S.A.F.E. Communities

Provide communities with the tools they need to respond to this epidemic.

S.A.F.E. Project believes while there is much work to be done at the federal and state levels, the most important work to control this epidemic will be accomplished at the local, or community level, through neighbors helping neighbors.

Mary Winnefeld with DC-area high school students at “Shatter the Myths.”

As a result, one of our most important programs is S.A.F.E. Communities, which is designed to help communities find the tools they need to convert intent into action.

Based on the efforts undertaken by a number of communities tackling this problem, we recommend a three-step process for communities to embark on this effort, which will be outlined in our S.A.F.E. Project Community Playbook, which will be available soon.

S.A.F.E. Communities is a three-step process:

  1. S.A.F.E. Community Stakeholders:  Gather together community leaders from a broad array of organizations, understand each group’s points of view and interests, and build the coalition required to mobilize a holistic response to addiction epidemic.
  2. Evaluate the State of Your Community
    1. Community Pulse Survey. Find out where your community stands on issues pivotal to the epidemic close to home. This 10-question, 3-minute survey will help your coalition prioritize its work.
    2. Community Resource Exercise: Building on existing resources, work with community coalition members to map existing resources in your community based on S.A.F.E. Project’s six Lines of Operation: prevention, public awareness, law enforcement and medical response, treatment, recovery, and family support. This assessment, combined with the results of your Community Pulse Survey, will help your coalition identify the gaps in services and resources within your community.
  3. Design an effort tailored to your unique needs, drawn from best practices available within S.A.F.E. Project’s Community Playbook:  We have arranged the best community practices we have found within our six Lines of Operation, and will make them available to you. Using the results of the Community Evaluations, work either independently or with S.A.F.E.’s staff of experts to match low- to no-cost tools that are relevant to the needs of your community to build a customized Playbook.

Want to know more about how to build your S.A.F.E. Community?  Contact Us

By the Numbers:

In 2016, 115 people died every day from a prescription or illicit opioid overdose. That’s one person every 12 minutes.

For every one/single opioid overdose death, there were:

  • 18 people who had a substance use disorder involving heroin;
  • 62 people had a substance use disorder involving prescription opioids;
  • 377 people misused opioids in the past 12 months; and
  • 2,946 people used prescription opioids in the past 12 months.

From 2016 to 2017, emergency department visits for suspected opioid overdoses increased 30 percent.