SBC Opioid Task Force Newsletter Volume 1 - Issue II - September 2020
San Benito County Opioid Task Force
Creating an informed accountable community to decrease opioid use and misuse. SBC OTF is a cross-collaborative community coalition dedicated to preventing substance use and saving lives.
Overdoses are Continuing to Increase Locally
Recently, there has been an increase in overdoses locally. Several of these overdoses are suspected to have been due to counterfeit pills containing fentanyl.

One way to help prevent overdose deaths is to have Naloxone (Narcan) widely available in the county. Please email for free naloxone. Trainings can also be provided for individuals or organizations.

We have flyers in both English and Spanish available for you to post and share.
Encounter Card Project
Connecting people experiencing substance use disorder to the help they need, no matter where they present along the path is our ultimate goal. One idea from our local sheriff’s office was to turn law enforcement encounters with at-risk persons into opportunities to engage and connect. From this was born the idea of using an “Encounter Card” for the officer to give to those they encounter who may be at-risk and in need of treatment/support services. The card looks like a business card and has the contact information for the Substance User Navigator, Ashlee Deherrera on one side and talking points for the officer on the other. Ashlee’s role as Substance Use Navigator is critical…she is the bridge to helping find treatment and support services for those who need assistance. The person seeking help can call the number on the card and reach Ashlee directly. She will help find the best fit treatment and support services. Thanks to the valued partnership with our sheriff’s office and Ashlee at Valley Health Associates, the encounter cards project is expanding to include other first responders as well. 

If you would like to have some of these cards or learn more about them, please email
Medication Disposal Envelopes
Due to the current restrictions from COVID-19, we understand now is more important than ever to ensure unused and expired medication is safely stored and properly disposed of.

You can obtain free medication envelopes from our local pharmacies or by clicking below to request from public health. These free Take Away envelopes were obtained through multiple grants awarded to the Opioid Task Force.
Free Narcan nasal spray is still available, if you haven't been trained you will be given a quick training on when and how to use the nasal spray.

We are able to provide Narcan trainings as well to any agency or organization that would like it. If your Narcan has expired we can also dispose of it and replace it.

For more info contact or fill out the form below
Opioid Task Force Launches Effort for Safe Storage, Disposal of Meds
In light of the COVID19 pandemic the use of pain medications has been on the rise nationwide. According to recent data from the U.S. Poison Control Center, pain medications are the most common substances associated with adult poisonings/overdoses.

To combat the misuse of prescription pain relievers, the Opioid Task Force launched a Safe Med San Benito Initiative, offering safe medication disposal/storage options and medication safety outreach.

San Benito Sheriff's Captain Log
In Captain Taylor's fourth installment of his column, How to Save a Life- Chapter 2, he writes about responding to a recent standoff with a community member in a mental health crisis and the steps local law enforcement took to keep all parties safe and slowing down a highly stressful and escalated event.

September 25
Valley Health Associates are holding a BBQ Fundraiser

Valley Health Associates need your support to SAVE LIVES from substance use disorders and overdose deaths. Orders must be placed by midnight on September 23rd.
Delivery to Hollister will be provided.

Welcome L.I.F.E. Project: New Local Non-Profit Organization

L.I.F.E. Project is under the realm of Saved By Grace/Project Restore, a San Francisco based Non-Profit Organization, at L.I.F.E. Project, San Benito County will extend love, grace, guidance, counseling and encouragement to their clients (individuals ranging from 13-23), with the goal of helping them to thrive and live a life of purpose. Their collaborative vision is that not one individual return to a life of incarceration due to a lack of access to services. They are committed to individuals reentering our community by offering what is commonly known as wrap-around services, through support, mentoring, and other needed assistance.  Successful reintegration is important and by partnering with Saved By Grace/Project Restore, utilizing evidence based practices with service that support, nurture and supervise the progress of each individual, with the hope of decreasing the overall recidivism in our City and County.

L.I.F.E. Project's website is currently under-construction but can be found at 

Being a new organization, they are looking to partner with resource agencies. 
Anyone interested please contact:
Shelly Werfelmann | (831) 801-0767
Gavilan College Fully Online

Our partners at Gavilan College would like to inform the coalition that Gavilan College has moved to a fully online format for fall semester. If you are in need for more information please call (408) 406-1120. In addition to this new format, the planning stage for Gavilan's new campus has begun and will start with ground breaking in 2022.

Make Sure to Take a Moment for Self-Care
The work you do to provide services and resources for the members of the community is vital but with the added stressors of the COVID-19 Pandemic, it is important to take a moment to care for your health and mental health.

Here are some resources we like to use:

San Benito County Opioid Task Force | Website