Public Health receives CDC grant to reduce overdose harm

More than $11 million over five years to address opioids and stimulants

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. – The County of Santa Clara Public Health Department has been awarded $11,125,000 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to collaborate with health systems and community partners on drug overdose prevention. Partners will work together to support people who use drugs, improve the services they receive, and decrease their risk of overdose. Activities will: 

  • Get more and better data on the problem, and use it in program activities
  • Ensure clinicians and health systems adopt best practices for opioid prescribing, overdose prevention, and substance use treatment
  • Provide harm reduction supplies and education to prevent complications of substance use
  • Enhance public awareness and reduce stigma
  • Connect people to treatment and help them stay in treatment

“Establishing and maintaining a System of Care that is culturally competent health care requires strong partnerships between local Public Health and community health centers. We look forward to working together to improve the health outcomes for the most vulnerable in our communities," said Dolores Alvarado, Chief Executive Officer for Community Health Partnership.

"Leveraging resources from this funding will allow us to continue our shared commitment to promoting health equity and decreasing morbidity and mortality associated with opioid overdose in the community," said Zettie D. Page IIII, Chief Executive Officer for Bay Area Community Health. “We are excited to work alongside Public Health to further contribute to strong and expansive services, prevention opportunities, and supportive infrastructure.”

“Santa Clara Valley Healthcare is committed to decreasing the mortality rates associated with opioid use and will continue improving best practices that will provide better care and treatment for patients entering our healthcare system,” said Paul E. Lorenz, Chief Executive Officer for Santa Clara Valley Healthcare.

"Working to reduce and prevent substance use among youth and adults in Santa Clara County through culturally fit and research-based services in the community helps strengthen the resilience that builds healthy communities," said Sherri Terao, Director for the County of Santa Clara Behavioral Health Services Department. “We look forward to collaborating with Public Health and community partners on the best ways to share, centralize, and analyze data to inform life-saving programs and services.”

“This funding will improve access to treatment, services, and harm reduction supplies we know prevent needless death by offering our partner agencies the support and access to the data and science they need to do their work well,” said Dr. Sarah Rudman, Deputy Health Officer for the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department. “Providing these life-saving services is about meeting people where they are in their journey to keep them from harms caused by drug use or disease.”

In line with a focus on health equity, Public Health and partners will use grant funding to support the following populations: 

  • Communities of color, particularly African/African ancestry and Latinx communities, that experience higher rates of overdose deaths
  • People experiencing homelessness
  • Individuals with both mental health and substance use disorders, who are at increased risk of overdose and often experience additional stigma and discrimination
  • Individuals recently released from incarceration
  • People who use drugs, particularly those with a past overdose

Deaths in Santa Clara County due to opioid overdose have more than tripled, from 61 in 2018 to 195 in 2022, according to data from the County of Santa Clara Medical Examiner-Coroner. Of the 420 drug-related overdose deaths in 2022, nearly 87 percent were from opioids, methamphetamine, or a combination of both.

The grant comes from the CDC National Center for Injury Prevention and Control for Overdose Data to Action: Limiting Overdose through Collaborative Actions in Localities, for the period of September 1, 2023 to August 31, 2028. Public Health is partnering with the following agencies and community partners: Balanced Imperfection, Bay Area Community Health, Behavioral Health Services Department, Bright Heart Health, California Bridge Program, California Department of Health Care Services, California Department of Public Health, Community Health Partnership, Custody Health Services, Emergency Medical Services, Santa Clara Valley Healthcare, and Valley Homeless Healthcare Program.


News Release


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