The North Coast Opioid Summit

Photo from the opioid summitOn April 14, approximately 270 people gathered in Seaside to discuss the opioid epidemic, learn how to approach difficult conversations with compassion, and hear about substance use disorder (SUD), its implications of trauma in SUD and the best ways to treat this chronic illness. In addition, the community discussed ways to mitigate sources of harm within the three counties.

We reviewed all the great work that happened in the past year within the community, which is something everyone should be very proud of. Examples in the areas of chronic pain, addictions/SUD, and the opioid epidemic are:

  • Three new drug take-back boxes in pharmacies at Providence Seaside Hospital, Rinehart Clinic and Columbia Memorial Hospital
  • Trainings for primary care providers on co-prescribing naloxone
  • Agreements with first responders to carry naloxone
  • Completion of Columbia Pacific CCO regional prescribing guidelines
  • Clinician trainings in nearly all the regional primary care clinics regarding the opioid epidemic, safe prescribing and difficult conversations
  • Development and expansion of a regional medication assisted treatment (MAT) model, with OHSU Scappoose as the center of excellence –a service that did not exist in our region a year ago.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grant to expand MAT
  • Drug Free Communities grant
  • Jordan’s Hope for Recovery
  • Expansion of the behavioral based pain clinic

We also discussed major themes of what we need to focus on this year, both as clinicians and community members:

  1. Better understanding of and improved services for pain management
    • Pain management does not and should not always equal opioids
    • Prevent acute opioid prescribing from becoming chronic
    • Improve safe opioid prescribing
    • Understand the role of trauma, anxiety and depression in pain and addictions
    • Understand, diagnose and treat substance use disorder
    • Prevent overdose and expand access to Naloxone


There were so many great speakers and learnings. Thank you to everyone who participated!

Agenda from summit (PDF)

Academic Detailing

We will also be starting an academic detailing program. What does this mean? We are looking at the region’s top prescribers. We are sharing this information with organization leadership and/or individual clinicians as appropriate and together, we will develop a plan to help support the clinicians/prescribers who need the most help or support in tapering patients. 

The regional Clinical Advisory Panel opioid task force will also be looking at the regional goals for opioid prescribing developed in 2016 and updating them based on current improvement and status. One large area on which to focus is the highest-risk patients who are being co-prescribed benzodiazepines and opioids. 

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