West Virginia University Logo

December 24, 2015

PAW Weekly Update

    

                                          
          READ ARCHIVED ISSUES                     SUBSCRIBE TO THE WEEKLY UPDATE
   

     

 
         
                                    
         
SAMHSA
           
SAMHSA Prescription Drug Abuse Weekly Update
         
         
WEEKLY
           
UPDATE
         
                             
 Issue 154  |  December 24, 2015          
   
                                                               
                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                   
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                            
National                            
Marijuana                            
International                            
Northeast/Mid-Atlantic News                            
South News                            
Midwest News                            
West News                            
Other Resources                            
Videos                            
Solicitation for Public Comment                            
Grant Announcements                            
Take-Back Events and Drop Boxes                            
Upcoming Conferences and Workshops                            
                       

                       Featured

R.A. Rudd, N. Aleshire, J.E. Zibbell, and R.M. Gladden. 2015. “Increases in Drug and Opioid Overdose Deaths—United States, 2000–2014.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 64 (Early Release):1–5.                        

Opioid overdose deaths jumped 14 percent, from 7.9 per 100,000 in 2013 to 9.0 per 100,000 in 2014, according to newly released U.S. mortality data. The age-adjusted death rate involving methadone remained unchanged; rates involving natural and semisynthetic opioid pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids (other than methadone, such as fentanyl) increased 9 percent, 26 percent, and 80 percent, respectively. Overall, drug overdose deaths totaled 47,055, with the non-opioid death rate stable. Rates increased significantly for both sexes; people ages 25–44 as well as 55 and older; non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic blacks; and in the Northeast, Midwest, and Southern United States.                        

Read more:                        
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm64e1218a1.htm?s_cid=mm64e1218a1_w                                                  

S.M. Bird, A. Mcauley, S. Perry, and C. Hunter. 2015. “Effectiveness of Scotland’s National Naloxone Programme for Reducing Opioid-Related Deaths: A Before (2006–10) Versus After (2011–13) Comparison.” Addiction, doi:10.1111/Add.13265.                        

This study provides the strongest evidence to date that naloxone distribution reduces mortality. In 2011, Scotland started distributing naloxone to people upon release from prison. By 2013, 12,000 naloxone kits had been issued, costing £225,000 (approximately $335,000). Although average annual opioid-related deaths rose from 394 in 2006–10 to 404 in 2011–13, deaths within 4 weeks after prison release fell from 39 to 25 (from 9.8 percent to 6.3 percent).                         

Read more:                        
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/add.13265/abstract                                                  

Issues Brief: Preventing Heroin Use—Facts, Factors, and Strategies                        
SAMHSA                        
December 15, 2015                        

This resource describes recent trends in and factors associated with heroin use, including the non-medical use of prescription opioids. It also includes information on data sources for heroin-related indicators, reviews the literature about risk and protective factors associated with heroin use, and lists strategies that show promise or potential for reducing prescription drug misuse, illicit drug use, and heroin overdose.                        

Read more:                        
http://www.samhsa.gov/capt/tools-learning-resources/issues-brief-preventing-heroin-use-facts-factors-strategies                      
               
               

Journal Articles and Reports

J.T. Anderson, A.R. Haas, R. Percy, S.T. Woods, U.M. Ahn, and N.U. Ahn. 2015. “Return to Work After Diskogenic Fusion in Workers’ Compensation Subjects.” Orthopedics 38(12):e1065–e1072, doi:10.3928/01477447-20151120-02.                

Of the 1,037 people in the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation database who underwent fusion surgery for degenerative disk disease between 1993 and 2013, 23 percent returned to work within 2 years. The rest did not return to work and had worse postoperative outcomes, including chronic opioid dependence, high rates of failed back syndrome, a need for additional surgery, and new psychiatric comorbidity.                 

Read more:                
http://www.healio.com/orthopedics/journals/ortho/2015-12-38-12/%7B1417c646-5fa1-40a4-869d-1431d083994f%7D/return-to-work-after-diskogenic-fusion-in-workers-compensation-subjects                 

J.H. Chen, K. Humphreys, N.H. Shah, and A. Lembke. 2015. “Distribution of Opioids by Different Types of Medicare Prescribers.” JAMA Internal Medicine, doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.6662.                

Sixty-eight percent of the 50 million Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in the Part D prescription drug plan. In 2013, nearly 1.2 million Part D claims led to $80.9 million in Medicare payments, exclusive of copays. The highest rates of claims per provider were for pain management specialists, anesthesiologists, and rehabilitation medicine specialists. Geriatric medicine, rheumatology, and family practice doctors made up the next tier. One percent of providers accounted for 18 percent of opioid claims and 35 percent of opioid claim costs. Another 9 percent of providers accounted for 39 percent of claims and 43 percent of costs. Comparable concentrations for all prescriptions were 16 percent and 47 percent of both claims and costs. As a second comparison, in California workers’ compensation data, 1 percent of providers accounted for 33 percent of opioid claims and 42 percent of opioid costs. Another 9 percent accounted for 46 percent of claims and costs. Thus, with the possible exception of the top 1 percent of prescribers, opioid prescribing frequency patterns were comparable to the patterns for other drugs.                

Read more:                
http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2474400&resultClick=3                                  

H.B. Clayton, R. Lowry, E. August, S. Everett Jones. 2016. “Nonmedical Use of Prescription Drugs and Sexual Risk Behaviors.” Pediatrics, doi:10.1542/peds.2015-2480.                

Seventy-seven percent of high school students who used prescription drugs nonmedically had engaged in sexual intercourse compared with 40 percent of their peers, according to an analysis of 2011 and 2013 data from the national Youth Risk Behavior Survey. This confirms multiple-problem youth are more likely to misuse prescription drugs. Moreover, 36 percent of nonmedical users had four or more lifetime sexual partners compared with 10 percent of their peers; 48 percent of sexually active nonmedical users did not use a condom during their last sexual intercourse compared with 36 percent of their peers; and 38 percent of sexually active nonmedical users used alcohol or drugs before their last sexual intercourse compared with 14 percent of their peers. As the frequency of nonmedical use increased, the association between use and sexual risk behaviors increased in strength, suggesting a dose–response relationship.                

Read more:                
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2015/12/11/peds.2015-2480                 
http://www.aappublications.org/news/2015/12/14/DrugsSex121415                                  

T. Katsuki, T.K. Mackey, and R. Cuomo. 2015. “Establishing a Link Between Prescription Drug Abuse and Illicit Online Pharmacies: Analysis of Twitter Data.” Journal of Medical Internet Research 17(12):e280, doi:10.2196/jmir.5144.                

An analysis of public Twitter accounts revealed that more than 45,000 tweets in a 2-week period promoted nonmedical use of prescription drugs. Approximately 2.4 million public tweets were collected from April 1 to 14, 2015, by applying keyword filters for both generic/chemical and street names for prescription drugs. Of those, 232,108 from 22,174 unique URLs used generic drug names, and more than 2.1 million from 376,304 unique URLs used street names. An estimated 82 percent of the generic and 12 percent of the street-name datasets had content about nonmedical use. Three fourths of the generic drug tweets included a hyperlink to an online marketing affiliate that linked to an illicit online pharmacy advertising the sale of Valium without a prescription. None of the street-name tweets linked to an online pharmacy.                

Read more:                
http://www.jmir.org/2015/12/e280                                  

S.L. Martin, R.P. Baker, and B.J. Piper. 2015. “Evaluation of Urban–Rural Differences in Pharmacy Practice Needs in Maine with the Mappna.” Pharmacy Practice [Ahead of Print].                

A fall 2014 online survey of all 1,262 licensed pharmacists in Maine drew a 22 percent response. When asked if Maine pharmacists faced different problems, the categories selected the most were 1) opioid use, misuse, and diversion and 2) shortages in staffing. Pharmacists in urban areas were more concerned about polypharmacy than pharmacists in rural areas.                

Read more:                
http://www.pharmacypractice.org/journal/index.php/pp/article/view/669                                  

Drug Use Trends Remain Stable or Decline Among Teens                
National Institutes of Health                
December 16, 2015                

The 2015 Monitoring the Future national survey shows long-term declines in self-reported youth prescription opioid misuse, illicit drug use, cigarette use, and alcohol use continued. Nonmedical use of Adderall remains high at 7.5 percent among high school seniors. Most teens who abuse prescription opioids report getting them from friends or family members, whereas one third report getting them from personal prescriptions. Marijuana use remains stable, with continued high rates of daily use reported among high school seniors and ongoing declines in perceived harms.                

Read more:                
http://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/drug-use-trends-remain-stable-or-decline-among-teens                 
               

National

America’s Opioid Epidemic Grips the Workplace                
Dina Gusovsky, CNBC                
December 15, 2015                

While a new study shows 80 percent of employers in Indiana have been affected by employees’ prescription drug misuse and abuse, officials warn it is a nationwide problem, and employers need to pay attention. If an employee is taking a prescription pain reliever, his or her cost on workers’ compensation quadruples. One fourth of all prescription costs in workers’ compensation are for opioid pain relievers. Employers are encouraged to expand drug testing to include detection of opioid pain relievers. Prevention is a good investment: Healthy employees miss fewer days of work and are more productive. (Includes video: 2:03 minutes)                

Read more:                
http://www.cnbc.com/2015/12/15/80-percent-of-workplaces-face-this-drug-scourge.html                                  

A Different Approach in Battling Drug Abuse                
Janet Lubman Rathner, Laborer’s Health and Safety Fund of North America                
December 2015                

This article discusses the benefits of naloxone in treating opioid overdoses and encourages businesses to develop drug-free workplace policies and programs to help protect employers and employees from the consequences of substance use, including prescription pain relievers. It also offers help to employers in developing and reviewing drug-free workplace policies and programs.                 

Read more:                
http://www.lhsfna.org/index.cfm/lifelines/december-2015/a-different-approach-in-battling-drug-abuse                                  

New Effort Targets Drug Overdoses Among American Indians and Alaska Natives                
Indian Health Services                
December 16, 2015                

Bureau of Indian Affairs law enforcement officers will now be equipped with naloxone to help reduce the rate of opioid overdoses in American Indian and Alaska Native communities, federal officials have announced. In 2016, more than 90 Indian Health Services pharmacies will dispense naloxone to as many as 500 officers and will train these first responders to administer emergency treatment to people who experience opioid overdose.                 

Read more:                
https://www.ihs.gov/newsroom/index.cfm/pressreleases/2015pressreleases/new-effort-targets-drug-overdoses-in-indian-country                                  

Popping Pills: Examining the Use of ‘Study Drugs’ During Finals                
Collin Brennan, USA Today                
December 16, 2015                 

This article discusses the misuse of “study drugs” such as Ritalin and Adderall among college students. Students tend to misuse these prescription medicines during finals week to deal with the stress and anxiety a heavy course load can bring. Some feel pressure to sell their prescriptions to friends who never think about adverse side effects. Certain universities have increased awareness about prescription drug misuse, while others have encouraged students to integrate healthier work habits to minimize stress. Students also face consequences, including possible felony charges and incarceration, if caught selling stimulants.                

Read more:                
http://college.usatoday.com/2015/12/16/popping-pills-examining-the-use-of-study-drugs-during-fnals                 
                 

Marijuana

Policies for Marijuana Use in the Workplace                  
Society for Human Resource Management                  
December 14, 2015                  

In a survey, almost half of human resource managers in states where marijuana is legal said they have or plan to implement policies that restrict employing people who use marijuana. Thirty-eight percent said they will not hire people who use marijuana for medical reasons, and 6 percent said their policy excludes only those who smoke marijuana recreationally. The vast majority (94 percent) indicated they have a formal, written substance use policy in place. Formal, written policies that specifically address marijuana use were more prevalent in businesses in states where marijuana is legal for recreational and medical use than in businesses in states where marijuana is legal for medical use only (39 percent versus 22 percent).                   

Read more:                  
http://www.shrm.org/research/surveyfindings/pages/policies-for-marijuana-use-in-the-workplace.aspx                                      

Feds Ask Supreme Court to Stay Out of Lawsuit over Colorado Marijuana                  
Trevor Hughes, USA Today                  
December 17, 2015                  

U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. has urged the Supreme Court not to decide a case in which Oklahoma and Nebraska have sued neighboring Colorado for people’s illegal transportation of marijuana over state lines. Verrilli said justices have generally avoided stepping into disputes between states unless it is the states themselves that are at odds. This lawsuit involves the actions of private citizens who are breaking the law, he argued. (Includes video: 56 seconds)                  

Read more:                  
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/12/16/feds-ask-supreme-court-stay-out-lawsuit-over-colorado-marijuana/77457652                                      

The Policy Haze Surrounding Medical Marijuana in Massachusetts                  
Sam Bonacci, Worcester Business Journal                  
December 7, 2015                  

Massachusetts employers can adopt policies to prohibit medical marijuana use in the workplace. They can also set policies to govern whether employees may use medical marijuana on their own time, so long as they are not impaired at work (even though they might test positive in a drug screening). Companies with federal contracts do not have a choice; they must ban all marijuana use. It is important for businesses to decide how they are going to handle medical marijuana use and communicate their decision clearly to employees.                   

Read more:                  
http://www.wbjournal.com/article/20151207/PRINTEDITION/312049985/1002                                      

10 Facts You Should Know About Arizona Marijuana Laws                  
Kaila White, Arizona Republic                  
December 14, 2015                  

This article lists 10 facts people need to know about Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Act of 2010 and the legal consequences: Employees can be fired if found in possession of or under the influence of marijuana at the workplace; the state’s medical marijuana law does not give drivers immunity from prosecution if they test positive for marijuana or its chemical compound; and courts and prosecutors must allow marijuana use as a term of probation if the convicted felon has a valid medical marijuana card.                  

Read more:                  
http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona/2015/12/14/arizona-marijuana-laws-facts-myths/75481296/?from=global&sessionKey=&autologin                                     

Courts Forcing Marijuana Users to Get Treatment They Probably Don’t Need                  
Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post                  
December 14, 2015                  

In 2013, more than half of marijuana users in a drug treatment program were sent there by court order, more than the share of court-ordered referrals for any other drug. Overall, fewer than 1 in 5 marijuana treatment seekers entered voluntarily, a lower share than for any other drug. Legalization advocate Tom Angell argued the large numbers of people ordered into marijuana treatment could delay access to treatment for users of harder drugs. Court-ordered marijuana treatment is taking up more than 1 in 10 beds in the nation’s drug treatment facilities.                   

Read more:                  
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/12/14/courts-are-forcing-marijuana-users-to-get-drug-treatment-they-probably-dont-need                                      

Tennessee Legislator Pushing for Medicinal Marijuana Use for PTSD                  
Cassandra Sweetman, WCYB                  
December 12, 2015                  

Tennessee state representative Jeremy Faison and a state senator are working on a bill that would allow individuals to use medical marijuana for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder. (Includes video: 2:14 minutes)                  

Read more:                  
http://www.wcyb.com/news/tn-legislator-pushing-for-medicinal-marijuana-use-for-ptsd/36921778                                      

D.C. Program Teaches Doctors on Talking to Patients About Medical Marijuana                  
Tina Reed, Washington Business Journal                  
December 16, 2015                  

The George Washington University and District of Columbia’s Department of Health have unveiled a course to teach medical professionals the latest evidence-based information about medical cannabis. The online program, D.C. Center for Rational Prescribing, also offers free continuing medical education to help professionals navigate the world of prescription drugs.                  

Read more:                  
http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/blog/2015/12/d-c-program-teaching-doctors-on-recommending.html                                      

In New Era for Marijuana, New York Smokers Get Bolder                  
Sarah Maslin, New York Times                  
December 14, 2015                  

Despite a continued ban in New York, it seems more people are smoking marijuana in public places. This is due in part to other states' legalization of recreational use of the drug and, last year, New York’s mayor announced the police would no longer arrest people who possess 25 grams or less of marijuana. Police are also using more discretion in issuing a ticket for the offense. Some smokers are willing to take the risk, even though the smell gives them away.                   

Read more:                  
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/15/nyregion/as-marijuana-laws-relax-smokers-in-new-york-city-turn-bolder.html                                      

California Marijuana Legalization Initiative Adds Safeguards for Children, Workers                  
Oscar Pascual, San Francisco Chronicle                  
December 8, 2015                  

Amendments have been added to the proposed California Adult Use of Marijuana Act to include safeguards for children, marijuana industry workers, small marijuana businesses, and local governments. The new language protects children and discourages teen use, enforces stronger worker and labor protections in the industry, shields small businesses with antimonopoly provisions, and maintains local government control over commercial marijuana activity.                   

Read more:                  
http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2015/12/08/leading-california-marijuana-legalization-initiative-adds-safeguards-for-children-workers                                                         

Oregon Researcher Studies Safe Pot Doses for Kids                  
Portland Tribune                  
December 11, 2015                  

Rob Hendrickson, M.D., a medical toxicologist and associate medical director for Oregon Poison Control, is trying to estimate safe amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) per kilogram of a child’s body weight. He encourages emergency departments to contact him about any marijuana exposure. Study outcomes could help inform decisions on THC limits, including limits on THC doses and servings per package. It could also inform Oregon’s regulation of edibles to be codified next year. Oregon’s THC limits only apply to recreational marijuana. The state does not limit medical marijuana dosage.                   

Read more:                  
http://portlandtribune.com/pt/9-news/285052-161743-or-researcher-studies-safe-pot-doses-for-kids                                      

Doctors Say Kids and Cannabis Don’t Mix                  
CBC News                  
December 14, 2015                  

Canada’s pediatric society is urging doctors not to prescribe cannabis to children. It says no evidence exists to support use of medical marijuana in children. The group, which represents about 3,000 doctors, issued a position statement because doctors are increasingly being asked about marijuana prescriptions for children. The number of children given medical marijuana in Canada is unknown because those prescriptions are not tracked.                  

Read more:                  
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/paediatricians-children-medical-cannabis-1.3364087                   
               

International

Drug and Alcohol Testing at Work Doesn’t Deter Anyone, So Why Do It?                
Nicole Lee, The Conversation                
December 13, 2015                

The author discusses reasons why employers in Australia use drug and alcohol testing. One reason is that the building and construction industry in Australia has a higher rate of use of some drugs than the general population. Another is that alcohol and drug use affects the workplace, raising the risk of accidents and injury, absenteeism, and reduced productivity. This article suggests that effective prevention strategies include a clear and well-defined workplace policy and alcohol screening and brief intervention in the workplace.                 

Read more:                
http://theconversation.com/drug-and-alcohol-testing-at-work-doesnt-deter-anyone-so-why-do-it-51244                 
               

Northeast/Mid-Atlantic News

Massachusetts Doctors in Training Gain Access to Prescription Database                
Felice J. Freyer, Boston Globe                
December 14, 2015                

The Massachusetts Department of Health has instituted a process so hospitals can enroll medical residents in the prescription drug monitoring program. Residents will be able to use the database under the authority of a fully licensed representative of their training program. The expectation is residents will learn habits to carry into their future practices.                

Read more:                
https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/12/13/medical-residents-gain-access-prescription-database/uqrbMC9kfsZX5SjAU8SncK/story.html                                  

New York Joins 30-State Prescription Monitoring System to Cut Opioid Abuse                
Claire Hughes, Times Union                
December 14, 2015                

New York has joined the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy’s InterConnect prescription monitoring program, a network of 30 states that share prescription data. The tool is used to prevent consumers from doctor shopping for prescription drugs across state lines. Neighboring states New Jersey and Connecticut are in the network but not Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Vermont.                

Read more:                
http://blog.timesunion.com/healthcare/aiming-to-cut-painkiller-abuse-n-y-joins-30-state-prescription-monitoring-system/4049                                 

Maryland Orders Pharmacies to Dispense Naloxone                
WMAR                
December 15, 2015                

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has announced pharmacies may dispense naloxone without a prescription to anyone who is trained and certified under the department’s Overdose Response Program.                

Read more:                
http://www.abc2news.com/news/health/statewide-order-issues-for-pharmacies-to-dispense-overdose-reversal-drug                                  

New Hampshire Drug Task Force Recommends Bills for Fast Passage                
Kathleen Ronayne, WCAX                
December 15, 2015                

A legislative task force has recommended quick approval of 10 bills to address New Hampshire’s heroin and opioid misuse problem. The bills, which will go through joint house and senate public hearings to expedite the voting process, include a crackdown on fentanyl dealers, improved insurance coverage for substance use treatment services, required annual drug education in schools, and mandated use of the state’s prescription drug monitoring program.                

Read more:                
http://www.wcax.com/story/30755793/nh-drug-task-force-to-greenlight-bills-for-expedited-passage                                  

N.Y. Governor: ‘Kitchen Table Toolkit’ Can Help Prevent Heroin, Opioid Abuse                
Robert Harding, Auburn Citizen                
December 17, 2015                

New York’s Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services has released two videos to raise awareness about the dangers of heroin and pain reliever misuse. One focuses on the impact of addiction; the other features testimonials from young people who have battled addiction. The videos are part of a statewide campaign, “Kitchen Table Toolkit,” to prevent heroin and prescription opioid misuse. (Duration: 17:18 and 13:27 minutes)                

Read more:                
http://auburnpub.com/blogs/eye_on_ny/cuomo-kitchen-table-toolkit-can-help-prevent-heroin-opioid-abuse/article_21abdbbe-a42b-11e5-b73f-73ce88483fa8.html                                  

New Jersey’s Parental Notification Act Aims to Prevent Opioid Addiction                
NJTV News                
December 14, 2015                

The proposed Parental Notification Act would require New Jersey doctors to notify parents when prescribing an opioid to their child. Andrew Kolodny, M.D., cofounder of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, is interviewed about the legislation. (Includes video: 5:17 minutes)                

Read more:                
http://www.njtvonline.org/news/video/parental-notification-act-aims-to-prevent-opioid-addiction                                  

Maine Attorney General: State Averages Five Overdose Deaths a Week                
Portland Press Herald                
December 17, 2015                

Maine Attorney General Janet Mills reported that the number of overdose deaths attributed to heroin and other opioids is averaging about five a week. Mills urged medical officials to review guidelines for prescribing opioid pain relievers and using medication to treat opioid addiction, and to check with the prescription drug monitoring program before prescribing opioids.                

Read more:                
http://www.pressherald.com/2015/12/16/maine-averaging-5-overdose-deaths-a-week-says-attorney-general-janet-mills                 
               

 South News

Fla. Health Dept. Highlights Prescription Drug Monitoring Accomplishments                
Florida Health                
December 16, 2015                

The Florida Department of Health’s 2014–15 prescription drug monitoring program annual report shows 65 percent of dispensers are reporting controlled substance dispensing information within 24 hours; 65 percent fewer individuals visited five or more prescribers and five or more pharmacies within a 90-day period; and the average morphine milligram equivalents prescribed declined by 34 percent.                

Read more:                
http://www.floridahealth.gov/newsroom/2015/12/121615-drug-monitoring.html                                  

West Virginia Group Backs Guidelines to Reduce Prescription Opioid Misuse                
Daily Journal                
December 15, 2015                

The West Virginia Hospital Association’s board of trustees has endorsed guidelines to help the state’s hospitals reduce prescription opioid misuse. The guidelines’ 10 principles govern opioid screening, prescribing practices, and appropriate use of resources to work with patients prior to prescribing an opioid pain medication. The trustees suggested physicians not prescribe opioids to patients without first checking their government-issued identification. They also suggested restricting opioid prescribing to one medical provider to treat patients’ chronic pain.                

Read more:                
http://www.dailyjournal.net/view/story/61e3b2d6ec7541199821f635c24a3306/WV--Opioid-Guidelines                                  

Heroin Overdose Deaths at Record High in Louisiana’s East Baton Rouge Parish                
Andrea Gallo, The Advocate                
December 14, 2015                

The coroner in Louisiana’s East Baton Rouge Parish has identified 38 people, mostly white men, who died from heroin overdoses this year, surpassing the record of 35 deaths in 2013.                 

Read more:                
http://theadvocate.com/news/14285352-70/coroner-says-heroin-overdose-deaths-at-record-high-in-parish-most-victims-are-white-males                 
               

Midwest News

New Law Could Help Reduce Drug Overdoses in Oklahoma                
Grant Hermes, News9                
December 11, 2015                

Oklahoma lawmakers will consider a Good Samaritan law in the next legislature. The law would exempt people who call emergency responders to report a drug overdose from jail time. Any caller caught with an amount of drugs that constitutes trafficking could still face charges.                 

Read more:                
http://www.news9.com/story/30729083/new-law-could-help-reduce-drug-overdoses-in-oklahoma                 
               

West News

Utah Police Use of Prescription Drug Database Drops After New Law                
Michelle L. Price, Associated Press                
December 15, 2015                

Police have reduced their use of the Utah prescription drug program database now that they are required by law to get a warrant before use. They searched the database an average of 238 times a month from May 2014 until the new law took effect in May 2015. Average use then dropped to 12 times a month.                 

Read more:                
https://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=157&sid=37781906&title=police-use-of-prescription-drug-database-drops-after-new-law                 
               

Other Resources

Organization to Make Drug Testing Detection Cups Available to Fight Epidemic                
Business Wire                
December 15, 2015                

Foundation2recovery.org, a nonprofit organization, announced it will make $1 million worth of 12-panel drug-testing detection kits available through its website to address the prescription drug epidemic. There is no charge for the kits.                

Read more:                
http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20151215005142/en/foundation2recovery.org-1-Million-Drug-Testing-Detection-Cups                 
               

Videos

Painkiller Abuse in the Workplace                
CNBC Nightly Business Report                
December 16, 2015                

Many employers are affected by employees who misuse prescription drugs. (Duration: 2:19 minutes)                

Watch:                
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGcyhQJbnTo                                  

A New Direction on Drugs                
Scott Pelley, CBS News                
December 13, 2015                

Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Michael Botticelli is interviewed about refocusing the country’s drug policy. (Duration: 12:57 minutes)                

Watch:                
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/60-minutes-a-new-direction-on-drugs                 
http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/a-new-direction-on-drugs                                  

Babies Born Addicted to Drugs and Dying Preventable Deaths                
NBC Nightly News                
December 13, 2015                

An alarming number of drug-dependent newborn babies die every year in preventable deaths after they leave the hospital. An NBC investigation found 110 babies, whose mothers used opiates during pregnancy, died after discharge in the past 5 years. (Duration: 4:18 minutes)                

Watch:                
http://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/video/babies-born-addicted-to-drugs-and-dying-preventable-deaths-585357891838                 
               

 Solicitation for Public Comment

Federal Register Notice: Proposed 2016 Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain                
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention                
Due: January 13, 2016, 11:59 p.m. (ET)                

The guideline includes recommendations about initiation or continuation of opioids for chronic pain; opioid selection, dosage, duration, follow-up, and discontinuation; assessment of risk; and addressing harms of opioid use. It targets primary care providers who treat adult patients with chronic pain in outpatient settings.                

Read more:                
http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=CDC-2015-0112-0001                 
http://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/prescribing/guideline.html                 
               

Grant Announcements

Drug-Free Communities Support Program (SP-16-001)                
SAMHSA                
Due: March 18, 2016                

The Drug-Free Communities Support Program has two goals. The first is to establish and strengthen collaboration among stakeholders to support community coalitions that work to prevent and reduce substance use among youth. The second is to reduce substance use among youth and, over time, reduce substance misuse among adults by addressing community factors that increase substance misuse risk and promoting the factors that minimize the risk.                 

Read more:                
http://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/grants/pdf/sp-15-001_0.pdf                                  

National Institute on Drug Abuse Challenge: Addiction Research: There’s an App for That                
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services                
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                                  

New Jersey Health Initiative 2016: Building a Culture of Health in New Jersey—Communities Moving to Action, Round 2                
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation                
Due: January 14, 2016                
http://www.rwjf.org/en/library/funding-opportunities/2015/njhi-2016--building-a-culture-of-health-in-new-jersey---communiti.html                                  

Generation Rx Medication Disposal Grant Program                
Cardinal Health                
Due: January 22, 2016                
http://www.cardinalhealth.com/en/about-us/community-relations/population-health/rx-drug-misuse-and-abuse.html                                  

Research on Prescription Opioid Use, Opioid Prescribing, and Associated Heroin Risk (RFA-CE-16-003)                
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention                
Due: February 18, 2016                
http://www.grants.gov/view-opportunity.html?oppId=280151                 

Increasing Access to Medication-Assisted Treatment in Rural Primary Care Practices (R18)                
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality                
Due: March 4, 2016                
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HS-16-001.html                 
               

Take-Back Events and Drop Boxes

New Drop-Off Boxes Installed at Santa Barbara County (Calif.) Sheriff Stations                
Janene Scully, Noozhawk                
December 14, 2015                
http://www.noozhawk.com/article/new_drug_drop_off_boxes_installed_in_santa_barbara_county                 

Folsom (Calif.) Police Department Announces New Medicine Collection Bin                
Folsom Insider                
December 17, 2015                
http://www.myfolsom.com/2015/12/dont-flush-those-meds-folsom-pd-announces-new-medicine-collection-bin                 

Attica (N.Y.) Police Offer Prescription Drug Take-Back Program                
Matt Gryta, Buffalo News                
December 14 2015                
http://www.buffalonews.com/city-region/wyoming-county/attica-police-offer-prescription-drug-take-back-program-20151214                                  

New Drug-Take-Back Program Opens in Norfolk, Virginia                
Stephanie Ballesteros, WAVY                
December 17, 2015                
http://wavy.com/2015/12/17/new-drug-take-back-program-opens-in-norfolk                                  

West Virginia Attorney General Announces New Prescription Drug Disposal Sites                
Office of the West Virginia Attorney General                
December 17, 2015                
http://www.ago.wv.gov/pressroom/2015/Pages/Attorney-General-Morrisey-Announces-New-Prescription-Drug-Disposal-Sites.aspx                 
               

Upcoming Conferences and Workshops

Pharmacy Diversion Awareness Conference                
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration                
January 9–10, 2016                
Jackson, Mississippi                
February 27–28, 2016                
Charleston, West Virginia                
http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/mtgs/pharm_awareness                                   

Twenty-Sixth National Leadership Forum and SAMHSA’s 12th Prevention Day                
Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America & SAMHSA                
February 1–4, 2016                
http://www.cadca.org/forum2016                 

Register:                
http://www.cadca.org/events/26th-national-leadership-forum-including-samhsas-12th-prevention-day/registration                                  

Ensuring Access to Pain Care: Engaging Pain Medicine and Primary Care Teams                
American Academy of Pain Medicine                
February 18–21, 2016                
Palm Springs, California                
http://www.painmed.org/annualmeeting                                  

2016 National Rx Drug and Heroin Summit                
March 28–31, 2016                
Atlanta                
http://nationalrxdrugabusesummit.org                                  

Third Annual Smart Approaches to Marijuana Education Summit                
March 31, 2016                
Atlanta                
http://nationalrxdrugabusesummit.org/sam-summit-2                                 

Register:                
https://www.123contactform.com/form-1486587/2016-National-Rx-Drug-Abuse-Summits                
         
                                 
The Weekly Update 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 viewpoint or opinion and are not assessed for validity, reliability or quality. The Weekly Update 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 of journal articles listed in the Weekly Update.