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Citizen Brief

Opioid  Supply Reduction

Preventing the initiation of inappropriate opioid substance use

The Vision


and  Stakeholders


Best Practice


County Platform 



By September 2022 the official approach to opioid use, dependence and addiction is informed by the principles and spirit of public health instead of a  criminal justice approach.



Primary and secondary prevention of Opioid Use Disorders*: Reducing the supply of non-medical opioids and preventing the initiation and misuse of nonmedical opioids.  


The Challenge:

How to limit the number of individuals who have access to non medically acquired Opioids/ heroin. There are many people who start using opioids in their teens after being introduced to opioids by others as part of “lifestyle” activity.  Opioids have been noted to come from friends, families, and other sources of legitimate sources. Individuals starting on heroin pose a different challenge. It has been suggested that a sense of hopelessness, alienation, and feeling of worthlessness provides a fertile group for initiating and maintaining opioid and other substances.



Opioid use disorders/ addiction and overdose rates are associated with increased availability of opioids, both illicit and prescribed. Prevention of the initiation and abuse of opioids requires a multi-prong approach.

This includes:


Primary Prevention: Potential interventions include the following 


  • Targeting the social determinants  

  • Resilience training  

  • Public education and awareness: A public relations/ marketing  approach utilizing general media and other institutional focus on public messaging associated with opioid use. (Macklemore/ NBA, Public Announcements)

  • Public schools: Educating the students about the perils of substance use, provide resilience training programs such as mindfulness, DARE, peer counselling.

  • Preventing youth substance use through access to early intervention

  • Address mental health issues: Screen for and provide effective treatment for mental disorders in clinical encounters. (Flip the clinic)


Appropriate use of opioids in the clinical setting:


  • Evidence-based, best-practice pain management: 

The right medication/ treatment for the right patient at the right time, for the right length of time, and the right dose and amount, right monitoring.


  • Risk assessment for opioid use disorders: Identify people at risk for opioid use disorders.


  • Big data and analytics: Using population-based data to target specific prevention activity.


Secondary Prevention: 


  • Safe use and storage of medications 

  • Self-help resources

  • Unused medication disposal 

  • Safe medication use in special locations: 

    • Hospitals

    • Emergency Department

    • Physician/Dentist Offices

    • Prisons

    • Pharmacies

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