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January 23, 2013

SAMHSA Prevention of Prescription Drug Abuse in the Workplace Listserv

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January 23, 2013 (PDF version)
 
 
Featured Article

In a First, NYC Police Plan to Ask Pharmacies to Stock GPS Pill Bottles to Track Thieves
The Washington Post
January 15, 2013
 
The New York City Police Department (NYPD) plans to combat painkiller theft by asking thousands of pharmacies to hide fake pill bottles with GPS devices. The NYPD has begun creating a database of the roughly 6,000 pharmacies they will target, with plans to have officers visit and recommend security measures, such as better alarm systems and lighting of storage areas. The devices will be provided by Purdue Pharma.
 
Read more:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/in-a-first-nypd-plans-to-ask-pharmacies-to-stock-gps-pill-bottles-to-track-thieves/2013/01/15/f5028cd0-5ee5-11e2-9dc9-bca76dd777b8_story.html
 
 
Journal Articles
Amy E. Austin, Corinna van den Heuvel, and Roger W. Byard. 2013. "Physician Suicide." Journal of Forensic Sciences:58(S1):S91-S93.
Pathology files at Forensic Science South Australia were examined for cases of physician suicide from January 1997 to March 2011. Nine cases were identified--three of which had a history of prescription drug abuse. The methods of self-destruction contrasted with the general population, where hanging, carbon monoxide poisoning, and gunshot wounds were more common. Availability and knowledge of lethal effects are important determinants in the choice of methods of suicide. Access to drugs should therefore be carefully monitored among physicians with histories of depression and/or substance abuse.

Read more:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1556-4029.2012.02260.x/abstract
 
D.D. Satre, K. Delucchi, J. Lichtmacher, S.A. Sterling, and C. Weisner. 2013. "Motivational Interviewing to Reduce Hazardous Drinking and Drug Use Among Depression Patients." Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 44(3):323-29. doi:10.1016/j.jsat.2012.08.008.
This randomized study examined the efficacy of motivational interviewing (MI) to reduce substance use among adults with depression in outpatient psychiatry. The sample consisted of adults who reported hazardous drinking, illegal drug use, or misuse of prescription drugs in the prior 30 days, and who scored ≥15 on the Beck Depression Inventory--II. Among participants reporting hazardous drinking at baseline, MI-treated participants were less likely than controls to report hazardous drinking at 3 months. Researchers think MI is a promising intervention to reduce hazardous drinking among depression patients.

Read more:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22999815
 
Kevin D. Shield, Anca Ialomiteanu, Benedikt Fischer, and Jürgen Rehm. 2013. "Assessing the Prevalence of Non-Medical Prescription Opioid Use in the Canadian General Adult Population: Evidence of Large Variation Depending on Survey Questions Used." BMC Psychiatry 13:6. doi:10.1186/1471-244X-13-6.
 
Authors tested the impact of different Non-Medical Prescription Opioid Use (NMPOU) question items by comparing an item in the 2008 and 2009 samples of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Monitor surveys with a newly developed item used in the sample of the CAMH Monitor survey. They found that prevalence of NMPOU (as measured by the 2008 and 2009 CAMH Monitor) was significantly different when compared with prevalence of NMPOU measured by the 2010 CAMH Monitor
 
Read more:
http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-244X/13/6/abstract
 
News and Reports
Kentucky Attorney General Conway Touts Progress in Curbing Prescription Drug Abuse
Insurance Journal
January 17, 2013
This article discusses Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway's comments to the National Governor's Association Policy Academy on Reducing Prescription Drug Abuse. Conway said Kentucky is making progress in curbing the prescription drug abuse epidemic. Two of the state's most successful practices are closely monitoring prescribing practices of physicians and holding pharmaceutical companies that make widely abused painkillers accountable. He noted enough hydrocodone prescriptions have been written to administer some 50 doses to all of Kentucky's 4.3 million residents. But in the past year, he has also seen a 16 percent drop in the amount of hydrocodone and oxycodone prescriptions. 
 
Read more:
http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2013/01/17/277786.htm
 
Children's Hospital Staff, Volunteers Combat Rise in Babies Addicted to Prescription
Naples Daily News
January 14, 2013
Hospital officials said the number of infants born addicted to opiates in Southwest Florida has grown about 800 percent since 2005. Before addicted mothers give birth, hospital staff take them off prescription drugs and put them on a dose of methadone. When the babies are born, they are hooked on methadone instead of the pain medication. Withdrawal symptoms begin at birth, and babies are given methadone through their pacifiers every few hours. The entire weaning process can take anywhere from 3 weeks to 4 months. A support team of volunteer cuddlers hold and rock the babies.

Read more:
http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2013/jan/14/childrens-hospital-staff-volunteers-combat-rise
 
Prescription Narcotics Among Canada's Deadliest Drugs, Studies Show
National Post
January 16, 2013
This article highlights several studies on the drug problem in Canada, which rose from the sixth- to second-largest prescription opioid consumer in the world over the last decade. A new study indicates overdose deaths have increased in close parallel with the country's soaring consumption of prescription narcotics. Another study notes that one in six teenagers uses pills such as oxycodone and Percocet nonmedically. Government and health officials have tried to curb opioid abuse by using electronic prescription monitoring. In Ontario alone, the number of fatalities linked to Fentanyl climbed from 34 to 57, while those for oxycodone increased from 96 to 143. The number of oxycodone-related deaths leapt to 173 in 2010, according to the coroner's office.

Read more:
http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/01/16/prescription-narcotics-among-canadas-deadliest-drugs-studies-show
 
Overprescribing Fuels Drug Epidemic, Expert Says
The Richmond Ledger
January 15, 2013
Kentucky's political leaders want to modify legislation passed last year to crack down on prescription painkiller abuse. Physicians complained about burdensome regulations that impede legitimate pain treatment. An expert explained that too many doctors prescribed opium-based medications after being misled by pharmaceutical companies to believe such medication provides "compassionate care" and can be prescribed in ways that avoid addiction. Also, Purdue Pharma spent millions on marketing campaigns to promote OxyContin.

Read more:
http://richmondregister.com/localnews/x1633453970/-Overprescribing-fuels-drug-epidemic-expert-says
 
Guest Commentary: Prescription Drug Monitoring Program in Missouri Would Save Lives
Missourian
January 14, 2013
Dr. Joseph Forand, past president of the Missouri Society of Anesthesiologists, urges the Missouri House of Representatives and Missouri Senate to pass an effective prescription drug monitoring program early in the 2013 legislative session. The article notes Missouri is the only state in the country that has not passed legislation to enable a functioning monitoring program. The number of overdose deaths has quadrupled in the past 10 years.

Read more:
http://www.columbiamissourian.com/a/157642/guest-commentary-prescription-drug-monitoring-program-in-missouri-would-save-lives
 
Prescription Drug Misuse in Kentucky
Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, Kentucky Health Issues Poll 2012
January 2013
This report discusses a poll that asked Kentucky residents questions about prescription pain reliever use and misuse. Kentucky ranks sixth in the nation for overdose deaths involving prescription pain relievers. In 2008, its rate was 17.9 deaths per 100,000 residents.

Read more:
http://www.healthy-ky.org/sites/default/files/KHIP_RxDrugMisuse_FINL_011613.pdf
 
Related Article
Kentuckians' Views on Prescription Drug Misuse
Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky
January 17, 2013
This article highlights poll results on prescription drugs. Some of the data revealed that more than half of adult Kentuckians (54 percent) have been prescribed opioid pain relievers such as OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet, or codeine in the past 5 years. Additionally, one adult in three told researchers of having friends or family members who have experienced problems as a result of abusing prescription pain relievers.

Read more:
http://www.healthy-ky.org/news-events/newsroom/kentuckians-views-prescription-drug-misuse


Restored Funding for Prescription Drug-Monitoring Program Urged
Los Angeles Times
January 11, 2013
 
Kamala Harris, California's Attorney General, asks Gov. Jerry Brown to restore funding to Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES), a prescription drug monitoring program used to combat drug abuse and overdose deaths. The governor's current budget does not earmark money for CURES, but the article states that Harris could seek legislative authority to use her department's funds for the program.

Read more:
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0111-rx-cures-20130111,0,7336391.story
 
Prescription Drug Abuse in Los Angeles County
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
January 2013
Drug overdose is the third leading cause of injury and death in Los Angeles County. The report highlights trends in national and local prescription drug abuse and provides recommendations for action in three key areas: training and education, tracking and monitoring, and disposal.

Read more:
http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/sapc/resources/PrescriptionWEB3.pdf
 
Related Press Release
With Prescription Drug Abuse on the Rise in L.A. County, Public Health Report Makes Recommendations
County of Los Angeles Public Health
January 14, 2013
This press release highlights key findings in a report about prescription drug abuse in Los Angeles County. For example, from 2000 to 2009, toxicology reports found 8,265 drug-related deaths occurred, and approximately 60 percent of those deaths involved a commonly abused prescription or over-the-counter drug. Publicly funded substance abuse facilities reported that treatment admissions for prescription drug abuse of opioid pain relievers increased by 50 percent from 2005 to 2010.

Read more:
http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/phcommon/public/media/mediapubhpdetail.cfm?prid=1043


Related Article
Prescription Drug Overdoses in L.A. County Growing Public Health Concern: Report
The Huffington Post
January 15, 2013
This article discusses a recent report, Prescription Drug Abuse in Los Angeles County: Background and Recommendations for Action. In 2009, there were 5,382 emergency room visits and 3,048 hospitalizations for prescription drug overdoses. Further, 11 percent of 9th graders, 14 percent of 11th graders, and 37 percent of students in continuation or alternative high schools reported misuse of prescription drugs at least once.

Read more:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/15/prescription-drug-overdoses-la_n_2481072.html
 
Our Children, Our Future, Our Responsibility
North Carolina Child Fatality Task Force
January 2013
View trend data in child deaths and recommendations for changing laws and policies, including curbing prescription drug abuse in North Carolina.

Read more:
http://www.ncleg.net/DocumentSites/Committees/NCCFTF/Reports%20and%20Data/2013%20CFTF%20%20Annual%20Report.pdf
 
Related Article
North Carolina Child Fatalities Task Force Notes Rise in Prescription Drug Deaths
Charlotte Observer
January 12, 2013
This article discusses a recent report from the North Carolina Child Fatality Task Force. Deaths statewide from unintentional poisoning rose from 437 in 2001 to 1,140 in 2011;  92 percent of these were drug overdoses. Almost all of the recorded overdose deaths involved opiate-derived drugs such as hydrocodone and oxycodone.

Read more:
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/01/12/3781597/nc-child-fatalities-task-force.html
 
Arizona Posts Nation's Sixth-Highest Prescription Drug Abuse Rate
Cronkite News
January 16, 2013
In Arizona, 5.66 percent of residents ages 12 and older were misusing prescription drugs in 2010-11, compared with a national rate of 4.57 percent, according to a report from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Arizona fell from the third to sixth highest in the nation during the same period.

Read more:
http://cronkitenewsonline.com/2013/01/report-arizona-has-nations-sixth-highest-prescription-drug-abuse-rate
 
Drug Relief in All the Wrong Places
Better Business Bureau
January 17, 2013
This article talks about purchasing prescription drugs online as well as the importance of getting an examination and prescription from a licensed physician.

Read more:
http://www.bbb.org/blog/2013/01/drug-relief-in-all-the-wrong-places
 
Expiring OxyContin Patent Spurs Fears of Generic Pill Abuse
Courier-Journal.com
January 13, 2013
 
Lawmakers, activists, and doctors are pushing requirements that new versions of OxyContin resist tampering by addicts. Purdue Pharma's patent on the original OxyContin will expire in April. They are worried that cheaper, easily crushable generic versions will flood Kentucky and worsen the state's already devastating prescription drug abuse problem.

Read more:
http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20130113/PRIME01/301130043/Expiring-OxyContin-patent-spurs-fears-generic-pill-abuse
 
Guidance for Industry: Abuse-Deterrent Opioids--Evaluation and Labeling
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research
January 2013
This draft guidance aims to assist industry in developing new formulations of opioid drugs with abuse-deterrent properties. It explains the Food and Drug Administration's perspective on studies that should be conducted to demonstrate a given formulation's abuse-deterrent properties, how those studies will be evaluated by the agency, and what labeling claims could be approved based on the studies' results. Comments and suggestions should be submitted within 60 days of the Federal Register's notice announcing the availability of the draft guidance.

Read more:
http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/UCM334743.pdf
 
Related Press Release
FDA Issues Draft Guidance on Abuse-Deterrent Opioids
Food and Drug Administration
January 9, 2013
This press release announces the Food and Drug Administration's draft guidance to assist industry in developing new formulations of opioid drugs with abuse-deterrent properties. Abuse-deterrent formulations target the known or expected routes of abuse, such as crushing to snort or dissolving to inject, for the specific opioid drug substance in that formulation. The science of abuse deterrence is relatively new, and both formulation technologies and analytical, clinical, and statistical methods for evaluating those technologies are rapidly evolving. In working with industry, the Food and Drug Administration will take a flexible, adaptive approach to the evaluation and labeling of potentially abuse-deterrent products.

Read more:
http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm334785.htm
 
Healthcare Professionals Prescribe Behavioral Agreements to Curb Opioid Abuse
Medical Marketing & Media
January 14, 2013
Two University of Pittsburgh healthcare professionals think patients should be required to have behavioral agreements with physicians. Ideally, patients taking opiates would agree to certain restrictions, such as police reports when they claim medication has been stolen, or increased monitoring, like more frequent urine tests or in-person prescription redemption when necessary. The healthcare professionals acknowledge a lack of data to support this approach.

Read more:
http://www.mmm-online.com/hcps-prescribe-behavioral-agreements-to-curb-opioid-abuse/article/276006
 
Wisconsin Household Pharmaceutical Waste Collection--Challenges and Opportunities
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
December 13, 2012
A report on a study commissioned by the Department of Natural Resources, under contract to the University of Wisconsin Extension and Product Stewardship Institute, conducted an in-depth assessment of current used household pharmaceuticals collection in the state, barriers to enhanced collection, and alternative funding and destruction options.

Read more:
http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/HealthWaste/documents/2012HouseholdPharmStudy.pdf
 
Related Article
Study Shows Only 2 Percent of Unused Prescription Drugs Going to Take-Back Programs in Wisconsin
Sawyer County Record
January 11, 2013
Roughly 118.8 million prescriptions and over-the-counter medications were dispensed and sold in Wisconsin in 2010. Of these, about one third, or 4.4 million pounds, went unused. Only 2 percent of those were collected for safe disposal. The report suggests boosting opportunities for the public to drop off unused medications without charge.

Read more:
http://www.haywardwi.com/news/article_1a769bf2-5c00-11e2-b315-001a4bcf887a.html
 
Related Article
Drug Drop-Off Programs Falling Short
Wisconsin Radio Network
January 14, 2013
This is an audio report (1:01 minute) and article on a new study commissioned by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. It estimates that 4.4 million pounds of prescription drugs go unused each year in Wisconsin, but only 2 percent drop off at collection sites.

Read more:
http://www.wrn.com/2013/01/drug-drop-off-programs-falling-short


Audio
Effects of Prescription Drug Misuse
Nevada Public Radio
January 14, 2013
This audio discussion (53:20) on prescription drug abuse focuses on peripheral effects on addicts' families and communities. Guests include Dr. Mel Pohl, Medical Director of Las Vegas Recovery Center; Karen Kelly, author of A Day Without Pain and President and CEO of Operation UNITE (Kentucky); and Nevada State Senator Mo Dennis.

Read more:
http://www.knpr.org/son/archive/detail2.cfm?SegmentID=9616&ProgramID=2688
 
Drug Overdoses Are Now Leading Killer of Boston's Homeless
WBUR
January 14, 2013
Overdoses among the homeless are 20 times as high as those among the general population, and 80 percent of these are caused by opioids. Listen to the public radio audio (4:04) and/or read the transcript.

Read more:
http://www.wbur.org/2013/01/14/homeless-overdoses
 
Video
CDC: Prescription Drugs Kill More People Than Car Crashes
CBS 5
January 14, 2013
Watch this video (2:01) and/or read the transcript about a young Arizona woman overcoming her addiction to prescription painkillers.

Read more:
http://www.kpho.com/story/20586733/cdc-prescription-drugs-kill-more-people-than-car-crashes
 
Upcoming Event
Drug Facts Chat Day
National Institute on Drug Abuse
January 31, 2013
Join us for the fifth annual Drug Facts Chat Day on January 31, 2013, during National Drug Facts Week. Hosted by top scientists from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Drug Facts Chat Day is a unique opportunity for teachers and students to ask expert scientists questions about drugs and their impact on the brain and body.

Read more:
http://drugfactsweek.drugabuse.gov/chat
 
 
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.
 
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. 
 
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