Rx Safe Marin

A cross-sector community coalition established to comprehensively address the opioid crisis in a county outside of San Francisco

Rx Safe Marin was established in 2014 once prescription drug misuse was identified as an emerging problem in Marin County, California. The goal of the broad-based coalition is to reduce prescription drug misuse and save lives. The coalition consists of a diverse group of community members, including law enforcement, physicians, pharmacists, elected officials, treatment professionals, public health officials, the District Attorney’s Office and Public Defender’s Office, and the Office of Education. The coalition is part of the larger California Opioid Safety Network

The county coalition has five action teams:

  • Community-based prevention
  • Law enforcement
  • Intervention, treatment, and recovery
  • Prescribers and pharmacists
  • Data collection and monitoring

These action teams meet regularly and report to a steering committee for guidance, support, and coordination between teams. The steering committee also monitors progress and serves as the public voice.

Rx Safe Marin has several initiatives, including safe medication and disposal, supporting the implementation of a pilot program to expand naloxone distribution, increasing the capacity for medications to treat opioid use disorder, and community education and prevention. 

Rx Safe Marin has been recognized as an award-winning program model and more information on its impact and replicability can be found here. The organization has a strong social media presence and has disseminated several reports to the community, such as the ones here and here

More details on the program and contact information can be found in the presentations here and here, the recorded presentation here, and the video here.  

28% reduction in opioid prescribing from 2016 to 2018...collected more than 8,000 lbs of unused medications in 2018, with this amount increasing nearly every year since 2011.

Continuum of Care
Harm Reduction
Type of Evidence
Response Approach
Cautious Opioid Prescribing
Family Support
Medications for Opioid Use Disorder
Overdose prevention

Evidence of Program Effectiveness

Although this program has not been formally evaluated, it is associated with multiple positive county-level outcomes, such as: 

  • 28% reduction in opioid prescriptions from 2016 to 2018
  • collected more than 8,000 lbs of medications at drop-off sites and take-back events in 2018, with this amount increasing nearly every year since 2011
  • increased naloxone distribution in the county
  • prescriptions for buprenorphine have increased steadily since 2011