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January 14, 2016

PAW Weekly Update

    

                                          
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SAMHSA
           
SAMHSA Prescription Drug Abuse Weekly Update
         
         
WEEKLY
           
UPDATE
         
                             
 Issue 156  |  January 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                            
National                            
Marijuana                            
International                            
Northeast/Mid-Atlantic News                            
South News                            
Midwest News                            
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Featured

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Admin. Cuts 2016 Random Drug Testing Rate                        
Roger S. Kaplan, National Law Review                        
December 29, 2015                        

The U.S. Department of Transportation has reduced from 50 percent to 25 percent the required random drug testing rate for commercial motor vehicle drivers subject to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requirements. The rate reduction, effective January 1, 2016, will save motor carriers $50 million per year. The reduction occurred because less than 1.0 percent of random tests industry-wide were positive in each of 2011, 2012, and 2013. The reduced rate is not assured beyond 2016 and will revert if the positive test rate rises above 1.0 percent. The required random alcohol test rate of 10 percent remains the same.                        

Read more:                        
http://www.natlawreview.com/article/federal-motor-carrier-safety-administration-slashes-random-drug-testing-percentage                                                  

West Virginia Attorney General Sues Prescription Drug Distributor McKesson Corp.                        
Office of W.Va. Attorney General                        
January 8, 2016                        

West Virginia’s attorney general has sued prescription drug distributor McKesson Corp. for allegedly failing to identify, detect, report, and help stop the flow of suspicious drug orders into the state. The lawsuit states that McKesson delivered approximately 99.5 million doses of hydrocodone and oxycodone to West Virginia between 2007 and 2012. Many of those shipments allegedly fueled drug misuse that contributed to overdoses, decreased worker productivity, and exhausted resources statewide. The lawsuit also alleges McKesson either failed to develop an adequate system to identify suspicious orders or blindly ignored such potential. Large profits were used to pay bonuses and additional commissions to incentivize more business.                        

Read more:                        
http://www.ago.wv.gov/pressroom/2016/Pages/Attorney-General-Morrisey-Files-Lawsuit-Against-Largest-Prescription-Drug-Distributor-In-North-America.aspx                      
               
               

Journal Articles and Reports

R.G. Carlson, R.W. Nahhas, S.S. Martins, and R. Daniulaityte. 2016. “Predictors of Transition to Heroin Use Among Initially Non-Opioid Dependent Illicit Pharmaceutical Opioid Users: A Natural History Study.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence, doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.12.026.                

Respondent-driven convenience sampling (with people paid to recruit up to three friends who, in turn, were paid to recruit friends) in April 2009 to May 2010 recruited 383 non-dependent people ages 18 to 23 in Columbus, Ohio, who were misusing prescription opioids but had not tried heroin. Of recruits, 94 percent completed at least one biannual structured interview. Over 36 months, 27 (7.5 percent) participants initiated heroin use. Although half of the sample were non-white and half of them became opioid-dependent, all those who switched to heroin were white. Mean length of pharmaceutical opioid use at first reported heroin use was 6.2 years. Predictors of heroin use included becoming prescription-opioid dependent; early age of opioid initiation; using opioids to get high; and non-oral prescription opioid use. Thirty percent of respondents were employed fulltime at baseline, 35 percent were employed part-time, and 35 percent were unemployed, with an unstated percentage also attending college. Employment status was not a significant correlate in the multivariate model.                

Read more:                
http://www.drugandalcoholdependence.com/article/S0376-8716(15)01841-4/abstract                                  

C.B. Groenewald, J.A. Rabbitts, T. Gebert, and T.M. Palermo. 2015. “Trends in Opioid Prescriptions among Children and Adolescents in the United States: A Nationally Representative Study from 1996 to 2012.” Pain, doi:10.1097/j.pain.0000000000000475.                

The percentage of U.S. children (ages 0–16) who received an off-label opioid prescription remained stable between 1996 and 2012 (from 2.7 percent to 2.9 percent; difference not statistically significant), according to nationally representative U.S. Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data. In contrast, opioid prescriptions for adults in families with children increased during this period. The most common opioid prescriptions for children in 2012 were codeine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone. In multivariate logistic regression models, white non-Hispanic race, older age, health insurance, and parent-reported fair to poor general health were associated with higher rates of opioid prescriptions for children.                 

Read more:                
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26716995                                  

N.E. Hagemeier, F. Tudiver, Scott Brewster, E.J. Hagy, Angela Hagaman, and R.P. Pack. 2015. “Prescription Drug Abuse Communication: A Qualitative Analysis of Prescriber and Pharmacist Perceptions and Behaviors.” Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy, doi:10.1016/j.sapharm.2015.12.008.                

Thirty-five prescribers and pharmacists from a rural primary care network in South Central Appalachia expressed little apprehension in focus groups about communicating with patients, high self-perceived communication competence, and average willingness to communicate. Despite that, professional communication about prescription drug misuse varied widely.                

Read more:                
http://www.rsap.org/article/S1551-7411(15)00282-X/abstract                                  

C. Leong, J. Sareen, M.W. Enns, J. Bolton, and S. Alessi-Severini. 2015. “Community Pharmacy Practice Barriers in Preventing Drug Misuse, Divergence and Overdose: A Focus Group Study.” Healthcare Quarterly 18(3):28–33, doi:10.12927/hcq.2015.24434.                

Focus groups with pharmacists about prescription misuse and overdose prevention revealed three themes: (1) patient-level barriers (deciphering signs of misuse); (2) pharmacist-level barriers (type of practice experience); and (3) system-level barriers (prescriber, third-party payer). Study location, dates, and number of participants were not indicated.                

Read more:                
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26718251                                  

T. Lyapustina, L. Rutkow, H.Y. Chang, M. Daubresse, A.F. Ramji, M. Faul, E.A. Stuart, G.C. Alexander. 2015. “Effect of a “Pill Mill” Law on Opioid Prescribing and Utilization: The Case of Texas.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence, doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.12.025.                

Effective September 2010, Texas law required pain management clinics to be certified by the state medical board on a biennial basis, be owned and operated by licensed physicians, have a physician-owner present at the clinic for at least one-third of operating hours, and for physician-owners to personally review at least one-third of all patient files and annually verify the qualifications and licensure of all employees. Analysis of IMS Health LifeLink pharmacy claims for a closed cohort of individuals who filled opioid prescriptions in Texas between September 2009 and August 2011 found that the law was associated with declines in average morphine equivalent dose per transaction (-0.57 mg/prescription/month), monthly opioid volume (-9.99 kg/month), monthly number of opioid prescriptions (-12,200 prescriptions/month) and monthly quantity of opioid pills dispensed (-714,000 pills/month). Decreases ranged from 8 percent to 24 percent across the outcomes. The decreases were concentrated among prescribers and patients with the highest opioid prescribing and utilization at baseline.                

Read more:                
http://www.drugandalcoholdependence.com/article/S0376-8716(15)01840-2/abstract                                  

S. Monteith, T. Glenn, R. Bauer, J. Conell, M. Bauer. 2015. “Availability of Prescription Drugs for Bipolar Disorder at Online Pharmacies.” Journal of Affective Disorders, doi:10.1016/j.jad.2015.12.043.                

Using popular Internet search engines, researchers searched for two brand-name drugs (extended-release Seroquel and Abilify) and three generic drugs (lamotrigine, lithium carbonate and sustained-release bupropion) and investigated the 30 online pharmacies listed on the first two pages of their searches. Seventeen of the pharmacies were rated as rogue by LegitScript; 15 required a prescription; and 21 claimed to be from Canada, 20 of which had a Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA) seal on their website. Seven of those sites were not CIPA members. Some rogue pharmacies were professional in appearance, and could be difficult for consumers to recognize as rogue. Although all five drugs were offered for sale online with or without a prescription, substitutions were common, including different strengths and formulations—some of them not approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.                

Read more:                
http://www.jad-journal.com/article/S0165-0327(15)30995-2/abstract                                  

Survey: Patients, Providers Concerned About Prescription Opioids                
PR Newswire                
January 5, 2016                

Among 1,513 healthcare professionals (including 832 physicians and 491 nurse practitioners) who are active on the Medscape website and 1,887 consumers who visited the WebMD website recently surveyed, both groups expressed concerns about prescription opioid misuse, addiction, and the potential for the drugs to fall into the wrong hands. But, fewer than 3-in-5 patients and providers discuss safe storage and disposal of medications. Among consumers, 42 percent of respondents who used an opioid in the past 3 years stored leftover opioids for future use.                

Read more:                
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/patients-and-healthcare-professionals-concerned-about-prescription-opioid-misuse-and-addiction-but-survey-reveals-knowledge-gap-on-minimizing-risks--misuse-300199074.html                 

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/856589                                  

B. Setnik, C.L. Roland, V. Goli, G.C. Pixton, N. Levy-Cooperman, I. Smith, and L. Webster. 2015. “Self-Reports of Prescription Opioid Abuse and Diversion among Recreational Opioid Users in a Canadian and a United States City.” Journal of Opioid Management 11(6).                

In a recruitment survey completed by 174 recreational opioid users in Toronto (August 2010 to January 2011) and 80 users in Salt Lake City (February to May 2011), most respondents said they used prescription opioids for nonmedical purposes a few times a month. Most had taken their first prescription opioid nonmedically between ages 12 and 24 to treat pain or feel high. Oxycodone, acetaminophen with codeine, and morphine were common in both cohorts, but hydrocodone use was substantially greater among users in Salt Lake City. Most participants mixed other drugs—most commonly marijuana and alcohol—with prescription opioids to get high. The most common sources of opioids were family and friends.                

Read more:                
http://www.wmpllc.org/ojs-2.4.2/index.php/jom/article/view/239                                  

C. Rowe, G.M. Santos, E. Behar, and P.O. Coffin. 2015. “Correlates of Overdose Risk Perception among Illicit Opioid Users.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence, doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.12.018.                

Sixty-four percent of 172 adult illicit opioid users in San Francisco surveyed between August 2014 and August 2015 had an opioid overdose in the past 5 years and 88 percent reported witnessing an opioid overdose in their lifetime. Heroin use was more prevalent than prescription opioid misuse (94 percent versus 84 percent). On average, participants used heroin 18.5 days per month, prescription opioids 9.4 days per month, and injected on 19.2 days per month. On average, they mixed opioids with cocaine 8.6 days per month, with alcohol 7.4 days per month, and with benzodiazepines 5.8 days per month. Seropositivity rates were 14 percent for HIV and 52 percent for hepatitis C. Younger age and a larger number of injection days per month were associated with lower odds of perceived overdose risk. Perceived risk of overdose was not associated with concurrent use of opioids and benzodiazepines or cocaine, or with HIV status.                

Read more:                
http://www.drugandalcoholdependence.com/article/S0376-8716(15)01833-5/abstract                
               

National

Top 10 Reasons to Update Workplace Drug and Alcohol Policies in 2016                
Kathryn Russo, National Law Review                
January 6, 2016                

The author suggests 10 reasons to update workplace drug and alcohol policies, including: medical or recreational marijuana use is permitted by some states laws but not by federal law, so employers need to ensure their policies about medical marijuana use are clear and consider the potential legal and safety risks; employees need education about the dangers of prescription pain relievers and heroin; drug test panels may warrant revision to incorporate prescription opioids; and the policy should require safety-sensitive employees to report use of prescription or over-the-counter medications that could impact safety.                 

Read more:                
http://www.natlawreview.com/article/top-10-reasons-to-update-workplace-drug-and-alcohol-policies-2016                                 

Q&A: Firm Uses Analytics to Curtail Prescription Drug Abuse                
Linda L. Briggs, TDWI                
January 5, 2016                

Helios, a provider of pharmacy benefit management, uses predictive analytics to work with pharmacists to control pain medication misuse among workers’ compensation claims. By gathering data and running analytics on an injured worker’s demographic information and medications filled in a claim, Helios pharmacists can apply historical models and better tailor a pain treatment plan to each individual. The company has reduced opioid prescription rates by over 36 percent among its client companies. This interview with the director of analytics at Helios describes the role of predictive analytics in reining in pain medication misuse.                 

Read more:                
https://tdwi.org/articles/2016/01/05/analytics-and-curtailing-drug-abuse.aspx                                  

Addictions Add Up to Big Losses for Businesses                
Gregory Bresiger, New York Post                
January 2, 2016                

Alcohol and drug addiction affect businesses in many ways. They cause lost productivity, absenteeism, injury, and higher heathcare and workers’ compensation costs. Addiction risks vary between industries. For example, restaurant workers often have access to alcohol and handle a lot of cash, while construction workers have a high risk of injuries that tend to require potentially addictive opioid pain relievers. Employee assistance programs and workplace drug treatment options can help address these issues.                 

Read more:                
http://nypost.com/2016/01/02/addictions-add-up-to-big-losses-for-businesses                
               

Marijuana

A. Cohn, A. Johnson, S. Ehlke, and A.C. Villanti. 2015. “Characterizing Substance Use and Mental Health Profiles of Cigar, Blunt, and Non-Blunt Marijuana Users from the National Survey of Drug Use and Health.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence, doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.12.017.                

Smoking marijuana in a cigar (blunt use) is gaining popularity in the United States. Multivariate analysis of 2013 National Survey of Drug Use and Health data showed that odds of blunt use were higher among younger respondents, Black reposndents, and past-month users of tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs. Blunt users also had more marijuana and alcohol use disorder symptoms than non-users. Respondents who reported blunt use but did not realize this constituted marijuana use were likely to be young, Black, female, low income, and modestly educated.                

Read more:                
http://www.drugandalcoholdependence.com/article/S0376-8716(15)01832-3/abstract                                  

S. Imtiaz, K.D. Shield, M. Roerecke, J. Cheng, S. Popova, P. Kurdyak, B. Fischer, and J. Rehm. 2016. “The Burden of Disease Attributable to Cannabis Use in Canada in 2012.” Addiction, doi:10.1111/add.13237.                

Cannabis use in 2012 caused an estimated 287 deaths in Canada, 10,533 years of life lost due to premature mortality, 55,813 years of life lost due to disability, and 66,346 disability-adjusted life years lost. These estimates encompass cannabis use disorders and attributable fractions of schizophrenia, lung cancer, and road traffic injuries. Cannabis-attributable burden of disease was highest among young people. Men accounted for twice the burden of women. Cannabis use disorders were the largest contributor to the cannabis-attributable burden of disease.                

Read more:                
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/add.13237/abstract                                  

D.C. Lee, B.S. Crosier, J.T. Borodovsky, J.D. Sargent, and A.J. Budney. 2015. “Online Survey Characterizing Vaporizer Use among Cannabis Users.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence, doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.12.020.                

A majority (61 percent) of the 2,910 respondents to an online survey of individuals with interests related to cannabis use had vaped, 37 percent vaped in the past 30 days, 20 percent had vaped more than 100 lifetime days, and 12 percent said vaping was their preferred way to use marijuana. Compared to those that had never vaped, vaporizer users were younger, more likely to be male, initiated cannabis at an earlier age, and were less likely to be Black. Those who preferred vaping considered it healthier, better tasting, producing better effects, and more satisfying. Only 14 percent reported a reduction in smoking cannabis since initiating vaping, and only 5 percent mixed cannabis with nicotine in a vaporizer.                 

Read more:                
http://www.drugandalcoholdependence.com/article/S0376-8716(15)01835-9/abstract                                  

M.T. Tull, M. J. McDermott, and K.L. Gratz. 2015. “Marijuana Dependence Moderates The Effect of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder on Trauma Cue Reactivity in Substance Dependent Patients.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence, doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.12.014.                

Among 202 patients consecutively admitted to a Mississippi residential substance use disorder treatment facility, subjective emotional reactivity did not differ as a function of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) status among participants with marijuana dependence. Moreover, marijuana dependent participants (with and without PTSD) reported less subjective emotional reactivity than participants with PTSD and no marijuana dependence. No significant findings were obtained for cortisol reactivity.                

Read more:                
http://www.drugandalcoholdependence.com/article/S0376-8716(15)01829-3/abstract                                  

Social Impact of Legal Pot: Alaska Not Yet Seen Any Major Effects of Legalization                
Amanda Bohman, News Miner                
January 3, 2016                

More workers in Alaska are testing positive for marijuana and more weed is reportedly confiscated at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, but no other social affects have been reported, according to the author. No one in 2015 went to the emergency department at the Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, complaining of a marijuana overdose, and no child was taken there who had ingested the plant. Fairbanks International Airport, the border patrol, and Fort Wainwright also reported little to no new problems for their agencies. The state will begin licensing marijuana businesses and marijuana edibles later this year.                 

Read more:                
http://www.newsminer.com/news/alaska_news/the-social-impact-of-legal-pot-alaska-has-not-yet/article_25799f20-b1ef-11e5-a1f4-ef95e71992ff.html                                  

Eleven States Least Likely to Legalize Marijuana                
Sam Stebbins and Thomas C. Frohlich, 24/7 Wall St.                
January 4, 2016                

A 24/7 Wall Street study identified the 11 least likely states to legalize marijuana, chief among them Alabama, Arkansas, and Georgia. Possession is a felony under certain circumstances in all 11 states. Cultural and religious factors also play a role, and the states tend to be conservative politically. (Includes video: 63 seconds)                

Read more:                
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2016/01/04/24-7-wallst-legalize-marijuana/78077366                                  

World’s First Certified Kosher Medical Marijuana Will Be Sold in New York                
Sabrina Bachai, Medical Daily                
December 31, 2015                

Vireo Health, a marijuana dispensary in New York, received a certification from the Orthodox Union so that it can offer kosher-certified marijuana starting in January. The cannabis extract products will be sold in the form of oils, vaporization cartridges, and capsules.                 

Read more:                
http://www.medicaldaily.com/kosher-pot-worlds-first-certified-kosher-medical-marijuana-will-be-sold-new-york-367552                 
                 

International

Fentanyl Suspected Cause of Many Drug Overdoses in Canada                  
Andrea Woo, Globe and Mail                  
December 31, 2015                   

Western Canada has seen at least a dozen fentanyl deaths since December 19, 2015. This includes four in Vancouver and eight in Greater Victoria. In Alberta, fentanyl was connected to more than 200 deaths in the past year alone. Other provinces have seen deaths linked to fentanyl increase as well. From January to September 2015, fentanyl was detected in 35 percent of all illicit drug overdose deaths in British Columbia. Fentanyl is often mixed into other drugs and ingested unknowingly. Medical professionals and advocates want naloxone to be easier to get. It is currently available only by prescription. Health Canada plans to review the drug’s prescription-only status and make a decision in early 2016.                  

Read more:                  
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/fentanyl-suspected-cause-of-dozens-of-drug-overdoses-in-bc/article27979086                   
               

Northeast/Mid-Atlantic News

New Jersey Law for Proper Disposal of Prescription Drugs Takes Effect                
New Jersey Assembly Republicans                
December 31, 2015                

Effective January 1, 2016, New Jersey pharmacies and prescribers are required to give patients a Division of Consumer Affairs notice with available drug take-back programs and suggestions for the safe disposal of unused drugs. They must also make patients aware of the Project Medicine Drop program, which provides secure collection and safe disposal of unused medications.                

Read more:                
http://www.njassemblyrepublicans.com/?p=21449                                  

Chair of New Hampshire Legislature’s Drug Task Force Discusses Recommendations                
Peter Biello, New Hampshire Public Radio                
January 7, 2016                

The New Hampshire legislature’s joint task force on opioid and heroin abuse has sent its recommendations to the governor and public leaders. Notable recommendations include stiffer penalties for those making and selling fentanyl, drug education in schools, and permanent state funding for the prescription drug monitoring program. Legislative hearings will begin in January. Task Force Chair Jeb Bradley, majority leader of the state senate, spoke to New Hampshire Public Radio about the task force report. (Includes audio: 6:00 minutes)                

Read more:                
http://nhpr.org/post/bradley-lays-out-expectations-now-drug-task-force-has-made-recommendations                                  

New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program Now Sharing Data with Five Other States                
State of New Jersey                
January 6, 2016                

Rhode Island, Virginia, and Minnesota have joined Connecticut and Delaware in sharing data with the New Jersey Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. The press release from the governor’s office said the aim is to help prescribers and pharmacists to identify potential misuse of prescriptions across multiple states, including prescriptions for opiate-based pain medication.                

Read more:                
http://www.nj.gov/governor/news/news/552015/approved/20160106a.html                                  

Massachusetts State Police Investigated 755 Heroin Overdose Deaths in 2015                
Peter Schworm and Martin Finucane, Boston Globe                
December 31, 2015                

Massachusetts state police in 2015 investigated 755 suspected heroin overdoses that resulted in death. These statistics exclude Boston, Worcester, and Springfield, the state’s three largest cities. Almost 80 percent were men and the average age was 36. Middlesex County had the most overdose victims with 142, followed by Essex, Bristol, and Plymouth counties. State police use evidence found at the scene and witness statements to make preliminary determinations.                 

Read more:                
https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/12/31/state-police-say-they-investigated-heroin-overdose-deaths/V2jCO8i12kN4HzdnRAELiI/story.html                
               

South News

A Look at South Carolina’s Prescription Pain Reliever Problem                
Associated Press                
December 31, 2015                

South Carolina doctors beginning this spring will be required to register with and use the prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP). In 2014, at least 487 residents died by accidentally overdosing on a prescription drug, an increase from 236 in 2013. The PDMP helped lead to 400 arrests last fiscal year; health care professionals made up a quarter of those arrested. The database has about 4,300 registered doctors. Doctors and pharmacists ran more than 1 million queries on patients in the fiscal year ending June 30, nearly 417,000 more than the previous year.                 

Read more:                
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/dec/31/a-look-at-south-carolinas-prescription-painkiller-/                                  

Wet Virginia Allows Prescription Pain Reliever Addicts to Sue Prescribing Doctors                
Jim Axelrod and Ashley Velie, CBS News                
January 6, 2016                

West Virginia allows people addicted to prescription pain relievers to sue the doctors who prescribed them. CBS News interviewed one of the 30 West Virginians who is now suing his doctor for enabling his addiction. Seventeen years ago, Willis Duncan had a coal mining injury that left him with a crushed sternum and broken ribs. If he did not have ten pain pills a day, he would not go to work. This led to a life-long addiction to pain relievers that his doctor continued to supply without examining him. The clinic was raided and shut down in 2010. Officials found thousands of undated and pre-signed prescriptions for pain medications. The doctor in charge went to jail for 6 months for negligence. In the last year, the state inspected 19 pain clinics; 12 were told to shut down. (Includes video: 4:47 minutes)                

Read more:                
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/west-virginia-allows-painkiller-addicts-to-sue-doctors-who-got-them-hooked                 
               

Midwest News

Heroin Overdoes Kill More than Homicides and Car Wrecks in Lansing, Michigan                
Kate Wells, Michigan Radio                
January 7, 2016                

Lansing Police responded to 26 heroin-related deaths in 2015, more than homicides and fatal car crashes. The fire department administered Narcan 295 times in 2015. Prescription drug deaths rose to more than 50 in 2014 and 2015, up from 17 in 2010.                

Read more:                
http://michiganradio.org/post/lansing-police-heroin-related-deaths-outpace-homicides-and-fatal-car-wrecks#stream/0                                  

Increasing Overdose Deaths Alarming for Tennessee Doctors                
Olivia Bailey, WCYB                
January 7, 2016                

Tennessee Department of Health data show that 1,263 Tennesseans died from drug overdoses in 2014, more than the number who died in car crashes. The majority of overdose deaths were due to prescription drugs.                

Read more:                
http://www.wcyb.com/news/increasing-overdose-deaths-alarming-for-tennessee-doctors/37314372                
               

West News

Prescription Drug Use Rules Could Loosen for Alaska's Police Officers                
Associated Press                
January 6, 2016                

The Alaska Police Standards Council has proposed changing police hiring standards to accept applicants who have previously used prescription drugs not prescribed to them. It would permit prescription drug use under “an exigent circumstance” that justified the use and would only extend back 5 years instead of the current 10 years. Police departments had expressed concern that a large number of qualified applicants were not making the cut because they had previously used pain relievers.                 

Read more:                
http://www.ktoo.org/2016/01/07/prescription-drug-use-rules-could-loosen-for-police-officers                 
https://www.adn.com/article/20160106/proposal-would-loosen-police-hiring-rules-prescription-drug-use                                  

Utah Police Regulators Discipline or Boot 9 Officers                
Nate Carlisle, Salt Lake Tribune                
January 4, 2016                

The Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training Council recently suspended or revoked the powers of nine officers after it previously approved guidelines clarifying that unauthorized use of prescription drugs is an offense and subject to discipline. The council also discussed the need for educating new recruits about prescription drug misuse. A sheriff’s deputy was among the officers disciplined. He was suspended for 1.5 years for taking cough medication, a pain medication patch, and testosterone that belonged to other family members.                 

Read more:                
http://www.sltrib.com/home/3378066-155/utah-police-regulators-discipline-or-boot                                  

Hawaii Workforce Drug Tests Show Hike in Cocaine Use in 2015                
KHON                
January 5, 2016                

Drug usage in Hawaii’s workforce remained flat in 2015, with the exception of cocaine usage, which showed a 100 percent increase, according to Diagnostic Laboratory Services workforce drug testing data. Opiate use decreased from 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 to 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015. Marijuana use declined from 2.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 to 2.3 percent the fourth quarter of 2015. The quarterly sample typically includes 7,000 to 10,000 drug tests.                 

Read more:                
http://khon2.com/2016/01/05/hawaii-workforce-drug-tests-show-hike-in-cocaine-use-in-2015                                  

Nevada Law Aimed at Curbing Prescription Drug Abuse Takes Effect                
Michelle Rindels, Associated Press                
January 1, 2016                

Several laws took effect January 1 in Nevada, including SB288, which tightens rules to ensure that more doctors are using the state’s prescription drug monitoring program database. The law also requires doctors who prescribe medications to get training on how to use the database.                

Read more:                
http://www.rgj.com/story/news/2016/01/01/dozens-new-nevada-laws-kicking-jan-1/78175372/?from=global&sessionKey=&autologin=                 
               

Webinar Archive

Prescribing Some Solutions to Prescription Pain Medicine Abuse                
Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America                
Date: December 17, 2015                

Bob Twillman, executive director of American Academy of Pain Management, and Catherine Thatcher Brunson, trainer/consultant of Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America’s National Coalition Institute, discuss solutions to the prescription drug epidemic. (Duration: 55:45 minutes)                

Watch:                
http://www.cadca.org/resources/listen-and-watch-cadcas-webinar-prescribing-some-solutions-prescription-pain-medicine                 
               

Grant Awards

Massachusetts Awards $6.8 Million for Youth Prescription Drug Misuse Prevention                
State of Massachusetts                
January 7, 2016                

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has awarded $6.8 million to support Strategic Prevention Framework Partnership for Success 2015 programs in 16 communities around the state that focus on prescription drug misuse prevention activities. SAMHSA provides the funding for the program, the goal of which is to implement evidence-based prevention programs, policies, and practices to reduce prescription drug misuse among people ages 12–25 in high-need communities.                

Read more:                
http://www.mass.gov/governor/press-office/press-releases/fy2016/6-8m-in-youth-prescription-drug-misuse-grants-awarded.html                                  

Massachusetts Awards $700,000 in Naxolone Grants for First Responders                
Wicked Local                
January 6, 2016                

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has awarded $700,000 to 40 communities across the state to facilitate the purchasing, carrying, and administering of naloxone.                 

Read more:                
http://norton.wickedlocal.com/news/20160106/gov-baker-announces-700000-in-naxolone-grants-for-first-responders                                  

Indiana Attorney General Awards Grants to Fund Naloxone Kits, First Responders Training                
Office of the Indiana Attorney General                
January 7, 2016                

Indiana’s Office of the Attorney General has awarded $127,000 to three nonprofit organizations to distribute naloxone kits and train first responders.                 

Read more:                
http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?view=EventDetails&eventidn=241073&information_id=236012&type=&syndicate=syndicate                 
               

 Grant Announcements

 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                 

Drug-Free Communities Support Program (SP-16-001)                
SAMHSA                
Due: March 18, 2016                
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, 9:00 a.m., EST.                
Submission Period ends April 29, 2016, 11:59 p.m., EST.                 
http://nida.ideascale.com/a/pages/addiction-research-theres-an-app-for-that                 
               

Take-Back Events & Drop Boxes

3,017 lbs. of Drugs Collected in One California County                
Calaveras Enterprise                
December 31, 2015                
http://www.calaverasenterprise.com/news/article_ecdf1c8c-afe4-11e5-b84c-5f4e90f2bed2.html                                  

1,100 lbs. of Drugs Removed from Coatesville (Penn.) Streets in 2015                
Daily Local News                
January 7, 2016                
http://www.dailylocal.com/article/DL/20160107/NEWS/160109842                                  

West Feliciana Parish (La.) Drug Take-Back Day Collects About 6 lbs.                
The Advocate                
January 6, 2016                
http://theadvocate.com/news/westfeliciana/14348980-125/drug-take-back-day-collects-about-6-pounds                                  

Ridgefield (Conn.) Police Remind Residents of Prescription Drug Take-Back Box                
Ridgefield Police                
January 6, 2016                
http://news.hamlethub.com/ridgefield/publicsafety/50454-ridgefield-police-remind-residents-of-their-prescription-drug-take-back-box                                  

Mt. Pleasant (Mich.) Drop-Off Site Collects Hundreds of Pounds of Drugs                
Susan Field, Morning Sun                
January 6, 2016                
http://www.themorningsun.com/article/MS/20160106/NEWS/160109792                                  

Medford and Mount Laurel (N.J.) Now Collect Unwanted, Unused Drugs                
Central Record                
December 31, 2015                
http://www.southjerseylocalnews.com/articles/2015/12/31/news/doc568553d18993a983259076.txt                                  

Lower Salford (Penn.) Police Add Drop Box                
Montgomery News                
December 31, 2015                
http://www.montgomerynews.com/articles/2015/12/31/
souderton_independent/news/doc5683f2dc2e75d501496671.txt
                                

Clarks Summit (Penn.) Take-Back Program Aims to Reduce Prescription Drug Abuse                
Elizabeth Baumeister, Abington Journal                
December 31, 2015                
http://theabingtonjournal.com/features/health/18293/prescription-drug-take-back-program-helps-reduce-chances-of-prescription-drug-abuse-in-clarks-summit                
               

Upcoming Conferences and Workshops

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

26th 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 & Heroin Summit                
March 28–31, 2016                
Atlanta, Georgia                
http://nationalrxdrugabusesummit.org                                  

3rd Annual Smart Approaches to Marijuana Education Summit                
March 31, 2016                
Atlanta, Georgia                
http://nationalrxdrugabusesummit.org/sam-summit-2                                  

Register:                
https://www.123contactform.com/form-1486587/2016-National-Rx-Drug-Abuse-Summit                 
         
                                 
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.