NAMI Yolo County to host gathering to discuss opioid use


(From Press Release – NAMI) – On Wednesday November 6, NAMI Yolo County, the local affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, will host a First Wednesday Gathering to discuss “Opioid Use: Signs, Symptoms, Services.” The gathering will be at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, 640 Hawthorn Lane, Davis from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. All are invited and refreshments will be served.

Every year, 9.2 million people experience a dual diagnosis of addiction and another mental health condition. NAMI Yolo County is partnering with CommuniCare to help peers and families who need to learn about support and services available to help folks get well and live well in our communities.

CommuniCare is a long-term provider of substance use services. Sara Gavin, Chief Behavioral Health Officer at CommuniCare, says, “We have provided Substance Use Services since our inception in 1972. In September of 2016 with the increase in Opioid Use within Yolo County, we began offering evidence-based medication along with behavioral health treatment as part of comprehensive Medication Assisted Treatment Program.“

According to the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMSHA), “Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the use of medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. Research shows that a combination of medication and therapy can successfully treat these disorders, and for some people struggling with addiction, MAT can help sustain recovery.”

CommuniCare has worked extensively to support Yolo County with a range of best practice treatments for Opioid Use issues. “In September 2017, CommuniCare was awarded the Medication Assisted Treatment Hub and Spoke Expansion grant in partnership with CORE Medical Clinics, who recently opened a new Narcotic Treatment Program in West Sacramento. CommuniCare recently was awarded a Youth Opioid Response (YOR) Grant to specifically expand prevention, early intervention and treatment to youth and young adults. Through these programs and expansions, there are now robust, readily available treatment options for those individuals within Yolo impacted by Opioid Use,” says Gavin.

CommuniCare Managers Christina Andrade-Lemus and Allison Rodriguez will provide an in-depth look into services available to community members affected by Opioid Use. They will also introduce community members to Yolo County’s Local Opioid Coalition, which is a joint effort between CommuniCare Health Centers and the Yolo County Health and Human Services Agency. The Coalition will be co-chaired by Sara Gavin, Chief Behavioral Health Officer at CommuniCare, and Ian Evans, Alcohol and Drug Administrator at Yolo County.

“This Coalition wants your voice to be included in efforts to strengthen connection and relationships between service providers and community members, and support paths to healing for community members impacted by Opioid Use and addiction. This Coalition will use data, community-input and multi-disciplinary collaboration to set recommendations and direction for prevention, early intervention and treatment for those impacted by addiction. We welcome the community to attend our coalition kick off meeting on November 13th,” says Gavin.

“We are excited to offer our community this opportunity to learn more about getting services and getting involved in this coalition to improve health outcomes throughout Yolo County communities,” says NAMI Yolo County Program Director, Maggie Fry.

NAMI Yolo County (our community’s local affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness) provides education, advocacy and support for people living with mental illness. For more information, please call 530.756.8181 or visit our website at


About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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