Prescribe Safe

Your community uses prescription drugs more safely thanks to the Monterey County Prescribe Safe Initiative, a partnership between Montage Health, Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, and 30 other local organizations. Deaths due to opioid overdoses have fallen over the last few years, and use of non-opioid pain relief options has risen — making Prescribe Safe a model other communities follow. With your support, we can keep the momentum going and save more lives.

Goals

This initiative works to:

  • Improve safety of prescription drugs
  • Reduce inappropriate prescribing of pain medications and sedatives
  • Increase access to treatment for addiction
  • Teach the public and medical professionals about the potential dangers of prescription drugs

What we do

Prescribe Safe:

  • Educates doctors and pharmacists with events, resources, meetings, and prescribing guidelines. If you’re a healthcare provider, view Prescribe Safe resources for medical professionals
  • Educates patients and the community with town halls, school events, and brochures about the risk of opioids. Read Prescribe Safe resources for patients, family members, and community members
  • Promotes safe pain relief, including through our pioneering work as the nation’s first emergency department to use transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) units for pain
  • Promotes drug take-backs and use of safe disposal bins
  • Partners with law enforcement to help people with addictions
  • Provides naloxone, the opioid overdose antidote, to law enforcement and to patients with opioid prescriptions

Learn more about Prescribe Safe’s interventions [PDF], and view a story about how we’re combating opioid abuse.

Dramatic results

Since launching in 2014, Prescribe Safe has contributed to:

  • More than 50 percent reduction in opioid prescriptions in outpatient clinics
  • More than 300 percent increase in the use of opioid alternatives in Community Hospital’s Emergency department
  • Drastic decrease in opioid overdose death rate in Monterey County, which went from an above-average rate in 2012 to the third-lowest rate of California’s 53 counties in 2017

View a timeline [PDF] of our milestones. To see current data about opioid overdoses in the state, visit the California Opioid Overdose Surveillance Dashboard website.

KAZU article

An Epidemic During A Pandemic: The Coronavirus Is Affecting The Monterey Penisula’s Opioid Crisis

Community Hospital saw more opioid-related drug overdoses in the first four months of 2020, compared to the last four months of 2019

Read article

Participating organizations:

Participating organizations logos

How to help

Your support for Prescribe Safe makes a difference. Make a donation or learn about volunteering with the Auxiliary today.

Contact us

Reach out to learn how Prescribe Safe can support your role in reducing medication misuse in Monterey County.

Email us

Prescribing more safely

Reb Close, MD and Casey Grover, MD

More and more people were coming to our Emergency department seeking pain medications or, worse, after an overdose. Our doctors knew something had to be done. The result: Prescribe Safe, a countywide effort that's taking on the opioid epidemic.

Read article