgate High School in Walnut Creek, California

November 15, 2023: The Contra Costa County MEDS Coalition presented at the Fentanyl Awareness event at Northgate High School in the suburban Northgate neighborhood of Walnut Creek, California, with the goal of bringing fentanyl awareness and education to parents and students. The coalition representatives, Ms. Mariella Sanding and Mr. Darris Thomas, provided valuable information and resources about fentanyl, the local risk of fentanyl in Contra Costa County, and resources to help keep the youth of Contra Costa County safe from fentanyl and fentanyl-laced products.

Additional speakers included organizations and agencies like:

  • Contra Costa County Office of Education Tobacco Use Prevention Education (CCCOE TUPE)
  • Mr. Timothy Grayson, the Assembly Member for the 15th District and former Mayor of Concord (2014-2015)
  • Representatives from the Walnut Creek Police Department
  • Mr. Ryan Rezaei from the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force of the United States Attorney’s office in San Francisco
  • Carson’s Wings of Hope
  • Student representatives from Northgate High School and Ygnacio Valley High School. 
  • Kimberly Moore, the PFC 1st Vice President for Northgate High School

The goal was to bring prescription drug safety and education to parents and families of the suburban Northgate neighborhood, the city of Walnut Creek, and the Mount Diablo Unified School District region. The MEDS Coalition distributed 75 Narcan kits to parents and families at the event.  

37th Annual GRIP Harmony Walk at Nicholl Park in Richmond, California

October 28, 2023: The Contra Costa County MEDS Coalition provided an educational tabling with overdose rescue training and free Narcan rescue kits to over 20 attendees at GRIP’s Annual Harmony Walk at Nicholl Park in Richmond, California.

GRIP, which stands for Greater Richmond Interfaith Program, is a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic coalition of congregations from various faiths working together as a diverse and inclusive coalition dedicated to helping those of the West Contra Costa County communities in need to transition to self-sufficiency. 

Mariella Sanding gives an educational tabling at GRIP Harmony Walk in Richmond, California
 

Domestic Violence & Prescription Drug Abuse in Contra Costa County

October 13, 2023:  In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, our AmeriCorps VISTA Darris Thomas gave a presentation that analyzed the relationship between prescription drug abuse and domestic violence, and the local impact of this relationship here in Contra Costa County at our annual monthly coalition meeting. You can read the slideshow presentation here.

Here are some of the highlights of his presentation

Read the report from the Contra Costa Alliance to End Abuse here. 

Fentanyl Awareness Event at College Park High School in Pleasant Hill, California

September 28, 2023: The Contra Costa County MEDS Coalition presented at the Fentanyl Awareness event at College Park High School in Pleasant Hill, California, to bring fentanyl awareness and education to parents and students. The coalition representatives, Ms. Mariella Sanding and Mr. Darris Thomas, provided valuable information and resources about fentanyl, the local risk of fentanyl in Contra Costa County, and resources to help keep the youth of Contra Costa County safe from fentanyl and fentanyl-laced products. Additional speakers included organizations and agencies like Carson’s Wings of Hope, CCCOE TUPE (Tobacco Use Prevention Education), the Pleasant Hill Police Department, and the student representatives from Concord High School, Northgate High School, Mount Diablo High School, and Ygnacio Valley High School. The goal was to bring prescription drug safety and education to parents and families of the Pleasant Hill area and the Mount Diablo Unified School District region. The MEDS Coalition distributed 52 Narcan kits to parents and families at the event. 

Mariella Sanding gives a presentation on fentanyl to parents and students at College Park High School.
 
 
 
Darris Thomas provides information on fentanyl to the parent of students at College Park High School.

Live Well Senior Resource Fair at Alcosta Senior & Community Center in San Ramon, California

September 28, 2023: The Contra Costa County MEDS Coalition presented at the Live Well Senior Resource Fair at the Alcosta Senior & Community Center in San Ramon, California, to bring prescription drug safety education and awareness to senior citizens of the San Ramon Valley area. The coalition representatives, Ms. Mariella Sanding and Mr. Darris Thomas, provided valuable information and resources about prescription drug safety education and awareness in Contra Costa County. The event drew over 80 community members and dozens of public agencies and community-based organizations throughout Contra Costa County. The coalition representatives distributed 15 Narcan kits to attendees and community members at the event. 

Nestled on the hills of San Ramon, the Alcosta Senior & Community Center is an active independent activity center for adults ages 55 and older. It is a place for all people to participate, establish relationships, and share similar interests with others in a friendly environment. Click here to learn more about the Alcosta Senior & Community Center. 

Mariella Sanding & Darris Thomas are providing information on prescription drug abuse and Narcan kits to participants at the Live Well Senior Resource Fair in San Ramon, California. 

Fentanyl Awareness Event at Meadow Homes Elementary School in Concord, California

September 21, 2023: The Contra Costa County MEDS Coalition presented at the Fentanyl Awareness event at Meadow Homes Elementary School in Concord, California. Additional speakers included organizations and agencies like Carson’s Wings of Hope, CCCOE TUPE (Tobacco Use Prevention Education), the Concord Police Department, and the student representatives from Concord High School, Northgate High School, Mount Diablo High School, and Ygnacio Valley High School. The goal was to bring prescription drug safety and education to parents and families of the Concord area and the Mount Diablo Unified School District region. The event reached about 60 community members, and 44 Narcan kits were distributed to parents and community members. 

A panel of high school students from Concord High School, Northgate High School, Mount Diablo High School, and Ygnacio Valley High School answer questions about their schools’ climate as it pertains to fentanyl use and awareness. 

4th of July Parade

Thanks to our Youth Ambassadors and other adult volunteers for spreading awareness during the annual 4th of July Parade in Danville!  Announcements regarding the MEDS Coalition and NCAPDA’s life saving services were made along the parade path. 

Unity in the Community

Thank you to Bay Point Community All-N-One for inviting us to the annual Unity in the Community Event on 6/24! With the help of our volunteer, we were able to train 40 community members on how to reverse an overdose and equip them with Narcan kits! 

Sweep Away Stigma

On May 3rd, the MEDS Coalition had the wonderful opportunity to table at Connections House’s Annual Sweep Away Stigma Event in Concord. The event is held in hopes of breaking down stigma related to mental health. At the event, we were able to provide 35 overdose rescue trainings and Narcan kits! Thank you to Connections House for the opportunity to be out in the community. 

Child Abuse Prevention

NCAPDA tabled at the Exchange Club of San Ramon Valley’s annual Child Abuse Prevention event in Danville on 4/29th.  Child safety tips along with NCAPDA’s overdose rescue training and Narcan were provided to parents.  Child fingerprinting was available and kids enjoyed the petting zoos and opportunity to tour a very big fire engine!  

Oakley Out of Darkness Walk

The Out of the Darkness Community Walk is a journey of remembrance, hope, and support. It unites our communities and provides an opportunity to acknowledge the ways in which suicide and mental health conditions have affected our lives and the lives of those we love and care about.

image of the CCC MEDS table at the Oakley walk

San Ramon Run for Education

The Run for Education is a tradition in the San Ramon Valley spanning 39 years and is the primary fundraising activity for the San Ramon Valley Education Foundation (SRVEF), a non-profit organization that supports and promotes education in partnership with the San Ramon Valley Unified School District. The only event in the San Ramon Valley that includes participants, volunteers and spectators from all 36 San Ramon Valley Unified School District (SRVUSD) schools, representing the communities of Alamo, Danville and San Ramon, the Run for Education is also the largest run that supports education in Northern California.

Thank you to our volunteers for tabling and making this event possible!

Contra Costa International Overdose Awareness Day 2022

Thank you to everyone who attended our International Overdose Awareness Day Event on 8/27 at Chichibu Park in Antioch. Thank you to our providers and community members for helping us create a space for the community to remember loved ones lost to overdose. 

Thank you to our resource partners AMR, BAART Programs, Contra Costa Crisis Center, Contra Costa County MEDS Coalition, East County DROC, La Clinica TRUCHA, La Familia, MADD, NCAPDA, UJIMA for providing the community with education and local resources.

ACE Hardware: Get the "Tools" Around Fentanyl and Overdose Prevention

CCC MEDS and the NCAPDA partnered with ACE Hardware stores in East Contra Costa County to provide FREE overdose rescue training and fentanyl education at their stores in Oakley, Antioch and Pittsburg.  We distributed a total of 40 Narcan rescue kits to employees and community members that stopped by. Thank you to Michelle Leopold, owner of the 3 Ace Hardware stores, for hosting us for this important and life-saving outreach event!  Check out the KPIX news segment that aired that night capturing this event here.