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April 14, 2016

PAW Weekly Update

    

                                          
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SAMHSA
           
SAMHSA Prescription Drug Abuse Weekly Update
         
         
WEEKLY
           
UPDATE
         
                             
          Issue 169  |  April 14, 2016          
   
                                                               
                                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                   
The Prevention of Prescription Drug Abuse in the Workplace (PAW) TA Center addresses prescription drug abuse—a growing public health problem with increasing burdens on workers, workplaces, and our economy. To subscribe colleagues, family members, or friends to this listserv sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), please click here or send their e-mail addresses to paw@dsgonline.com.                      
               
                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                     
Index                            
Featured                            
Journal Articles and Reports                            
Professional Development                            
National                            
Marijuana                            
International                            
Northeast/Mid-Atlantic News                            
South News                            
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Featured

R. Ben-Joseph, J.A. Bell, D. Brixner, A. Kansal, C. Paramore, A. Chitnis, P. Holly, and D.S. Burgoyne. 2016. “Opioid Treatment Patterns Following Prescription of Immediate-Release Hydrocodone.” Journal of Managed Care and Specialty Pharmacy, 22(4):358–66.                        

Analysis of healthcare claims from 1,743,933 employer-insured commercial, 277,096 Medicare Supplemental, and 157,922 Medicaid patients included all patients in Truven MarketScan databases who were prescribed immediate-release (IR) hydrocodone during July to December 2011 and were continuously enrolled during 2012. During 2012, 1.7 percent of commercial, 2.9 percent of Medicare, and 2.8 percent of Medicaid patients converted to or newly started extended-release (ER) opioids. Ninety percent of patients with 2011 prescriptions were prescribed IR hydrocodone for less than 2 months in 2012, while 10 percent averaged 8 months of prescribed opioid use. Downstream initiation of ER opioids was significantly higher among commercial patients prescribed more than 60 IR hydrocodone pills per month in 2011 than among patients prescribed lower doses (7.8 percent vs. 1.2 percent), as was length of ER therapy.                         

Read more:                        
http://www.jmcp.org/doi/abs/10.18553/jmcp.2016.22.4.358                                                 

Travelers Predictive Model Helps Injured Workers Avoid Chronic Pain, Opioid Use                        
Andrew G. Simpson, Insurance Journal                        
April 5, 2016                         

The Travelers Companies has developed an early severity predictor model (patent pending) to predict the likelihood of an injured worker developing chronic pain. The model can help workers take steps to avoid chronic pain in recovery and reduce their need for opioids that can be addictive. It has been applied in more than 20,000 cases since early 2015, with more than 9,000 injured employees identified as being at risk of developing chronic pain receiving a customized, sports medicine-like regimen of treatment to aid and accelerate recovery. Injured employees who participated in the program recovered and returned to work more quickly. They were far less likely to receive a prescription for opioids, and when they did, it was typically a lower dosage or only for short-term use. Medical expenses, which cost American employers an average of nearly $40,000 per injury, were reduced by as much as 50 percent.                        

Read more:                        
http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2016/04/05/404286.htm                      
               
               

Journal Articles and Reports

K.S. Betts, G. Chan, F. McIlwraith, P. Dietze, E. Whittaker, L. Burns, and R. Alati. 2016. “Differences in Polysubstance use Patterns and Drug-Related Outcomes Between People Who Inject Drugs Receiving and not Receiving Opioid Substitution Therapies.” Addiction, doi:10.1111/add.13339.                

Among 2,673 Australians who inject drugs and enrolled in national tracking in 2011–13, those who were misusing a broad range of substances at baseline were at increased risk of negative drug-related outcomes, whether or not they received opioid substitution therapy. Those outcomes included thrombosis, injecting with used needles, and violent criminal offenses, but not non-fatal overdose.                

Read more:                
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/add.13339/abstract                                 

S. L. Keast, A. Owora, N. Nesser, and K. Farmer. 2016. “Evaluation of Abuse-Deterrent or Tamper-Resistant Opioid Formulations on Overall Health Care Expenditures in a State Medicaid Program.” Journal of Managed Care and Specialty Pharmacy, 22(4):347–56.                

Among the 938 Oklahoma Medicaid members aged 21 and over who had at least 1 paid pharmacy claim for long-acting opioids between September 2013 and August 2014, 397 (42 percent) used abuse-deterrent formulations. Claims for “opioid dependence” diagnoses were paid for 7 percent of those prescribed abuse-deterrent formulations and 13 percent of those who were not. Abuse-deterrent formulations were much more expensive than standard ones (a median of $9,922 for the year vs. $1532—in both cases, spread across 26–27 prescriptions, but dosages may have been higher for the abuse deterrent formulations). Patients on abuse-deterrent formulations had more comorbidities than patients who were not, so it is impossible to judge how total health care spending would have differed between the two groups if they had been equally healthy.                

Read more:                
http://www.jmcp.org/doi/abs/10.18553/jmcp.2016.22.4.347                                 

E. Oviedo-Joekes, D. Guh, S. Brissette, K. Marchand, S. MacDonald, K. Lock, S. Harrison, A. Janmohamed, A.H. Anis, M. Krausz, D.C. Marsh, and M.T. Schechter. 2016. “Hydromorphone Compared with Diacetylmorphine for Long-Term Opioid Dependence.” JAMA Psychiatry, doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.010.                

In Vancouver, Canada, a non-inferiority trial of treatment for severe opioid abuse randomized 100 street-recruited long-term heroin users to inject hydromorphone hydrochloride (Dilaudid) and 102 to inject diacetylmorphine hydrochloride (the active ingredient in heroin). Although closely medically supervised diacetylmorphine hydrochloride is a more effective and cost-effective treatment than oral methadone for severe opioid addiction, political, and regulatory realities largely prevent its use in treatment. The hydromorphone group reported significantly more days using street heroin but not street opioids in aggregate. The groups did not differ in their rate of positive urinalyses for street opioids. The diacetylmorphine group experienced all 11 seizures and 11 of the 14 overdoses that occurred during the trial.                 

Read more:                
http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2512237                                 

C. Salom and R. Alati. “Misuse of Pharmaceuticals by Regular Psychostimulant Users: Are There Mental Health Problems?” Ecstasy and Related Drug Trends Bulletin, April 2016. Sydney: National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales.                

Among 763 regular psychostimulant users interviewed in Australia in 2015 for the Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System, only 5 percent cited pharmaceuticals as their drug of choice and 4 percent as the drug used most often in the last month.                

Read more:                
https://ndarc.med.unsw.edu.au/sites/default/files/ndarc/resources
/EDRS%20April%202016_FINAL.pdf
                                

L. Simons, D. Deal, R. Strauber, and K. Raner. 2016. “A Promising Approach for Families of and Young Adults with Opioid-Related Disorders: The Recovery Oriented Community (ROC) Program.” Journal of Drug Abuse, 2(2):1–7.                

Of 966 clients of a Pennsylvania recovery-oriented community program that emphasizes long-term follow-up care, 58 percent reported opiates as their drug of choice. The article provides no other opioid-specific information.                

Read more:                
http://drugabuse.imedpub.com/a-promising-approach-for-families-of-and-young-adults-with-opioidrelated-disorders-the-recovery-oriented-community-roc-program.pdf                  
               

Professional Education and Opinion

Commentary: Addiction, Empathy, and Opioid Alternatives                
Helen Riess, M.D., Medscape Neurology                
April 6, 2016                

Desperation, shame, and self-loathing accompany drug addiction. This physician advises that doctors dealing with addicted patients must show empathy in order to be effective. True empathy does not mean continuing to write prescriptions. Empathy means asking questions and humanizing the patient, which can result in finding hope for a drug-free future by showing an alternative pathway to recovery. These alternatives will not immediately be desired or accepted by drug addicts. However, if the medical world provides a uniform message that recovery is attainable by addressing the underlying anxiety, fear, and hopelessness that drug addicts face, a new future may be possible. That future will be shaped in part by a range of non-opioid approaches to chronic and acute pain control.                

Read more:                
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/861351                
               

National

Surgeon General Concerned About Physician Burnout                
Joyce Frieden, MedPage Today                
April 10, 2016                

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, M.D., in a speech to the Association of Health Care Journalists, said that addiction and substance abuse is one of his two focuses for 2016. Dr. Murthy sent a personal entreaty to change prescribing practices to everyone who may be writing opioid scripts—a million physicians, nurses, physician assistants, and dentists. He said, “many prescribers were never really trained in how to treat pain safely and effectively,” prompting the federal government to launch a training initiative. He added, “the opioid epidemic also plays a role in driving forward HIV, Hepatitis C and heroin use.” His office is working on its first-ever report on substance abuse, addiction, and health.                

Read more:                
http://www.medpagetoday.com/PublicHealthPolicy/GeneralProfessionalIssues/57280                                   

Rx Drug Abuse Summit Maps Solutions for ‘Community Problem’                
Occupational Health and Safety                
April 4, 2016                

Patrice Harris, M.D., chair-elect of the American Medical Association and chair of its Task Force to Reduce Opioid Abuse, reported that from 2014 to 2015, opioid prescriptions decreased 6.8 percent nationally, following a 2.9 percent decline the year before.                 

Read more:                
https://ohsonline.com/articles/2016/04/04/rx-drug-abuse-summit.aspx                                   

N.Y. Senator, Representative Urge Passage of Bill to Limit Opioids for Acute Pain                
Scott Willis and Chris Bolt, WAER Talk Radio                
April 4, 2016                

Recently introduced legislation, the Preventing Overprescribing for Pain Act, would require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to create guidelines for opioid prescriptions to treat acute pain. The guidelines would build upon the CDC chronic pain guidelines released this month. (Includes audio: 2:38 minutes)                

Read more:                
http://waer.org/post/rep-katko-sen-gillibrand-urge-passage-bill-limit-opioid-rx-acute-pain#stream/0                                   

Role of Health Information Technology to Fight Opioid Crisis                
Kyle Murphy, EHR Intelligence                
April 05, 2016                

A new resource page from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (IT) highlights three forms of health IT (clinical decision support, electronic prescribing of controlled substances, and prescription drug monitoring programs) as the most useful health IT tools for fighting opioid abuse.                 

Read more:                
https://ehrintelligence.com/news/onc-highlights-role-of-health-it-use-to-fight-opioid-crisis                                   

Few Doctors Use Federal Registry to Treat Opioid Addiction                
Kevin Atencio, Microcap Magazine                
April 4, 2016                

In Vermont, a large percentage of opioid misusers are on waiting lists for buprenorphine, and federal law limits the number of these patients that each doctor can treat. The result is many who could benefit from these treatments are not treated. Current protocols for physician training in prescribing buprenorphine are more difficult than for prescribing opioids themselves. A federal solution being considered will increase the allowable number of patients per physician. Many practitioners think that allowing more physicians to prescribe—not increasing the allowable patient load—is the better solution. Another option is to allow nurse practitioners and physician assistants to prescribe buprenorphine.                 

Read more:                
http://microcapmagazine.com/2016-04-04-doctors-sign-federal-registry-treat-opioid-addiction                                   

Proove Biosciences Offers Genetic Testing that Can Help Addiction Fight                
PRWEB                
April 1, 2016                

By evaluating genetic variations in genes linked to drug addiction—and by feeding large amounts of patient physiological information into complex algorithms—Proove Biosciences claims it is able to predict individual patient risk of opioid addiction.                

Read more:                
http://www.pressreleaserocket.net/proove-biosciences-offers-genetic-testing-that-can-help-the-national-institute-of-drug-abuses-nida-fight-against-addiction/430496                  

Teen Athletes More Likely to Abuse Pain Relievers                
Ryan Kath, CBS Boston                
April 6, 2016                

Two million teen athletes are seriously injured playing sports each year, and many are prescribed narcotic pain medication. Those prescriptions are risky because youth are more likely than adults to misuse their prescriptions.                

Read More:                
http://boston.cbslocal.com/2016/04/06/i-team-teen-athletes-vulnerable-opioid-addiction-abuse                  
                 

Marijuana

M. A. Fitzcharles, E.M. Hazel, G. Taylor, and L.B. Tucker. 2016. “Pain Management for the Young Adult Rheumatology Patient in an Era of Medicinal Marijuana Legalization.” Journal of Rheumatology, doi:10.3899/jrheum.150103.                  

This editorial discusses treatment with medical marijuana of adult rheumatology patients ages 18–23. The issue is complex because familiarity with marijuana as a socially acceptable recreational product may smudge the lines between recreational and therapeutic use. The author believes the medical community keep current on evidence of marijuana benefits and risks as a therapeutic option in order to competently advise these young patients.                  

Read more:                  
http://www.jrheum.org/content/43/4/686.extract                                     

Space Limited for Private Motor Truck Council of Canada Medical Marijuana Event                  
Truck West                  
April 5, 2016                  

Canadian federal regulatory changes are expected to cause medical marijuana use to rise. Workplace safety may be an issue during this rapid adoption. Notably, the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada estimates 22,000 commercial vehicle operators will have the option of getting medical authority to use marijuana by 2024.                  

Read more:                  
http://www.trucknews.com/health-safety/space-limited-for-pmtc-medical-marijuana-event-in-wetaskiwin/1003071458                                     

California Law Offers Medical Marijuana Sales Tax                  
Nathan Solis, Record Searchlight                  
April 2, 2016                  

Three bills that became law earlier this year in California provide the framework for regulating medical marijuana and overhauling the industry across the state. They allow counties and cities to tax medical marijuana sales and control whether medical marijuana is sold locally. In Shasta County, previous prohibition of medical marijuana dispensaries and other strict policies are unlikely to change.                  

Read more:                  
http://www.redding.com/news/local/state-law-offers-medical-marijuana-sales-tax-shasta-county-not-interested-2e1d4745-86ee-5bdf-e053-01-374388401.html                                     

No City Jobs for Medical Marijuana Users in Springfield, Ill.                  
Brittany Hilderbrand, Illinois Times                  
April 7, 2016                  

The city of Springfield, Ill., has adopted a policy in line with the Drug Free Work Place Act, banning any use of controlled substances while working. This policy includes use or marijuana, even for those who are legally authorized to use the drug for medicinal purposes. This piece discusses the complexities stemming from medical marijuana use, and shows both sides of the argument regarding work-place medical marijuana use.                  

Read more:                  
http://illinoistimes.com/article-17046-no-city-jobs-for-medical-marijuana-users.html#                                       

Medical Marijuana: How to Prevent Addiction                  
David Casarett, Newsweek                  
April 3, 2016                  

As opioid addiction becomes more and more common, many feel prescription practices by physicians are at least partially responsible. The physician author of this opinion piece argues that the advocacy of medical marijuana is no different. He warns that marijuana users have a 9 percent chance of a misuse disorder and urges states to proceed cautiously when considering medical marijuana policies. The problems in prescribing opioids, he says, should not be repeated with marijuana.                  

Read more:                  
http://www.newsweek.com/medical-marijuana-prevent-addiction-443098                                     

Illinois Medical Marijuana Bill Seeks Warning Labels                  
Ivan Moreno, Associated Press                  
April 4, 2016                  

Illinois medical marijuana would be required to carry warning labels about possible side effects under a bill proposed by Rep. Dwight Kay. He proposed the legislation in an effort to ensure medical marijuana is treated like other prescriptions drugs, which warn patients about potential adverse effects of use.                  

Read more:                  
http://www.thecannabist.co/2016/04/04/illinois-medical-marijuana-warning-labels/51296                                     

Florida Approves Gainesville Nursery to Grow Medical Marijuana                  
Dara Kam, News Service of Florida                  
April 5, 2016                  

Florida health officials have authorized a sixth organization to grow medical marijuana. A judge’s decision, as well as a new law permitting full-strength marijuana use for terminally ill patients contributed to their decision.                  

Read more:                  
http://www.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/archives/2016/04/05/florida-approves-gainesville-nursery-to-grow-medical-marijuana                                     

Timeline for Medical Marijuana Cultivation Licenses Still on Schedule                  
CJ Lovelace, Herald-Mail                  
April 6, 2016                  

The estimated timeline for awarding cultivation licenses to hopeful producers in Maryland’s new medical-marijuana market remains on schedule for this summer, according to a partner with an applicant trying to start an operation in Washington County. The state will award 15 licenses for cultivation, plus unlimited processor licenses and two dispensary licenses per each of Maryland’s 47 senatorial districts, for a total of 94 statewide.                  

Read more:                  
http://www.heraldmailmedia.com/news/local/timeline-for-medical-marijuana-cultivation-licenses-still-on-schedule/article_453f1876-fc09-11e5-8eab-a7c92b39459d.html                                     

Legislator Moves to Remove Cap on Medical Marijuana Pharmacies                  
Kevin Litten, NOLA.com                  
April 5, 2016                  

Louisiana State Rep. Tanner Magee has introduced a bill that would remove the limit of 10 medical marijuana pharmacies statewide. Some worry the limit makes operating licenses highly lucrative and can encourage corruption. While state legislation laid out a framework for medical marijuana use in 2015, officials continue to work on refining the rules for growing and distributing the drug.                   

Read more:                  
http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/04/medical_marijuana_pharmacies.html                                     

State Approval Last Step in Quest for Fall River (Mass.) Medical Marijuana Facility                  
Kevin O’Connor, Herald News Staff Reporter                  
April 7, 2016                  

Cannatech—a company in Fall River, Mass., led by a local doctor and business executive—is seeking provisional approval from the state’s public health department on its proposal to build a 50,000 square foot facility to grow pharmaceutical-grade marijuana and process the plant to make medicine. They have completed all necessary testing and provided the state with all documents required by law but are awaiting a decision—a process which usually takes 45–90 days, according to officials.                  

Read more:                  
http://www.heraldnews.com/news/20160407/state-approval-last-step-in-quest-for-fall-river-medical-marijuana-facility                                     

Medical Marijuana Bill Fails in Nebraska                  
Anna Gronewold, Associated Press                  
April 6, 2016                  

Proponents came three votes shy of ending a filibuster and advancing a bill in the Nebraska’s legislature that would have legalized medical marijuana use for individuals with chronic diseases, such as Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, opioid addiction, and some cancers.                  

Read more:                  
http://www.argusleader.com/story/news/politics/2016/04/06/medical-marijuana-bill-fails-nebraska/82693392                  

Minnesota Lawmakers Propose Changes to Medical Marijuana Law                  
Jennifer Brooks, Star Tribune                  
April 1, 2016                  

Minnesota’s current medical marijuana laws allow dispensing for nine specific conditions, including certain cancers, AIDS, and seizures. Lawmakers are considering expanding that list to include inflammatory bowel disease and intractable pain. Only 1,190 persons legally registered in Minnesota’s Office of Medical Cannabis to obtain the medicine, which made prices per unit high. Additional enrollments would lower per person costs.                  

Read more:                  
http://www.startribune.com/minnesota-lawmakers-propose-changes-to-medical-marijuana-law/374340261                                       

Ohio Lawmakers Consider Medical Marijuana; Ballot Initiative Advances                  
Joshua Lim, WCPO                  
April 2, 2016                  

The debate over legalizing medical marijuana in Ohio continues as a House task force recently held its sixth and final meeting. Members held two months of discussions on the topic. While no formal legislation has been drafted, some members believe that doing so is the next step. Legalization advocates also are preparing a ballot initiative.                  

Read more:                  
http://www.wcpo.com/news/political/ohio-state-government-news/lawmakers-may-propose-legislation-on-medical-marijuana-advocates-move-forward-with-ballot-initiativ                                     

Drug Testing Misses Synthetic Cannabinoids                  
Celia Vimont, drugfree.org                  
April 6, 2016                  

At the local level—including cities such as Washington, D.C., and Tampa, Fla.—governments have extended criminal justice drug monitoring programs to include synthetic cannabinoids. Due to their previous exclusion, many people began using synthetic cannabinoids as they knew the testing would not detect it. However, the synthetic drugs have a rash of health consequences, and many argue they are far more dangerous than natural marijuana consumption. They also regularly evolve chemically, meaning testing rarely will detect current products.                  

Read more:                  
http://www.drugfree.org/join-together/drug-testing-misses-synthetic-cannabinoids-expert/?utm_source=Stay+Informed+-+latest+tips%2C+resources+and+news&utm_campaign=95e86daae3-JT_Daily_News_DEA_Will_Announce_Whether_4_6_2016
&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_34168a2307-95e86daae3-224293653
                                    

Employers in Jamaica Yet to Adjust Ganja Policies                  
The Gleaner                  
April 4, 2016                  

As marijuana laws are being relaxed, the practice of drug-testing employees is becoming more complex. In Jamaica, the government is urging employers to re-examine their policies on marijuana to not exclude potential job seekers who may test positively for the drug.                  

Read more:                  
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/news/20160404/employers-yet-adjust-ganja-policies                
               

International

Manitoba, Canada, Doctors Not Following Fentanyl Prescription Safety Guidelines                
Anna Mehler Paperny                
April 4, 2016                

In 2015, 29 fentanyl-involved deaths occurred in Manitoba, Canada. Half the doctors prescribing fentanyl in Manitoba are not following safety guidelines. Researchers examined medical records for 11,063 people who were prescribed the powerful pain reliever and found that nearly 75 percent of prescriptions did not follow all of the guidelines. Manitoba committed $500,000 to this issue (Includes video: 1:33 minutes).                 

Read more:                
http://globalnews.ca/news/2613982/half-of-fentanyl-prescriptions-dont-follow-safety-guidelines                                 

Prescriptions of Opioid Drugs Skyrocketing in Canada                
Carly Weeks and Karen Howlett, The Globe and Mail                
April 05, 2016                

In 2012, in the face of rising misuse, public drug plans in every province in Canada except Alberta stopped funding OxyContin and its reformulated, tamper-resistant version, OxyNEO. Similar restrictions were not placed on other opioids, with the unintended consequence of shifting patients from one drug to another and escalating the prescription-drug crisis. Prescriptions for opioids continued to rise from 18.3 million in 2012 to 21.7 million in 2014. Purdue Pharma Canada, the manufacturer of OxyContin, also makes Hydromorph Contin, which has become the most popular long-acting opioid in Canada, with prescriptions reaching 1.6 million last year, up 60 per cent since 2011. Hydromorph Contin is covered by every province’s public drug plan with the exception of British Columbia and Prince Edward Island. It comes in “dangerously high formulations” much more potent than OxyContin.                

Read more:                
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/sales-of-opiod-drug-prescriptionsskyrocketing/article26008639                                 

Prescription Drugs Linked to More Deaths than Heroin and Alcohol in Victoria, Australia                
Raina Spooner, The Age                
April 4, 2016                

Victoria, Australia, has experienced a 23 percent increase in overdose deaths in the last five years – with twice as many overdose deaths caused by legal prescriptions last year than by illegal drugs. Residents and family members of victims are unable to understand the lack of state intervention given this stark trend.                

Read more:                
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/prescription-drugs-lead-by-valium-linked-to-more-deaths-than-heroin-and-alcohol-20160404-gny2tr.html                                 

Illicit Trade in Prescription Drugs a Growing Problem for Dublin’s North Inner City                
Patrick Feyne                
April 2, 2016                

Prescription drugs changed the inner-city Dublin drug scene in the past two years. Dealing in these semi-legal products is low risk and takes place in full public view. The article provides an inside look at the new drug markets emerging in the inner-city areas of Dublin and measures being taken to curb the use of semi-legal drugs.                

Read more:                
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/illicit-trade-in-prescription-drugs-a-growing-problem-for-dublin-s-north-inner-city-1.2595144                                 

John Ivison: Canada’s Opioid-Abuse Carnage to Continue Under Liberals                
John Ivison                
April 4, 2016                

This column discusses the frustrations many in Canada are feeling given the lack of action to fight prescription drug misuse. The issue continues to deepen as an estimated 410,000 Canadians are misusing prescription drugs.                

Read more:                
http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/john-ivison-canadas-opioid-abuse-carnage-to-continue-under-liberals                
               

Northeast/Mid-Atlantic News

Massachusetts School Staff Get Substance Use Prevention Training                
Tom Relihan, The Recorder; Greenfield, MA                
April 6, 2016                

A new law requires Massachusetts school nurses, counselors, and psychologists to implement substance use screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment programs for all students in the 7th and 10th grades. Training on the technique has begun, with school administrators also attending.                

Read More:                
http://www.recorder.com/News/Local/School-staff-get-substance-abuse-prevention-training-1347316                                 

No Joke: N.J. Hospital Uses Laughing Gas to Cut Down on Opioid Use                
Hansi Lo Wang, mprnews.org                
April 1, 2016                

Laughing gas (nitrous oxide) is a new tool for battling the opioid epidemic at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in New Jersey. It is one of several opioid-alternatives the center is using to treat pain. To relieve fractures, St. Joseph’s emergency department (ED) now uses ultrasound to find nerves that can be injected with a numbing agent to block the pain. They are also encouraging patients to try treatments such as acupuncture after discharge from the hospital. Among 300 patients treated during the first 2 months of program, 75 percent left the ED without needing opioids.                

Read more:                
http://www.mprnews.org/story/2016/04/02/npr-no-joke-nj-hospital-uses-laughing-gas-to-cut-down-on-opioid-use                                 

Leaders Try to Close Gap to Abuse Treatment in Pennsylvania                
Eric Scicchitano, dailyitem.com                
April 2, 2016                

Separate recent funding proposals by President Obama and Pennsylvania’s governor look to close the gap between addiction and access to substance abuse treatment. The governor requested $34 million to fund treatment for an additional 11,250 addicts and open 50 new treatment clinics. The proposals would reverse trends in both Washington and Harrisburg where addiction services have seen consistent funding cuts over recent years.                

Read more:                
http://www.dailyitem.com/news/leaders-try-to-close-gap-to-abuse-treatment/article_fd02b7a2-f93d-11e5-8ef9-a3f5f119269e.html                                 

Pennsylvania Workplace Drug Testing: Best Practices to Keep Your Business Drug Free                
Lenay Ruhl, Central Penn Business Journal                
April 6, 2016                 

Optimizing the Abuse-Deterrent Opioids Market, released in January by the American Legislative Exchange Council, warns opioids are responsible for an estimated $55.7 billion a year in costs related to health care, the workplace, and criminal justice. The article provides tips for keeping a workplace drug-free. It touts drug testing and makes a controversial recommendation of a zero tolerance policy for failed drug tests. If an employee comes forward about their addiction without being drug tested, the article suggests working with the employee to get treatment. The article highlights how companies in Central Pennsylvania area are dealing with these issues.                 

Read more:                
http://www.cpbj.com/article/20160406/CPBJ01/160329802/drug-testing-in-the-workplace-best-practices-to-keep-your-business-drug-free                                 

Update: Massachusetts Benzodiazepine Bill Hearing                
Alison Page, Mad in America: Science, Psychiatry and Community                
April 7, 2016                

A Massachusetts legislative committee recently heard testimony concerning legislation that would require alerting patients of the risks of taking benzodiazepines prior to prescribing the drugs.                 

Read More:                
http://www.madinamerica.com/2016/04/massachusetts-benzodiazepine-bill-hearing                
               

South News

West Virginia Senator Proposes Opioid ‘Treatment Fee’ to Fund Substance Abuse Centers                
Charles Owens, Bluefield Daily Teregraph                
April 3, 2016                

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is seeking to institute a “treatment fee” of one penny per milligram of opioids produced in an effort to raise funds for substance abuse recovery centers. The proposed fee could raise $1.5–2 billion in annual funding.                

Read more:                
http://www.bdtonline.com/news/manchin-proposes-opioid-treatment-fee-to-fund-substance-abuse-centers/article_4e8538d8-f93f-11e5-b036-b32f80ea1873.html                                 

‘Doctor Shopping’ for Prescription Pills Drops in West Virginia                
Eric Eyre, Charleston Gazette-Mail                
April 2, 2016                 

Following adoption of a prescription drug monitoring program in late 2014, the number of suspected cases of doctor shopping in West Virginia dropped by 40 percent.                

Read more:                
http://www.wvgazettemail.com/news/20160402/doctor-shopping-for-prescription-pills-drops-in-wv                                 

University of Central Florida Medical School Boosts Opioid Rx Education                
Naseem Miller                
April 1, 2016                 

The University of Central Florida and 59 other U.S. medical schools have  pledged to provide more education regarding prescribing pain medications.                

Read more:                
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/health/addiction-recovery/os-addiction-recovery-ucf-curriculum-opioid-rx-20160401-story.html                                 

Opioid Overdose Deaths Increase in Louisville, Ky., Despite Naloxone Prevalence                
Christina Mora. WLKY News; Louisville, KY                
April 4, 2016                

Despite the increased use of naloxone, overdose deaths in Louisville, Ky., continue to increase. (Includes video: 1:55 minutes)                 

Read More:                
http://www.wlky.com/news/opioid-overdose-deaths-increase-despite-naloxone-prevalence/38859616                
               

Midwest News

Prescription Drug Abuse Impacts 80 Percent of Indiana Workplaces                
PRWEB                
April 11, 2016                

A November 2015 survey by the National Safety Council and Indiana attorney general’s Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Task Force found that 80 percent of Indiana employers have been impacted by prescription drug misuse. The poll found 64 percent of Indiana employers believe that prescription drugs are a bigger problem than illegal drugs. Yet, only 53 percent of employers have a written policy concerning prescription drug use at work, just 52 percent test for synthetic opioids and less than one-third offer training regarding workplace use of prescription drugs. More than 60 percent of employers were “not confident” their human resources teams, supervisors, and employees could spot the warning signs of prescription drug misuse, which likely reflects the relatively low levels of training provided. In light of these findings, Novus Medical Detox Center urges all employers to maintain a written policy regarding prescription drug use in the workplace and to provide relevant education and promote the use of employee assistance programs.                

Read more:                
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/04/prweb13327794.htm                                 

A Rising Epidemic of Drug Abuse in Floyd County, Ind.                
Barbra Bridgewater, newsandtribune.com                
April 2, 2016                

In Floyd County, Ind., 10 percent of high school seniors report misusing prescription drugs in the past 30 days and believe there is either no or only a slight risk to using prescription drugs. A task force is charged implementing a plan to address substance abuse in the county. Additionally, a Partners for Success program is working on a norms-based education campaign called “Be the Majority” (by not misusing prescription drugs).                

Read more:                
http://www.newsandtribune.com/news/youth-count-a-rising-epidemic-of-drug-abuse/article_5f12739c-f858-11e5-853c-c7f163a80b8f.html                                 

How a Federal Bill Will Help Combat Wisconsin’s Opioid Epidemic                
Vidushi Saxena, Badger Herald                
April 4, 2016                

Though Wisconsin’s legislators have worked on several bills to address the statewide opioid epidemic, the federal Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 could push their initiatives further, streamlining funding for treatment programs and drug courts. The bill would allow existing Wisconsin initiatives to expand, as well as increasing education efforts, access to treatment, and recovery opportunities.                

Read More:                
https://badgerherald.com/news/2016/04/04/how-a-federal-bill-will-help-combat-wisconsins-opioid-epidemic                                 

Winona County, Minn., Substance Abuse Coalition to Host First Event                
Marcia Ratliff, Daily News                
April 7, 2016                

The Winona County (Minn.) Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention, which was awarded federal funding late last year, kicks off its first public event this week. The event will feature discussion with two individuals who struggled with addiction as teens and have since worked through the recovery process.                

Read More:                
http://www.winonadailynews.com/news/local/talking-about-addiction-winona-county-substance-abuse-coalition-to-host/article_fc56b068-5bc9-56b5-84ec-536a32331451.html                
               

West News

 Opiate Overdoses in Pima County, Ariz., Continue to Increase                
Joe Ferguson, Arizona Daily Star                
April 1, 2016                 

The office of the Medical Examiner for Pima County/Tucson, Ariz., released preliminary 2015 counts of 93 overdose deaths from heroin and almost 200 from prescription opiates. Heroin deaths rose 20 percent from 2014. Overall drug overdose deaths in a multi-county area rose to 379 in 2015, from 324 in 2014 and 327 in 2013.                

Read more:                
http://tucson.com/news/local/opiate-overdoses-in-pima-county-continue-to-increase/article_2194298b-2628-51c0-bdc9-d6b0436f2a74.html                

A Wave of Federal Funding for Addiction Treatment Is Heading to Alaska                
Erica Martinson, Alaska Dispatch News                
April 2, 2016                

As part of a $94 million injection of federal funding to local clinics, five clinics in Alaska will receive more than $1.76 million. The grants will increase funding for patient substance abuse screening and increase access to medication-assisted treatment. Further funding is likely to be allocated to expand treatment and train first responders as bipartisan support in congress is driving progress in fighting opioid addiction.                 

Read more:                
http://www.adn.com/article/20160402/wave-federal-funding-addiction-treatment-heading-alaska                                 

Opioid Epidemic Spurs Rethink on Medication and Addiction in California                
Anna Gorman                
April 5, 2016                

California’s substance abuse treatment system plans to expand access to medication-assisted opioid addiction treatment for low-income residents. The state recently embarked on a five-year demonstration project on the premise that addiction is a chronic disease and should be treated as such.                

Read more:                
http://californiahealthline.org/news/opioid-epidemic-spurs-rethink-on-medication-and-addiction                
               

Other Resources

National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit 2016 Presentations                
Compiled by National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit                
April 5, 2016                 

This link provides access to presentations from the 2016 summit. Presentations are divided into pre-summit workshops and keynote, general, and breakout sessions. The breakout sessions are divided into the following tracks: advocacy, clinical, federal, heroine, law enforcement, prescription drug monitoring programs, pharmacy, prevention, third-party payer, and treatment. There are also notes available from the thought leader roundtables.                 

Read more:                
http://nationalrxdrugabusesummit.org/2016-presentations                
               

Webinars

Community Health Needs Assessment and Substance Use Disorders: How Partnerships with Community Coalitions can Benefit Local Substance Use Prevention Efforts                
Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America                
Thursday, April 14, 2016                
2:30 p.m. (ET)                
http://www.cadca.org/resources/register-ondcp-webinar-featuring-cadcas-sue-thau                                 

Weed in Your Workplace: What You Need to Know                
National Safety Council                
Wednesday, April 20, 2016                
2:00 p.m. (ET)                
http://eventcallregistration.com/reg/index.jsp?cid=59487t11                                 

Research into Action Series Webinar                
Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America                
Thursday, April 21, 2016                 
2 p.m. (ET)                 
http://www.cadca.org/resources/register-now-cadcas-next-research-action-webinar-series-1                                   

Preventing Youth Marijuana Use: Changing Perceptions of Risk                
Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies                
Thursday, May 19, 2016                 
2 p.m. (ET)                
https://captconnect.edc.org/event/preventing-youth-marijuana-use-changing-perception-risk                  
               

Grant Announcements

NIJ-2016-9090: Research and Evaluation on Drugs and Crime                
Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice                
Due April 20, 2016                
http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/search-grants.html                                   

FY 2016 Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program                
Bureau of Justice Assistance                
Due: April 26, 2016                
http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/search-grants.html                
https://www.bja.gov/funding/PDMP16.pdf                                   

NIDA Challenge: Addiction Research: There’s an App for that                
National Institute on Drug Abuse                
Submission Period begins November 3, 2015, 9 a.m. (ET)                
Submission Period ends April 29, 2016, 11:59 p.m. (ET)                
http://nida.ideascale.com/a/pages/addiction-research-theres-an-app-for-that                                   

Bottle Tracking Program                
National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators                
Due: None Specified                
http://www.naddi.org/aws/NADDI/pt/sp/programs_grants                  
http://naddibottletracking.org/law-enforcement                  
               

National Take-Back Initiative

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day                
Drug Enforcement Administration                
Saturday, April 30, 2016                
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.                
http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback                  
               

Take-Back Events & Drop Boxes

New Prescription Drug Box in Place at Nolensville (Tenn.) Police Department                
Samantha Hearn, Brentwood Home Page                
April 6, 2016                
http://www.brentwoodhomepage.com/third-prescription-drop-off-box-in-williamson-county-finds-home-at-nolensville-police-department-cms-26013#.VwcsrKPru70                                   

Drug Dump Temporarily Closed After Humboldt (Calif.) Dumped Too Many Drugs                
Hank Sims, Lost Coast Outpost                
April 6, 2016                
https://lostcoastoutpost.com/2016/apr/6/humboldts-new-drug-dump-temporarily-closed-after-h                                 

Snohomish (Wash.) Health District Considers Drug Take-Back Plan                
Susan Salyer, Herald of Everett                
http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20160405/NEWS01/160409584                                   

Prescription Drug Drop Boxes Are Coming to Seattle                
Ana Sofia Knauf, The Stranger                
April 5, 2016                 
http://www.thestranger.com/slog/2016/04/05/23908695/drug-drop-boxes-are-coming-to-seattle                                   

Geisinger Medicine Take-Back Program in Sunbury (Penn.) Eliminates Disposal Hazard                
The Daily Item                
April 5, 2016                
http://www.dailyitem.com/news/lifestyles/health/geisinger-medicine-take-back-program-eliminates-disposal-hazard/article_e990f02c-fb3a-11e5-bd94-8f835f05803c.html                                 

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day April 30 Across Tennessee                
WGNS News Radio                
April 6, 2016                
http://wgnsradio.com/help-prevent-prescription-drug-abuse-in-tennessee-cms-32267                                   

Drug Drop-Off April 30 in West Seneca (N.Y.)                
Marian Hetherly, WBFO 88.7                
April 7, 2016                
http://news.wbfo.org/post/drug-dropoff-april-30-west-seneca#stream/0                                   

Drug Take Back scheduled for April 30 in Forsyth Township, Mich.                
ABC News 10                
http://abc10up.com/drug-take-back-scheduled-this-month/                                 

Prescription Drug Disposal Event April 30 in Falls Church, Va.                
Falls Church News-Press                
April 6, 2016                
https://fcnp.com/2016/04/06/prescription-drug-disposal-event-april-30/                                   

Take-Back Day is Every Day in Big Bear Lake, Calif.                
Big Bear Grizzly                
April 6, 2016                
http://www.bigbeargrizzly.net/news/take-back-day-is-every-day-in-big-bear/article_12d12466-fb9f-11e5-a238-c734e189becb.html                                   

Seattle City Council Endorses Prescription Drug Take-Back Program                
The Seattle Medium                
April 6, 2016                
http://seattlemedium.com/city-council-endorses-prescription-drug-take-back-program/                                   

Give the Police Your Drugs in Barberton, Ohio                
The Barberton Herald                
April 6, 2016                
http://www.barbertonherald.com/106900/1803/brdrug-take-back                                   

Eleventh Annual Prescription Take-Back Event April 30 in Fairfield, Calif.                
Daily Republic                
April 6, 2016                
http://www.dailyrepublic.com/news/fairfield/dea-announces-11th-annual-prescription-take-back-event                                   

Drop Prescription Drugs Off at the Wayland (Mass.) Police Department                
Rebekah Marcarelli, Wayland Patch                
April 6, 2016                
http://patch.com/massachusetts/wayland/drop-your-prescription-drugs-wayland-police-department-0                                   

San Bernardino Co. (Calif.) Sheriffs Participate in Prescription Drug Take-Back Day                
Highland Community News                
April 5, 2016                
http://www.highlandnews.net/news/public_safety/sheriff-stations-participate-in-nationwide-prescription-drug-take-back/article_800a5244-fb5b-11e5-983f-ff5079e0b462.html                                                    

Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Set in Tempe, Ariz., April 30                
Phil Benson, AZFamily.com                
April 5, 2016                
http://www.azfamily.com/story/31645763/prescription-drug-take-back-day-set-in-tempe                  
               

Upcoming Conferences and Workshops

Pharmacy Diversion Awareness Conference                
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration                
April 17–18, 2016                 
Towson, Md.                
http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/mtgs/pharm_awareness                                 

Marijuana Summit                
Smart Approaches to Marijuana and New Jersey Prevention Network                
April 28, 2016                
Atlantic City, N.J.                
http://www.njpn.org/summit2016                                   

Medical Marijuana Seminar                
Private Motor Truck Council of Canada                
May 3, 2016                
Alberta, Canada                
http://www.todaystrucking.com/alberta-hosting-spring-talk-on-medical-marijuana-in-trucking                  
http://www.pmtc.ca/News.asp?a=view&id=113                                 

24th Annual Meeting                
Society for Prevention Research                
May 31 – June 3, 2016                
San Francisco, Calif.                
http://www.preventionresearch.org/2016-annual-meeting                                   

2016 Annual Conference                
International Health Facility Diversion Association                
September 13–14, 2016                
Duke Energy Convention Center                
Cincinnati, Ohio                 
https://ihfda.org/2016-annual-conference                  

Register:                
https://www.regonline.com/Register/Checkin.aspx?EventID=1803476                                   

29th Annual National Prevention Network Conference                
National Prevention Network                
September 13–15, 2016                
Buffalo, N.Y.                
http://www.npnconference.org                                   

Register:                
http://www.npnconference.org/registration                                   

Call for Presentations                
Online Application Deadline: April 18, 2016, 5 p.m.                
         
                                 
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