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August 7, 2013

SAMHSA Prevention of Prescription Drug Abuse in the Workplace Listserv


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Featured Articles 
 
M. Daubresse, P.P. Gleason, Y. Peng, N.D. Shah, S.T. Ritter, and G.C. Alexander. 2013. "Impact of a Drug Utilization Review Program on High-Risk Use of Prescription Controlled Substances." Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety. doi:10.1002/pds.3487.

Researchers evaluated a retrospective drug utilization review program to reduce controlled substance use among individuals with high-risk utilization. They analyzed pharmacy claims from a large pharmaceutical benefits manager. For each eligible member, they calculated a controlled substance score based on the number and type of claims, prescribers and pharmacies, and use patterns over 3 months. Two state health plans sent controlled substance letters to prescribers of members meeting or exceeding a plan- and pre-specified controlled substance score. Two different state health plans did not send such letters. They used a difference-in-difference design and generalized estimating equations to quantify the impact of the program on the mean difference in reduction of the controlled substance score over 6 months. Eligible members in the intervention and comparison states had similar baseline mean controlled substance scores (19.0 vs. 18.6, p=0.36). Adjusting for individuals' age, sex, and pharmacy risk group score, reductions in the mean controlled substance score were greater in the intervention than comparison cohort (5.67 vs. 4.31, p=0.01), corresponding with a 34.0 percent reduction in the intervention cohort compared with a 25.5 percent reduction in the comparison cohort. Changes were driven primarily by reductions in the number of controlled substance claims filled (30.5 percent vs. 23.1 percent, p=0.01), as well as by a marginally significant trend toward reductions in the number of prescribers and pharmacies used (26.9 percent vs. 20.1 percent, p=0.07).

Read more: 
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pds.3487/abstract
 
Increase in Urine Testing Raises Ethical Questions
The New York Times
August 1, 2013

Doctors are using urine-screening tests to learn which drugs patients are taking. Efforts to monitor opioid prescribing have raised questions about what doctors should do with the information they obtain, the accuracy of urine screens, and whether some companies and doctors are financially exploiting the testing boom. The simple fact that a patient tests negatively for a prescribed drug does not necessarily mean he or she is selling it; this could simply mean the patient stopped taking the drug. Still, doctors say they now face tough choices about what to do with patients when tests show they are not taking prescribed drugs or are mixing them with unapproved drugs or illegal ones. A professor at Oregon Health & Science University thinks doctors might use the tests as an excuse to get rid of patients rather than steer them into addiction treatment or alternative pain management programs. In 2013, sales at testing laboratories are expected to reach $2 billion--up from $800 million in 1990, according to the Frost & Sullivan consulting firm. The urine-screening industry has faced problems with illegal profiteering and other questionable activities. In 2010, for example, Ameritox agreed to pay $16.4 million to settle charges that it paid kickbacks to physicians who sent tests to laboratories. Last year, Calloway Laboratories paid $20 million to resolve claims that it funneled cash to operators of Massachusetts drug treatment facilities in exchange for test work. A brochure distributed by Liberty Diagnostics of Pasadena, Calif., declares doctors can "Average $400 Profit per Screen" with "No Additional Overhead" like added staff or equipment. The brochure, which was obtained by The New York Times, also has a chart titled "Potential Profit Payout to Doctor" that states doctors who perform 10 urine screens a week can make $155,000 annually from the tests, plus an additional $133,000 from reviewing results and discussing them with patients.

Read more: 
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/02/business/increase-in-urine-testing-raises-ethical-questions.html?pagewanted=all
 
Indiana Doctors May See New Prescribing Rules for Painkillers in Effort to Target 'Pill Mills'
The Salem Leader
July 29, 2013

As part of implementation of the state's new laws aimed at "pill mills," the Indiana Medical Licensing Board is debating an emergency set of rules that would require doctors to screen patients better, consult the prescription monitoring database, and require patients to take a urine or saliva drug-monitoring test before being prescribed pain relievers. Additional drug-monitoring tests will be required while patients are taking the pills. The new rules would only apply when a doctor writes a prescription for more than 60 opioid-containing pills in a month, or a morphine-equivalent dose of 15 milligrams a day for 3 months. The proposed rules are aimed at curbing dependence on pain relievers and their illegal sale to drug abusers. If adopted, the emergency rules would become effective in December.

Read more: 
http://www.salemleader.com/main.asp?SectionID=2&SubSectionID=20&ArticleID=7218
 
Journal Articles
C.L. Currie, T.C. Wild, D.P. Schopflocher, L. Laing, and P. Veugelers. 2013. "Illicit and Prescription Drug Problems Among Urban Aboriginal Adults in Canada: The Role of Traditional Culture in Protection and Resilience." Social Science & Medicine 88:1-9.

Researchers collected data via in-person surveys with a community-based sample of Aboriginal adults living in a midsized city in western Canada (N=381) in 2010. Associations were analyzed using two sets of bootstrapped linear regression models adjusted for confounders with continuous illicit and prescription drug problem scores as outcomes. Psychological mechanisms that may explain why traditional culture is protective for Aboriginal peoples were examined using the cross-products of coefficients mediation method. The extent to which culture served as a resilience factor was examined via interaction testing. Results indicate Aboriginal enculturation was a protective factor associated with reduced 12-month illicit drug problems and 12-month prescription drug problems among Aboriginal adults in an urban setting. Increased self-esteem partially explained why cultural participation was protective. Cultural participation also promoted resilience by reducing the effects of high school incompletion on drug problems. In contrast, mainstream acculturation was not associated with illicit drug problems and served as a risk factor for prescription drug problems in this urban sample.

Read more: 
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953613002013
 
A.P. Groenman, J. Oosterlaan, N.N.J. Rommelse, B. Franke, C.U. Greven, P.J. Hoekstra, C.A. Hartman, M. Luman, H. Roeyers, R.D. Oades, J.A. Sergeant, J.K. Buitelaar, and S.V. Faraone. 2013. "Stimulant Treatment for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Risk of Developing Substance Use Disorder." The British Journal of Psychiatry. doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.112.124784.

Researchers examined effects of stimulant treatment on subsequent risk for substance use disorder and nicotine dependence in a prospective longitudinal attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) case-control study. They assessed ADHD, conduct disorder, and oppositional defiant disorder. Substance use disorders, nicotine dependence, and stimulant treatment were assessed retrospectively after a mean follow-up of 4.4 years, at a mean age of 16.4 years. Stimulant ADHD treatment was linked to a reduced risk for substance use disorders compared with no stimulant treatment, even after controlling for conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder (hazard ratio [HR]=1.91, 95 percent confidence interval [CI] 1.10-3.36), but not to nicotine dependence (HR=1.12, 95 percent CI 0.45-2.96). Within the stimulant-treated group, a protective effect of age at first stimulant use on substance use disorder development was found, which diminished with age and seemed to reverse around age 18.

Read more: 
http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/203/2/112.abstract
 
N. Hardt, T.D. Wong, M.J. Burt, R. Harrison, W. Winter, and J. Roth. 2013. "Prevalence of Prescription and Illicit Drugs in Pregnancy-Associated Non-natural Deaths of Florida Mothers, 1999-2005." Journal of Forensic Sciences. doi:10.1111/1556-4029.12219.

This study examined the prevalence of drug use in the non-natural deaths of pregnant or recently pregnant women. Records from Florida's Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review conducted between 1999 and 2005 (n=415) were linked to 385 toxicology reports obtained from Florida medical examiners' offices. The final study sample consisted of 169 drug-positive, pregnancy-associated non-natural deaths. Of these, 86 were positive for both blood and urine, 64 were positive for blood only and five for urine only, and the remainder were positive for some other specimen. Among these deaths, 91 cases (54 percent) involved prescription drugs, 78 cases (46 percent) involved illicit drugs, and 69 cases (41 percent) involved alcohol. Opioids constituted the majority of deaths associated with prescription drugs. Substantial co-use of opioids and benzodiazepines was seen. Pregnant or recently pregnant women may have more interactions with healthcare providers, which may present more opportunities for intervention and prevention.

Read more: 
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1556-4029.12219/abstract;jsessionid=6522EF7E30A06B24781202C6C29C7655.d02t04
  
 
B.C. Kelly, B.E. Wells, A. Leclair, D. Tracy, J.T. Parsons, and S.A. Golub. 2013. "Prevalence and Correlates of Prescription Drug Misuse Among Socially Active Young Adults." International Journal of Drug Policy 24(4):297-303. doi:10.1016/j.drugpo.2012.09.002.

Researchers assessed prevalence and correlates of lifetime and recent prescription drug misuse among urban young adults recruited at nightlife venues using time-space sampling via prevalence estimates and logistic regression analyses. In a sample of 1,207 young adults who attended a range of nightlife venues in New York City, 44.1 percent reported lifetime prescription drug misuse and 20.3 percent reported misuse during the past 3 months. Stimulants were the most common class of drug respondents misused within the past 6 months (16.7 percent), followed by pain relievers (16.5 percent) and sedatives (14.5 percent). Although no gender or sexual orientation differences in misuse prevalence existed, black youth reported the lowest prevalence of misuse. In multivariate analyses, increased age was associated with lower odds of recent misuse; females reported lower odds of recent misuse; and black, Asian, and Latino individuals had lower odds of recent misuse than whites. These odds varied by prescription drug type. Negative binomial regression analyses indicate that, among prescription drug misusers, women misuse prescription drugs less frequently. Younger people more frequently misuse stimulants and older individuals more frequently misuse sedatives. Racial variation existed with frequency of use across classes.

Read more: 
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23036649
 
E.C. Meltzer, W.D. Hall, and J.J. Fins. 2013. "Error and Bias in the Evaluation of Prescription Opioid Misuse: Should the FDA Regulate Clinical Assessment Tools?" Pain Medicine 14(7):982-87. doi:10.1111/pme.12099.

Experts have recommended using clinical assessment tools as part of a comprehensive plan for mitigating opioid-related risks. These tools are typically short, standardized questionnaires that screen for presence or absence of putatively aberrant medication-related behaviors thought to be predictive of addiction. Interestingly, the tools remain wholly unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or other authorities. This paper reviews how the instruments are used and the normative assumptions informing their use, fully appreciating that such screening tools do not have the power to diagnose illness or an addiction disorder. Nevertheless, the authors conclude: "clinical assessment tools may be imperfect at this time, but they can serve as reasonable screening instruments to assess patients for potential opioid-related aberrant behaviors with proper oversight. They have the potential to standardize the process of assessing and monitoring patients prescribed opioids, making it less arbitrary for physicians and more uniform for patients."

Read more: 
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23594383
 
E. Romano and R.A. Pollini. 2013. "Patterns of Drug Use in Fatal Crashes." Addiction 108(8):1428-38. doi:10.1111/add.12180.

Researchers used descriptive and logistic mixed-model regression analyses of Fatality Analysis Reporting System data from states with drug test results for >80 percent of fatally injured drivers, 1998-2010. Participants were drivers killed in single-vehicle crashes on public roads who died at the scene (n=16,942). This study measured drug test results, blood alcohol concentration (BAC), gender, age, and day and time of crash. Test results do not distinguish prescription from illicit drug sources. Overall, 45.1 percent of fatally injured drivers tested positive for alcohol (39.9 percent BAC≥0.08) and 25.9 percent for drugs. The most common drugs present were stimulants (7.2 percent) and cannabinols (7.1 percent), followed by "other" drugs (4.1 percent), multiple drugs (4.1 percent), narcotics (2.1 percent), and depressants (1.5 percent). Drug-involved crashes occurred with relative uniformity throughout the day, while alcohol-involved crashes were more common at night (p<0.01). Age groups with the highest odds of testing positive for drugs were aged 21-34 for stimulants and 35 and older for depressants, narcotics, and "other drugs," while multidrug use varied across age categories. Female drivers had significantly higher odds of testing positive for depressants, narcotics, and "other drugs," whereas males had higher odds of testing positive for stimulants. No significant gender differences were detected for multidrug use. Fatal single-vehicle crashes involving drugs are less common than those involving alcohol, and the characteristics of drug-involved crashes differ depending on drug class and presence of alcohol.

Read more: 
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/add.12180/abstract
 
Related Article 
R.L. DuPont, S.K. Talpins, and C.L. Shea. 2013. "Commentary on Romano & Pollini (2013): Stopping Drug-Impaired Driving and Alcohol-Impaired Driving--Synergy, not Competition." Addiction 108:1439-40.
 
The most salient observation in this commentary is that officers identify drugged drivers roadside with the same procedures used to identify alcohol-impaired drivers, including the Standard Field Sobriety Test. Most agencies initiated additional training that allowed officers to identify drug-impaired drivers during the past decade. Nevertheless, officers rarely test drivers arrested for drug impairment unless they test below the 0.08 illegal limit for alcohol. Romano and Pollini demonstrate that prevalence rates for alcohol and drugs among fatally injured drivers were sufficiently high to warrant testing for both substances in all impaired driving suspects. New technologies, including oral fluid testing, provide inexpensive and efficient ways to accomplish this.
  
Read more:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/add.12246/abstract 
  
 
L.M. Vaughn and K. Donohoe. 2013. "Dangers in the Medicine Cabinet: Appropriate Management of Expired and Unused Prescription Drugs." Home Health Care Management Practice 25(4):155-59. doi:10.1177/1084822312473829. 
  
This article reviews the problem of accidental poisonings and prescription drug abuse and summarizes recommendations from various government agencies for appropriate management and disposal of prescription drugs.
 
Read more: 
http://hhc.sagepub.com/content/25/4/155.abstract
 
News and Reports 
 
Public May Be Heavily Influenced by Rx Drug Commercials 
ABC7
July 29, 2013

Novus Medical Detox worries that advertisements may inadvertently contribute to the increase in prescription drug abuse. Recent studies show Americans are influenced by prescription drug advertisements on television. Of more than 1,000 adults polled, 10 percent said they had asked their doctors for a prescription for a drug they saw advertised--41 percent of those patients said they were given the prescription they requested, and another 25 percent said they received free samples from their doctor. Ninety-one percent said they had seen or heard prescription drug ads, most often on TV (78 percent) and in magazines (31 percent).

Read more: 
http://www.mysuncoast.com/health/news/public-may-be-heavily-influenced-by-rx-drug-commercials/article_924c8392-f85b-11e2-aacd-001a4bcf6878.html
 
Elderly Prescription Drug Addicts Fly Below Radar, Experts Say
Crookton Times
July 29, 2013

Addiction experts say elderly prescription drug addicts go unnoticed because it is hard to balance seniors' legitimate medical concerns and the potential for abuse. Loss, isolation, and easy access to medication make it common for aging adults to become addicted. The number of people 55 and older admitted to the emergency room for nonmedical use of prescription drugs more than tripled between 2004 and 2011, according to the Drug Abuse Warning Network. Experts anticipate the need for drug treatment among aging adults will explode as baby boomers enter retirement in force.

Read more: 
http://www.crookstontimes.com/article/20130729/NEWS/130729710/1001/NEWS
 
Pill-Shaped Products That Glamorize Medicine Abuse: Harmless Fun or Sugarcoating an Epidemic? 
The Partnership at Drugfree.org 
July 29, 2013

This blog post features pill-shaped products discovered by The Parent Toolkit Team. Are the items harmless fun or do they make light of the prescription drug abuse epidemic? The authors investigate.

Read more: 
http://theparenttoolkit.org/blog/detail/pill-shaped-products-that-glamorize-medicine-abuse-harmless-fun-or-sugarcoa?utm_source=Join+Together+Daily&utm_campaign=d076bcdba7-JT_Daily_News_Ad_Promoting_Marijuana&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_97f4d27738-d076bcdba7-221990529
 
Deadly Epidemic: Prescription Drug Overdoses 
USA Today 
July 28, 2013

More Americans die from pain relievers than from heroin and cocaine combined. In the past 11 years, overdose deaths increased more than 400 percent among women. About 45 deaths from prescription drug overdose are recorded each day in the United States.

Read more: 
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/07/28/deadly-epidemic-prescription-drug-overdoses/2584117
 
Other State and Local News
Eighty-Eight Pounds of Unused Prescription Drugs Collected in Lakewood 
Asbury Park Press
July 31, 2013

The Ocean County, N.J., Prosecutor's Office collected 88 pounds of prescription drugs in 1 hour at a minor league baseball game. The drugs were given to the Lakewood Police Department and Drug Enforcement Administration for safe disposal.

Read more: 
http://www.app.com/article/20130731/NJNEWS/307310122/Eighty-eight-pounds-of-unusued-prescription-drugs-collected-in-Lakewood?nclick_check=1
 
4.5 Million Prescription Drug Records Entered into New State System
The Ashland Daily Press
July 27, 2013

In its first 6 weeks of existence, the Wisconsin prescription drug monitoring program logged 4.5 million records into its database. That number is expected to double by December 31, 2013.

Read more: 
http://www.ashlandwi.com/news/regional/article_ea4897e4-f652-11e2-b8d1-0019bb2963f4.html
 
Drivers Cited for Operating Under Influence of Prescription Drugs
Channel3000.com
August 1, 2013

Law enforcement officers cited two Wisconsin drivers for driving under the influence of prescription drugs. Drug recognition experts used a 12-step process to determine impairment. Officials said drivers admitted to being under the influence of multiple medications.

Read more: 
http://www.channel3000.com/news/drivers-cited-for-operating-under-influence-of-prescription-drugs/-/1648/21291604/-/14ps839/-/index.html 
 
 
Deaths by Overdose at New Heights
Clarion Ledger
July 26, 2013

In Mississippi, the number of prescription drug abuse cases narcotics agents worked last year surpassed all cocaine cases: 693 versus 645. There were 234 prescription drug overdose deaths in 2012, whereas in 2011, there were 206. The Office of Applied Statistics reported that 11 percent of 18- to 25-year-olds abused prescription drugs during the past year.

Read more: 
http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20130728/OPINION03/307280004/Deaths-by-overdose-new-heights?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7CHome%7Cs&nclick_check=1
 
Kentucky Prescription Pill Deaths Drop, but Heroin Deaths Skyrocket, Report Shows
Courier-Journal
July 27, 2013

A recent report from the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy showed 1,004 drug overdose deaths in 2012, compared with 1,023 in 2011--down for the first time in a decade. Heroin overdose deaths increased 550 percent, from 22 in 2011 to 143 in 2012. During the past 2 years, prescription pill deaths were up in 22 counties with reported statistics. The report found Xanax present in 41 percent of autopsied cases, morphine in 32 percent, hydrocodone in 26 percent, and oxycodone in 24 percent.

Read more: 
http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20130726/NEWS01/307260032/Beshear-claims-progress-prescription-drug-abuse?gcheck=1&nclick_check=1
 
US Attorney to Address Tribal Professionals at Drug Prevention Training in Spokane
Execdigital
July 26, 2013

This press release discusses the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington's upcoming attendance at the Tribal Prescription Drug Abuse and Drug Endangered Children training in Spokane, Wash., August 8-9. Lamar Associates, an American Indian-owned training and technical assistance company, will host the 2-day event.

Read more: 
http://www.execdigital.com/press_releases/us-attorney-to-address-tribal-professionals-at-drug-prevention-training-in-spokane
 
Permission to Drug Test Drivers Should be Written into Contracts
Fleet News
July 31, 2013

The UK government announced a zero-tolerance approach to drug driving, which could affect company car and van drivers. Motorists suspected of driving under the influence of an illegal or prescribed drug will be required to take up to three roadside, saliva-based drug tests. If positive, they will be given a blood test to determine the level and type of drug present. A Fleet News poll found 61.9 percent of fleets have implemented a drug-driving policy; 33.3 percent have not. The professional engagement manager for road safety charity Brake suggests introducing new policies or updates to existing policies in consultation with staff; educating drivers on the dangers of drink and drug driving; and regularly reminding drivers of the risks. In addition, he thinks drug tests should be mandatory at Brake, including testing for the presence of drugs and alcohol in drivers' systems, with permission written into employees' contracts.

Read more: 
http://www.fleetnews.co.uk/news/2013/7/31/permission-to-drug-test-drivers-should-be-written-into-contracts/47860
 
Timm Herdt: An Antidote to Prescription Drug Abuse
Inside Bay Area
July 31, 2013

This article discusses prescription drug overdose deaths in California, a brief history of the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System, and the quest to keep the database funded and residents safe.

Read more: 
http://www.insidebayarea.com/opinion/ci_23770215/timm-herdt-an-antidote-perscription-drug-abuse
 
W.Va. to Track Kids at Risk of Drug-Related Abuse
The Kansas City Star
August 1, 2013

The Putnam County Sheriff's Department of West Virginia can now enter any drug-related cases in which a child's safety is a concern into a new Drug Endangered Child Tracking System. This will allow deputies to formally and directly share information about felony arrests with child welfare workers through a searchable database. The Kanawha County Sheriff's Department will use the system in the near future.

Read more: 
http://www.kansascity.com/2013/08/01/4382019/wva-to-track-kids-at-risk-of-drug.html
 
Patrol: Prescription Pill Seizures Up in Ohio
Newark Advocate
July 26, 2013

Ohio Highway Patrol statistics show troopers seized 50,832 prescription pills in the first half of 2013--a 53.1 percent increase compared with the same time period last year. This included the largest seizure of prescription pills in Ohio Highway Patrol history: 17,260 doses recovered from a Michigan man's car last month on Interstate 75. Troopers seized 37,831 opiate pills, 7,104 depressants, 2,413 stimulants, 1,311 hallucinogens, and 2,173 other pills statewide between Jan. 1 and June 30. Dealers use interstates to move drugs across the nation.

Read more: 
http://www.newarkadvocate.com/article/20130725/NEWS01/307250031/Patrol-Prescription-pill-seizures-up-Ohio?gcheck=1&nclick_check=1
 
Hundreds of Prescription Drugs Being Dropped Off to Police
The Guardian
July 28, 2013

Local residents placed hundreds of prescription medications in a drug drop box over the last 6 weeks. Charlottetown Police Services (Canada) has seen drugs such as fentanyl and hydrocodone. The box was installed at the police station in May when the department participated in the National Drug Take Back Day initiative sponsored by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. The drugs will be taken to a Murphy's Pharmacy location and then incinerated.

Read more: 
http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/News/Local/2013-07-28/article-3331508/Hundreds-of-prescription-drugs-being-dropped-off-to-police/1
 
Fighting the Epidemic of Prescription Drug Abuse in Colorado
9News
July 27, 2013

Colorado is about to begin a focused effort to reduce prescription drug abuse over the next 6 to 12 months, according to the Attorney General. The governor is co-chairing the National Governors Association's Prescription Drug Abuse Project, whose goal is to develop strategies for reducing prescription drug abuse. The Attorney General would like to see the prescription drug monitoring program become mandatory and user friendly for physicians--only about 20 percent currently participate. Rehab centers are reporting a 500 percent increase in prescription drug abuse patients, and Colorado ranks second highest in the nation for abuse.

Read more: 
http://www.9news.com/news/article/347285/222/-Fighting-the-epidemic-of-prescription-drug-abuse-in-Colorado
 
North Jersey 'Pill Mills' Cashing In on Painkiller Addiction
NorthJersey.com
July 27, 2013

This article discusses physicians who profit from operating and participating in New Jersey "pill mills." Some say the problem of pain reliever misuse is getting worse. In the past 5 years, at least nine doctors have been named in prescription pill trafficking schemes, according to authorities. Within a 19-month period, one doctor wrote $10 million (street value) worth of oxycodone prescriptions. State investigators found so many prescription pills in circulation that they initially assumed dealers were hijacking truckloads of drugs.

Read more: 
http://www.northjersey.com/news/North_Jersey_pill_mills_cashing_in_on_painkiller_addiction.html?page=all
 
Prescription Drugs Tied to Bulk of County's Accidental Deaths
The Pickens Sentinel
July 31, 2013

The Pickens County, S.C., Coroner said the county is top in the state for prescription drug deaths. A few years ago, 29 of 36 accidental deaths were attributed to prescription drug overdoses. That number has remained consistent, but the coroner does not know why.

Read more: 
http://www.pickenssentinel.com/view/full_story/23247668/article-Prescription-drugs-tied-to-bulk-of-county%C3%A2--s-accidental-deaths
 
Police Work With Many to Stop, Prevent Drugs
The Shelbyville News
July 26, 2013

This article discusses collaborations between Indiana's Shelbyville Police Department and the community to combat prescription drug abuse. Schools and community partners teach prevention to young people as well as adults. The Department also partners with health departments, pharmacies, and substance abuse providers.

Read more: 
http://www.shelbynews.com/articles/2013/07/27/news/doc51f0722a1b60e261011845.txt
 
Painkiller Problem
The Spectrum
July 27, 2013

Dixie Regional Medical Center (DRMC) officials have seen a decrease in pain reliever overdoses since 2008, but problems persist. Utah Vital Statistics reported that 289 people died in 2011 of "accidental poisoning by and exposure to drugs or other biological substances," while 65 people died of intentional self-poisoning in the same manner. During that same year, DRMC treated 104 patients. In 2010, the Utah Pharmaceutical Drug Abuse Brief reported that prescription drugs were related to 81 percent of all overdose deaths.

Read more: 
http://www.thespectrum.com/article/20130727/NEWS01/307270007/Painkiller-problem?gcheck=1
 
Teens Creative in Rx Drug Abuse
WTHIV10
August 1, 2013

This article and video (3:09 minutes) discuss how two Indiana girls became victims of crimes after they were given Xanax with alcohol. One victim ate a gummy bear that had been soaked in alcohol combined with a crushed Xanax. "Drunken Gummies" are popular among teens--they eat them at parties and at school.

Read more: 
http://www.wthitv.com/dpp/news/local/teens-creative-in-rx-drug-abuse 
 
 
Prescription Drug Dropbox at the St. Augustine Police Department
WTLV/WJXX
July 29, 2013

The St. Augustine, Fla., Police Department has a new prescription drug drop box. The box was purchased with a grant from Endo Pharmaceuticals.

Read more: 
http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/local/article/321860/3/Prescription-drug-dropbox-in-St-Augustine
 
Other Resources

Methadone Overdose 
U.S. National Library of Medicine
March 22, 2013

This Web page lists symptoms of methadone overdose and describes how to find help.

Read more: 
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002679.htm
 
Video

Fentanyl Killing Users 
ABC
July 29, 2013

Fentanyl is killing drug users in Australia who "doctor shop" to obtain the opioid pain reliever. Some are unaware of its powerful effects. (Duration 5:55 minutes)

Watch: 
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-07-29/fentanyl-killing-users/4851760
 
Grant Received

New Grant to Fight Prescription Drug Abuse Through 'Doctor Shopping'
WITF
July 31, 2013

The Pennsylvania Medical Society was awarded a $30,000 grant to fund six Webinars for medical professionals. The money will help fight prescription drug abuse by educating doctors and other healthcare providers.

Read more: 
http://www.witf.org/news/2013/07/new-grant-to-fight-prescription-drug-abuse-through-doctor-shopping.php
 
Webinar
Insights from a National Epidemic: The Medicine Abuse Project--Free Resources for States and Communities 
Children's Safety Network
September 5, 2013
3 p.m.-4 p.m. (EST)

This session will illustrate the nature, extent, and underlying attitudes/beliefs related to intentional medicine misuse and abuse behavior among the general population. It will identify proactive steps, resources, and tools to effectively address the issue. Participants will understand the positive role they can play as well as the broader network of organizations working to reduce prescription and over-the-counter medicine abuse. Speakers Steve Pasierb (President and CEO of The Partnership at Drugfree.org) and Marcia Lee Taylor (Senior Vice President for Government Affairs at the Partnership at Drugfree.org) will detail the beneficial free resources provided by a range of association, nonprofit, and federal organizations available at the community level and assembled via The Medicine Abuse Project.

Read more: 
http://www.childrenssafetynetwork.org/events/insights-national-epidemic-medicine-abuse-project-free-resources-states-and-communities
 
Save the Date

DEA's National Take-Back Initiative 
October 26, 2013
http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback
 
Upcoming Conferences and Workshops

Pharmacy Diversion Awareness Conference 
August 16 and 17: San Diego, California
August 18 and 19: San Jose, California
September 21 and 22: Boston, Massachusetts
http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/mtgs/pharm_awareness

 
National Conference on Addiction Disorders 2013
September 21-25, 2013
Anaheim, California
http://www.addictionpro.com/ncad-conference/national-conference-addiction-disorders-2013

 
Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program National Meeting
September 25-27, 2013
Washington, D.C.
http://www.pdmpassist.org

 
2013 National Safety Council Congress and Expo
Congress: September 28-October 4, 2013
Expo: September 30-October 2, 2013
Chicago, Illinois
http://congress.nsc.org/nsc2013/public/enter.aspx

 
4th Annual Executive Forum on Creating a Culture of Health and Wellness
October 7-8, 2013
Chicago, Illinois
http://www.worldcongress.com/events/HH13077

 
2013 American Association for Treatment of Opioid Dependence Conference
November 9-13, 2013
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
http://www.aatod.org/national-conference/2013-aatod-conference-philadelphia

 
11th Annual World Health Care Congress
April 7-9, 2014
National Harbor, Maryland
http://www.globalmedicalmeetings.com/events/hr14000 
 
 
Please e-mail Rekaya Gibson at rgibson@pire.org with questions or comments about the SAMHSA Prevention of Prescription Drug Abuse in the Workplace Listserv.  
 
 
About PAW and the Listserv
The PAW TA Center addresses prescription drug abuse--a growing public health problem with increasing burdens on workers, workplaces, and our economy. Prescription drug abuse affects workplace productivity and increases employee absenteeism, employee presenteeism, and workers' compensation claims. On a wider scale, overdose deaths linked to prescription opioids tripled from 1999 to 2006, and prescription drug abuse killed more Americans in 2009 than died that year in auto crashes.
 
Send your request for PAW technical assistance to PAW-TA@pire.org or contact Rekaya Gibson at 504.261.8107 or Deborah Galvin at 240.276.2721. Requests are subject to SAMHSA approval. You will be notified of the status of your request.
 
We aim to conduct systematic and inclusive searches of professional journals, leading newspapers and magazines, and federal websites, as well as contributions from listserv subscribers (please e-mail suggestions to rgibson@pire.org). We will send links to articles along with brief descriptions of those articles. As we develop the listserv, however, we hope to add commentary and invite feedback from subscribers. Our goal is to expand the listserv to become a widely used and recognized source of the most current and authoritative information on prescription drug abuse--especially in workplaces.
 
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The "SAMHSA Prevention of Prescription Drug Abuse in the Workplace Listserv" is a service provided by the SAMHSA Preventing Prescription Abuse in the Workplace Technical Assistance Center (PAW) to keep the field abreast of recent news and journal articles to assist in forming policy, research, and programs to reduce prescription drug misuse or abuse. Please note, the materials listed are not reflective of SAMHSA's or PAW's viewpoints or opinions and are not assessed for validity, reliability, or quality. The "SAMHSA Prevention of Prescription Drug Abuse in the Workplace Listserv" should not be considered an endorsement of the findings. Readers are cautioned not to act on the results of single studies, but rather to seek bodies of evidence. Copyright considerations prevent PAW from providing full-text journal articles.
 
The Injury Control Research Center at West Virginia University (WVU-ICRC) archives past Listserv issues at http://www.hsc.wvu.edu/icrc/Pages/SAMHSA-Prevention-of-Prescription-Drug-Abuse-in-th. The partnership efforts of WVU-ICRC are supported by Grant Number 1 R49 CE002109 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The contents of the Listserv archive are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not represent the official views of CDC or SAMHSA.
 
 
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