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Coalition works to fight opioid abuse in SLO county

Flikr User David K

The San Luis Obispo County Opioid Safety Coalition is celebrating its first anniversary.

Of the 58 counties in California, San Luis Obispo ranks in the top third in opioid abuse and prescribes over a quarter more opioid-based medication than the California average. The Coalition was formed last January to fight against growing opioid abuse in San Luis Obispo County.

Dr. Star Graber with County Drug and Alcohol Services said it’s unclear why the county runs so high on the list. But many think it’s because the demographics of the county tend to match that of people who are generally prescribed opioids during medical visits.

“If you look at opioid use disorders, a lot of those clients are older and Caucasian,” Graber said.

Over the past year, the Coalition has collected data about opioid use. They’ve also held “take-backs” to properly dispose of opioid medication so it doesn’t get into the hands of people prone to addiction disorders.

The Coalition is holding a summit next week at the Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center’s Auditorium in San Luis Obispo to celebrate the anniversary. It will take place from 8:00-10:30 the morning of January 19. You can find more information here.

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