It Starts With Us


Annie Carmona

“Prevent, Manage, and Educate,” the impactful words from RxSafe Marin are intended to keep the community deeply educated and aware of the world-wide crisis of drug overdoses. RxSafe Marin is a local organization founded in 2014 with the rising impact of creating a community dedicated to reducing harm rates and drug usage, in order to save lives.

Over the past few years the program has expanded with the inclusion of partnerships focusing on the areas of harm reduction and agencies that serve the youth. RxSafe Marin has seven action groups: data action, prescribers and pharmacists, intervention, treatment and recovery, law enforcement, the steering committee, community-based prevention, and the youth team. Each of these teams include “actions team smart goals each year.”

Marin County ranks as one the healthiest counties across California: residents are provided with many resources. During a community meeting about drug usage, in particular Fentanyl, there were student speakers from schools throughout the county as well as the School Law Enforcement Partnership (SLEP). In Marin County alone there were 105,000 deaths from drug overdose. Shown in statistics, 64% of the deaths were from synthetic opioids (primarily fentanyl), while the other 28% was from drugs involving methamphetamine and psychostimulants.  

Methamphetamine is a type of drug which is extremely powerful and is a highly addictive stimulant that has a reaction on a person’s nervous system.  Psychostimulants are a type of drug that triggers your nervous system. Psychostimulants are made up of a large amount of licit and illicit drugs which have a relation to cocaine and amphetamine. 

“One pill can kill,” a phrase often referenced from community meetings states that prior to using little to no drugs, one pill of fentanyl is able to end someone’s life.

Collected from a community meeting, it was told that of all schools within Marin County, 89% of the schools that include drug programs have 50% of students using opioids. In order to make an impact and prevent residents in the county from using any type of substance, the best way to educate and spread awareness is by not only implementing drug programs in schools, but by having guest speakers. Students from schools within Marin County have been noticing normalization of vaping in school bathrooms but as talked about in the community meeting, it starts with vaping and ends with a stronger substance. That’s where RxSafe Marin steps in and possesses a goal of spreading awareness and educating the community. 

RxSafe Marin covered the topic of drug safety, statistics and ways that we as individuals can care for ourselves and those around us. It shows that we should be more cautious with decision making as well as ways of handling peer pressure at a young age or anytime in our lives.