SAFE Communities

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

While there is much work to be done at the federal and state levels for the opioid epidemic, SAFE Project believes the most important work 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.”

SAFE Communities, designed to help communities find the tools they need to convert intent into action, is a holistic, comprehensive way for your community to respond to the opioid epidemic.

Groups of concerned citizens across the country have created innovative, collaborative solutions to the opioid crisis happening in their backyard. They create public awareness campaigns, start programs to help people with substance use disorder stay out of the criminal justice system, open specialized housing to support people in recovery, build relationships with the medical community to prevent misuse of prescription opioids, and more.

We know there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy. What works for another community may not work for yours. SAFE Communities connects communities doing good work to communities in need of guidance. We find best practices from communities of all sizes and brings them to you.

A centerstone project of our SAFE Communities program is the SAFE Community Playbook. If you are interested in making a difference in your community, the SAFE Community Playbook will be your blueprint. It will walk you through finding the right team of community constituents to lead your effort, working together to identify your priorities, and finally, putting your work into action using examples from other communities around the county.

Want to know more about how to build your SAFE 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 who had a substance use disorder involving prescription opioids;
  • 377 people who misused opioids in the past 12 months; and
  • 2,946 people who used prescription opioids in the past 12 months.

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