Ventura County Safe Prescribing

Ventura County Behavioral Health, Ventura County Public Health, Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center, Allied Emergency Departments Countywide
February 11, 2015

Dr. Julia Feig, Dr. Celia Woods, Dr. Neil Canby, Dr. Carlo Reyes, Dr. Anthony H. Ho, Dr. Thomas Duncan, Dr. Marty Ehrlich

Hospitals Unite on New Pain Medications Policy - Collaboration to Counter Drug Abuse, Improve Emergency Department Care

Safe Pain Medicine Prescribing Policy Launched Countywide


Multi-agency collaboration focused on preventing Rx drug misuse. The new policy, used by all eight emergency departments will include these guidelines:
  • When necessary, limited amounts of pain killers will be prescribed.
  • EDs will not refill stolen prescriptions, but may refer patients to police.
  • May ask people to show a photo ID when receiving a pain prescription.
  • All patients will be provided copies of the new prescribing policy.


  • Like other parts of the nation, accidental deaths involving opiates have risen in recent years; with a population of 820,000 residents, there were 103 accidental drug deaths in 2012 - 87 from opioids.
  • 20% of 11th graders in Ventura County used a prescription pain killer to “get high” and opioids are the fastest growing component of accidental deaths nationally.
  • The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) endorses safer prescribing guidelines. Learn more at California ACEP.
  • By adopting uniform policies, a consistent message will be provided to patients countywide about how powerful prescription medications are made available in the Emergency Department.

Educational Materials for Practitioners

These documents are attached below for downloading:

Communicating Guidelines to Patients

Communicating Guidelines to Colleagues

Media Coverage

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