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January 28, 2016

 PAW Weekly Update

    

                                          
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SAMHSA
           
SAMHSA Prescription Drug Abuse Weekly Update
         
         
WEEKLY
           
UPDATE
         
                             
Issue 158  |  January 28, 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.                      
               
                                                                                                                   
Webinar: Prescription Drug Abuse in the Workplace: Prevention Strategies and Solutions  
National Safety Council
Thursday, February 11, 2016, 2:00 p.m. (ET)
 
Tess Benham, senior program manager with the National Safety Council (NSC), and Denise Fields, Pharm.D., senior clinical consultant with Express Scripts, will share findings from the NSC workplace survey about the impact of prescription drug misuse. They will also discuss their experience in creating and administering mandatory education programs and present a case study about the successes and obstacles faced by one Indiana employer. They will suggest solutions for employers to successfully address prescription drug misuse with employees and prevent issues before they arise.

Register:
http://eventcallregistration.com/reg/index.jsp?cid=59488t11                      
 
                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                     
Index                            
Featured                            
Journal Articles and Reports                            
National                            
Marijuana                            
International                            
Northeast/Mid-Atlantic News                            
South News                            
Midwest News                            
West News                            
Webinars                            
Grant Announcements                            
Take-Back Events & Drop Boxes                            
Upcoming Conferences and Workshops                            
                       

Featured

Opioid Abuse Takes a Toll on Workers and Their Employers                        
Yuki Noguchi, NPR                        
January 20, 2016                        

This story uses Michele Zumwalt’s personal history with addiction to illustrate the challenges employers face dealing with employees’ prescription drug misuse. As her book, Ruby Shoes, describes, Zumwalt became addicted to Demerol after receiving injections for severe headaches. For 20 years, she routinely went to work in corporate sales high on opioids. Her addiction worsened, eventually forcing her to take medical leave. Zumwalt has been sober for a dozen years. Don Teater, M.D., medical adviser for the National Safety Council, said he has seen prescription opioids destroy communities. Three-quarters of his addiction-treatment patients in North Carolina lost their jobs, although some managed to hide prescription misuse for years. He said one of the biggest problems is that few employers test for prescription opioids. Federal regulations expected this year could require certain employers to test employees for prescription pain relievers. (Includes audio: 4:30 minutes)                        

Read more:                        
http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/01/20/462922517/opioid-abuse-takes-a-toll-on-workers-and-their-employers                                                  

Drug Overdoses Propel Rise in Mortality Rates of Young White Adults                        
Gina Kolata and Sarah Cohenjan, New York Times                        
January 17, 2016                        

Drug overdoses from illegal and prescription drugs are driving up the death rate of young white adults in the United States, according to an analysis of mortality data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The rising death rate of young white adults ages 25–34 make them the first generation since the Vietnam War years of the mid-1960s to experience a higher death rate in early adulthood than the preceding generation. In 2014, the overdose death rate for white adults ages 25–34 was five times the level in 1999; the rate tripled for white adults ages 35–44.                         

Read more:                        
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/17/science/drug-overdoses-propel-rise-in-mortality-rates-of-young-whites.html?_r=2                                                  

Drug Deaths Reach White America                        
Editorial Board, New York Times                        
January 25, 2016                        

The New York Times editorial board has opined: “Congress has historically treated drug abuse as a malady afflicting mostly poor, minority communities, best dealt with by locking people up for long periods of time. The epidemic of drug overdose deaths currently ravaging white populations in cities and towns across the country has altered this line of thinking, and forced lawmakers to acknowledge that addiction is a problem that knows no racial barriers and can be best addressed with treatment.” Resulting changes in drug policy and attitudes include lifting the ban on using federal money for needle exchange programs; expanding and improving drug treatment services nationwide; making naloxone readily available; establishing places where people can safely dispose of medications; and strengthening state prescription drug monitoring programs. The editorial board also urged members of Congress to pass the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act.                        

Read more:                        
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/25/opinion/drug-deaths-reach-white-america.html?
mabReward=A6&module=WelcomeBackModal&contentCollection=Health
&region=FixedCenter&action=click&src=recg&pgtype=article
                     
               
               

Journal Articles and Reports

C. Currie, T.C. Wild, D. Schopflocher, and L. Laing. 2016. “Racial Discrimination, Post-Traumatic Stress and Prescription Drug Problems Among Aboriginal Canadians.” Canadian Journal of Public Health 106(6), doi:10.17269/cjph.106.4979.                

More than 80 percent of 372 Aboriginal adults who live in a mid-sized city in western Canada had experienced racial discrimination in the past year, according to in-person surveys conducted in 2010 with a community-based sample. Past-year discrimination was a risk factor for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and prescription drug problems in models adjusted for confounders and other forms of psychological trauma. In mediation models, PTSD symptoms explained the association between discrimination and prescription drug problems; psychological stress and distress did not.                

Read more:                
http://journal.cpha.ca/index.php/cjph/article/view/4979                                  

E. Fleming, S. Proescholdbell, N. Sachdeva, A.A. Alexandridis, L. Margolis, and K. Ransdell. 2016. “North Carolina's Operation Medicine Drop: Results from One of the Nation's Largest Drug Disposal Programs.” North Carolina Medical Journal 77(1):59-62, doi:10.18043/ncm.77.1.59.                

From March 2010 to June 2014, North Carolina’s Operation Medicine Drop held 1,395 events with 245 different participating law enforcement agencies in 91 counties and 60 local Safe Kids community coalitions. They collected 69.6 million unit doses of medication. Every year, the number of events, participating agencies, participating counties, and doses collected has risen.                

Read more:                
http://www.ncmedicaljournal.com/content/77/1/59.short                                  

H. Kim, D.M. Hartung, R.L. Jacob, D. McCarty, and K.J. McConnell. 2016. “The Concentration of Opioid Prescriptions by Providers and Among Patients in the Oregon Medicaid Program.” Psychiatric Services, doi:10.1176/appi.ps.201500116.                

Among 61,477 Medicaid patients in Oregon who filled at least one opioid prescription in 2013, the top 10 percent of opioid users and their prescribers accounted for, respectively, 83.2 percent and 80.8 percent of morphine-equivalent doses of all opioids prescribed. High-dosage patients who received opioids from high-volume prescribers had modestly but significantly higher probabilities of opioid prescription overlap and opioid and benzodiazepine prescription overlap compared to other recipients.                

Read more:                
http://ps.psychiatryonline.org/doi/abs/10.1176/appi.ps.201500116?journalCode=ps                                  

J. Netherland and H. Hansen. 2016. “White Opioids: Pharmaceutical Race and the War on Drugs That Wasn’t.” BioSocieties, doi:10.1057/biosoc.2015.46.                

The authors argue that the recent history of Schedule II and III synthetic opiates suggests American drug policy is racialized. Examining neuroscience, pharmaceutical technology, legislative innovation, and marketing, the authors trace a separate system for categorizing and disciplining drug use among white and black Americans, who are more likely to use illicit Schedule I drugs. The authors claim public response has carved out a less punitive, clinical realm for white Americans, where their drug use is decriminalized and treated primarily as a biomedical disease, leaving intact more punitive systems that govern the drug use of people of color.                

Read more:                
http://www.palgrave-journals.com/biosoc/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/biosoc201546a.html                                  

A. Sarker, K. O’Connor, R. Ginn, M. Scotch, K. Smith, D. Malone, and G. Gonzalez. 2016. “Social Media Mining for Toxicovigilance: Automatic Monitoring of Prescription Medication Abuse from Twitter.” Drug Safety, doi:10.1007/s40264-015-0379-4.                

The authors collected Twitter posts (tweets) associated with three commonly abused medications (Adderall, oxycodone, and quetiapine). They manually annotated 6,400 tweets that mentioned these three medications and a control medication (metformin) that is not the subject of abuse due to its mechanism of action. Using split samples on these training data, they developed and validated a largely automated, supervised classification technique to distinguish posts containing signals of medication abuse and applied it to 119,809 tweets for Adderall, 4,082 for oxycodone, 4,505 for quetiapine/Seroquel, and 1,052 for metformin. The automatic classification approach achieved 82 percent accuracy but performed poorly for quetiapine. The percentage of tweets that contained abuse signals was 23 percent for Adderall, 5 percent for quetiapine, 12 percent for oxycodone, and 0.3 percent for metformin. Analysis of Adderall and oxycodone tweets from March 2014 to March 2015 found monthly tweet frequency patterns differed, but both peaked during the December holiday season. Adderall had many tweets and abuse tweets close to traditional school exam times (November/December and April/May).                

Read more:                
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40264-015-0379-4                                  

C.B. Şengül, C. Şengül, and B. Albuz. 2015. “Is Prescription Drug Abuse in Prisons Changing? A Preliminary Study with Prison Doctors.” Bağımlılık Dergisi - Journal of Dependence 16(3): 113–18.                

In Turkey, 15 prison physicians were interviewed in person and another 15 were interviewed by e-mail. The doctors said the five drugs most commonly misused by prisoners were anti-epileptics gabapentin and pregabalin (80 percent), anti-influenza drugs containing dextromethorphan (67 percent), pain relievers and muscle relaxants containing phenprobamate (55 percent), quetiapine (46 percent), and the anticholinergic drug oxybutynin biperiden (40 percent).                

Read more:                
http://www.scopemed.org/?mno=187157                                  

B.J.H. Yarborough, S.P. Stumbo, D. McCarty, J. Mertens, C. Weisner, and C.A. Green. 2016. “Methadone, Buprenorphine and Preferences for Opioid Agonist Treatment: A Qualitative Analysis.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.12.031.                

Interviews with 283 opioid-dependent patients recruited from Kaiser-Permanente health plans that serve Northern California, Oregon, and Washington revealed seven areas of consideration for opioid agonist treatment decision-making: (1) awareness of treatment options; (2) expectations and goals for duration of treatment and abstinence; (3) prior experience with buprenorphine or methadone; (4) need for accountability and structured support; (5) preference to avoid methadone clinics or associated stigma; (6) fear of continued addiction and perceived difficulty of withdrawal; and (7) pain control. The availability of medication options increases the need for clear communication between clinicians and patients, for additional patient education about these medications, and for collaboration and patient influence over choices in treatment decision-making. Access to both methadone and buprenorphine increases treatment options and patient choice and may enhance treatment adherence and outcomes.                

Read more:                
http://www.drugandalcoholdependence.com/article/S0376-8716(16)00002-8/abstract                 
               

National

Managing Expectations and Outlook Leads to Brighter Return-to-Work Programs                
Robert Hall, M.D., Helios                
January 21, 2016                

The author suggests that when an injured worker is preparing to return-to-work, a discussion between the employer and injured worker’s physician is advisable. Understanding the worker’s job requirements, work environment, and safety policies can help the physician design an appropriate return-to-work plan. For example, the physician may decide not to prescribe an opioid medication to someone who works in a safety-sensitive position. The return-to-work plan should fully address the injured worker’s physical and psychological impairments. It also should include limitations such as break periods, what the break consists of (e.g., stretching exercises, rest), and a medication time schedule.                

Read more:                
http://ehstoday.com/health/managing-expectations-and-outlook-leads-brighter-return-work-programs                 
               

Marijuana

L.A. Hines, K.I. Morley, J. Strang, A. Agrawal, E.C. Nelson, D. Statham, N.G. Martin, and M.T. Lynskey. 2016. “Onset of Opportunity to Use Cannabis and Progression from Opportunity to Dependence: Are Influences Consistent across Transitions?” Drug and Alcohol Dependence, doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.12.032.                

In 2005, the authors attempted telephone interviews with all Australian twins born in 1972–79, completing interviews with 3,786 (a 48 percent response rate) and also interviewed 424 of their siblings (a 35 percent response rate), getting usable drug use data from 3,824 people. Of respondents, 10.5 percent had not had the opportunity to try cannabis (e.g., no one ever offered to give or sell them some), 21.2 percent had the opportunity but refused, and 78.3 percent had tried marijuana. Fourteen percent of those who tried marijuana (10.8 percent of those who had the opportunity to use) developed DSM-IV cannabis dependence. Factors associated with earlier age of first opportunity to try cannabis and of cannabis dependence among those who had the opportunity to use were conduct disorder, parental drug problems, weekly tobacco use, and female gender. Frequent childhood religious attendance, parental conflict, parental alcohol problems and childhood sexual abuse were also associated with earlier opportunity. Depressive episode, tobacco dependence, alcohol dependence, other drug use and other drug dependence were associated with progression to dependence. The estimates for dependence incorporate factors involved in refusing the opportunity to use as well as factors that lead from use to dependence. Those who had not had the opportunity to try cannabis were coded as having the opportunity on the date of interview and those with the opportunity but no dependence were coded as dependent on the date of interview. So, this study does not provide accurate data on time to opportunity, time from opportunity to dependence, or rates of change in those factors.                

Read more:                
http://www.drugandalcoholdependence.com/article/S0376-8716(16)00003-X/abstract                                  

D.N. Rhyne, S.L. Anderson, M. Gedde, and L.M. Borgelt. 2016. “Effects of Medical Marijuana on Migraine Headache Frequency in an Adult Population.” Pharmacotherapy, doi:10.1002/phar.1673.                

Migraine frequency decreased from 10.4 to 4.6 headaches per month with the use of medical marijuana among 121 adults treated for migraine headache and had at least one follow-up visit at either of two medical marijuana specialty clinics in Colorado between January 2010 and September 2014. The number of patients who did not return to the clinics was not reported, and the study lacked a control group. Most patients used more than one form of marijuana, with most inhaling it. Positive effects were reported in 48 patients (30 percent), including decreased frequency of migraine headache (20 percent) and aborted migraine headache (12 percent). Negative effects were reported by 12 percent of patients, with no effect reported by more than 2 patients. Notably, edible marijuana patients reported difficulty controlling timing and intensity of the dose. Edible marijuana also caused more negative effects than other forms.                

Read more:                
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26749285                                  

Taking Weed Breaks at Work — Where It’s Allowed (And Even Encouraged)                
Allison Croghan, CNN Wire                
January 18, 2016                

Three marijuana-related companies in Colorado have weed-friendly workplaces. Flowhub provides software to the cannabis industry and does not care if employees consume marijuana as long as they get work done. Smoking is prohibited in the building, but its 18 employees can bring cannabis-infused edibles, sodas, and juices. High There! and MassRoots, social networking platforms for cannabis users, allow smoking marijuana at work. Some employees smoke it during brainstorming sessions.                 

Read more:                
http://fox13now.com/2016/01/18/taking-weed-breaks-at-work-where-its-allowed-and-even-encouraged                                  

Western New York Physicians Cautious about Rollout of Medical Marijuana Treatment                
Henry Davis, Buffalo News                
January 19, 2016                

Although Laszlo Mechtler, M.D., medical director at the Dent Neurologic Institute, wants to be on the leading edge of using and researching marijuana for treatment in Western New York, he intends to move slowly and build a comprehensive program. Dr. Mechtler and his colleagues have devised protocols based on what is currently known, including a review by the American Academy of Neurology. The plan is to be cautious. They say little good evidence supports the value of medical marijuana.                

Read more:                
http://www.buffalonews.com/city-region/medical/western-new-york-physicians-cautious-about-rollout-of-medical-marijuana-treatment-20160119                 
                 

International

Battle against Fentanyl Comes to Canadian Region, Action to Stem Drug’s Spread Ongoing                  
Stacey Roy, Smiths Falls Record News                  
January 20, 2016                  

Ontario, Canada, will soon launch a patch-for-a-patch system province-wide that will require prescription users to produce a used Fentanyl patch before they are given a new one by a pharmacist. In 2015, Ontario’s regional health organization offered naloxone kits for the first time in the Lanark, Leeds, and Grenville areas. It distributed 66 kits, 85 percent to current or past Fentanyl users. Many Fentanyl addicts were introduced to the drug through a doctor’s prescription for extreme pain. Jennifer Adams, a public health nurse and harm reduction strategy coordinator, said she would like to see more education for youth and physicians.                  

Read more:                  
http://www.insideottawavalley.com/community-story/6241098-battle-against-fentanyl-comes-to-region-action-to-stem-drug-s-spread-ongoing                   
               

Northeast/Mid-Atlantic News

New Hampshire House Sends Substance Abuse Bills to Governor's Desk                
Kathleen Ronayne, Associated Press                
January 20, 2016                

The New Hampshire House has approved two bills and sent them to the governor to sign into law. One strengthens the penalties for dealing fentanyl, standardizes insurance coverage for substance use treatment, adds members to the board of medicine, and requires prescribers of opioids to check the state's prescription drug monitoring program. The other establishes a committee to study the use of overdose antidote Narcan.                

Read more:                
http://www.ctpost.com/news/article/House-sends-substance-abuse-bills-to-Hassan-s-desk-6771836.php                                  

Report: Massachusetts Opioid Overdose Deaths Up 228 Percent Since 2000                
WCVB                
January 20, 2016                

Massachusetts in 2014 had 1,099 unintentional opioid deaths, an increase of 65 percent over 2012 and 21 percent over 2013. The estimated rate of opioid-related overdose deaths is the highest ever in the state, a 228 percent increase over the year 2000. The department reported 791 unintentional or undetermined opioid deaths between January and September 2015, with Bristol and Barnstable counties being the hardest hit per capita.                

Read more:                
http://www.wcvb.com/news/updated-data-highlights-historic-problem-of-opioid-overdose-deaths/37536156                                  

Massachusetts, Federal Officials Unite to Crack Down On Improper Opioid Prescriptions                
Shira Schoenberg, MassLive                
January 20, 2016                

Massachusetts has created a federal–state task force to investigate and prosecute the illegal prescribing and dispensing of opioids. The Office of the State Auditor will help the task force collect and analyze data to identify problematic doctors by focusing on identifying prescribing practices likely to indicate misuse. The FBI’s division in Boston has a task force with experience identifying fraudulent billing practices; it will also investigate organized criminal networks that distribute opioids. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency will monitor compliance with the Controlled Substance Act and assess civil penalties. The inspector general’s office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will identify Medicare and Medicaid fraud and cases where drugs prescribed to people on federally funded health plans are being diverted.                

Read more:                
http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/01/state_and_federal_officials_jo.html                 
               

South News

Rising Use of Opioid Pain Relievers May Lead Soldiers, Vets to Heroin                
Amanda Dolasinski, Fayetteville Observer                
January 18, 2016                 

This article discusses opioid pain reliever misuse and heroin among soldiers. It describes an interview with the parents of Aaron Nowiski, an Army veteran who suffered from posttraumatic stress disorder and later died of a heroin overdose. Nowiski allegedly got hooked on pain relievers after a doctor prescribed him Percocet following Lasik eye surgery. This article also describes what the Veterans Affairs hospital in Fayetteville, N.C., is doing to reduce issues related to prescription opioid and heroin use.                 

Read more:                
http://www.fayobserver.com/military/rising-use-of-opioid-painkillers-and-efforts-to-curb-them/article_aa112b82-4e44-5120-adee-3aa2affc85e2.html                                  

Smart and Safe Drug Abuse Initiative Introduced in Alabama                
WHNT                
January 20, 2016                

The Medical Association of the State of Alabama—in partnership with a multi-industry coalition of medical, business, health insurance, and law enforcement organizations—has launched Smart & Safe. The initiative provides education on safe prescription use, storage, and disposal. Legal and illegal drugs are expensive to business, industry, and employees due to higher insurance claims, lost productivity, and injuries on and off the job.                

Read more:                
http://whnt.com/2016/01/20/smart-and-safe-drug-abuse-initiative-introduced-in-alabama                                  

Few Using Virginia's Program to Monitor Prescriptions                
Tammie Smith, Richmond Times-Dispatch                
January 17, 2016                

Virginia’s prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) was established more than a decade ago, but only a few physicians use it, with 451 users checking the database only 14 percent of the time between April and June 2015. More than 8,600 practitioners wrote prescriptions for covered drugs but never queried the database, and 121 practitioners who wrote more than 1,000 covered prescriptions never checked the database. The article does not state the source of these data. The state Medical Society is trying to increase voluntary PDMP use.                

Read more:                
http://www.roanoke.com/news/virginia/few-using-virginia-s-program-to-monitor-prescriptions/article_6b1c4ce3-d5d7-5d27-bcd7-98ab7b3948d6.html                 
               

Midwest News

Ohio Strengthens Opioid Prescribing Guidelines                
Office of the Governor of Ohio                
January 19, 2016                

The Ohio Governor’s Cabinet Opiate Action Team has announced the adoption of opioid prescribing guidelines for the outpatient management of patients with acute pain that is likely to resolve within 12 weeks. The guidelines recommend non-opioid treatment options when possible and limiting the amount of opioids used to treat acute pain where appropriate. They supplement existing prescribing guidelines for emergency departments and acute care facilities, and for management of chronic pain lasting longer than 12 weeks.                

Read more:                
http://www.governor.ohio.gov/MediaRoom/PressReleases/TabId/200/ArticleId/314/language/en-US/ohio-strengthens-opioid-prescribing-guidelines-to-further-prevent-prescription-drug-abuse-and-save-lives-1-19-16.aspx                 

Wisconsin Legislature Approves Bills to Battle Heroin, Opiate Abuse                
Kyle Dimke, WKBT-TV                
January 21, 2016                

Wisconsin’s legislature has passed four bills to address heroin and opiate misuse. One bill would require doctors effective April 2017 to consult a statewide prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) database whenever they write or refill a prescription drug with the potential for misuse. Doctors also would be required to report prescriptions they write or fill within about 24 hours. Another bill would require law enforcement to report to the PDMP database when they find evidence of prescription drugs being abused or stolen. The third bill would require pain clinics to be certified by the state department of health. The fourth bill would require treatment facilities that use methadone to report certain information to the state. The bills await the governor’s signature to become law. (Includes video: 2:45 minutes)                

Read more:                
http://www.news8000.com/news/politics/Senate-approves-bills-to-battle-heroin-opiate-abuse-in-Wis/37560742                                  

Missouri Chamber of Commerce Supports Effort to Establish Prescription Drug Monitoring Act                
Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry                
January 20, 2016                

Missouri House Bill 1892, known as the Narcotics Control Act, has been introduced in the House Health Insurance Committee. The act would require the state’s health and senior services department to establish and maintain a prescription drug monitoring program for prescribing and dispensing Schedule II–IV controlled substances by all licensed professionals. The Missouri Chamber of Commerce supports this legislation and believes the program would drive down employer costs associated with prescription drug misuse.                

Read more:                
http://mochamber.com/news/missouri-chamber-supports-effort-to-establish-prescription-drug-monitoring-act                                  

Kentuckians’ Views on Heroin & Prescription Drug Misuse                
Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky                
January 19, 2016                

The Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati conducted a Kentucky health issues poll between Sept. 17, 2015, and Oct. 7, 2015. Telephone interviews with 1,608 adults showed that northern Kentucky residents are twice as likely as other Kentucky residents to know someone with heroin problems, and young adults ages 18–29 are the most likely to know someone with problems due to heroin use. Young, white, lower income adults are more likely to know someone with problems because of prescription drug misuse. Unchanged from 2013, 25 percent of adults indicated family members or friends had experienced problems as a result of pain reliever misuse, including 33 percent in eastern Kentucky.                

Read more:                
http://healthy-ky.org/news-events/newsroom/kentuckians%E2%80%99-views-heroin-prescription-drug-misuse                                  

Battling Nebraska's Opioid Addiction                
Nebraska Office of the Attorney General                
January 15, 2016                

Nebraska is battling opioid addiction. The state does not have a mandatory prescription drug monitoring program in place. Legislators are examining changes in policy to address prescription drug misuse. Attorney General Doug Peterson joined 35 other state attorneys general in sending a letter to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention urging the federal agency to adopt its proposed 2016 Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.                 

Read more:                
https://ago.nebraska.gov/media/news/view/96254/battling-nebraskas-opioid-addiction                 
               

West News

Quarter of Sonoma County (Calif.) Residents Has Prescription for Opioids                
Martin Espinoza, Press Democrat                
January 17, 2016                 

One-in-four Sonoma County, Calif., residents had an opioid prescription in 2014. Of 459,000 opioid prescriptions filled at local pharmacies, 57 percent were for hydrocodone and 18 percent for Oxycodone. Twenty-five percent of residents took an opioid at some point during the year. Nonfatal emergency department visits for opioid use increased 73 percent between 2009 and 2014, with an average of 17.3 visits per 100,000 people in 2012-2014.                 

Read more:                
http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/5080748-181/1-in-4-sonoma-county                 
               

Webinars

Talking with Youth About Marijuana: Know the Facts                
Community Anti-drug Coalitions of America                
Thursday, February 4, 2016                 
3–4:30 p.m. (ET)                

Sion Harris, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and co-director of Boston Children’s Hospital Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research, will discuss current trends in adolescent marijuana use, share the short- and long-term consequences of use on health and development, and review special considerations when screening youth and providing brief interventions for marijuana.                 

Register:                
http://www.cadca.org/resources/register-talking-youth-about-marijuana-webinar                                  

Federal and State Policy Efforts to Prevent Prescription Opioid Diversion                
American Dental Association                
Wednesday, February 10, 2016                
2:00 p.m. (CT)                

This webinar will review federal and state policies developed to reduce prescription opioid medications being transferred from legitimate health care practices and patients to illicit use. Presenters will discuss tighter hydrocodone regulations and what the White House is doing to combat prescription drug misuse. Participants will also learn about Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines, medication disposal, and prescription drug monitoring programs.                

Read more:                
http://www.ada.org/en/publications/ada-news/2016-archive/january/webinar-to-discuss-federal-policies-and-prescription-drug-abuse                                  

Weed in Your Workplace: What You Need to Know                
National Safety Council                
Wednesday, April 20, 2016                
2:00 p.m. (ET)                 

Employers need to know the critical safety impact legal marijuana can have on public and workplace policy. An expert panel will cover questions, including: Does secondhand marijuana smoke pose a risk for motor vehicle operators? What are appropriate cut-off levels to ensure workplace and public safety? And, what can employers do to address the impacts of marijuana use? Experts will explain how employers can use this information to develop best practice policies for the company.                

Register:                
http://eventcallregistration.com/reg/index.jsp?cid=59487t11                 
               

Grant Announcements

Bottle Tracking Program                
National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators                
Due: None Specified                

This program assists law enforcement efforts to prevent, deter, and investigate retail theft of prescription drugs. This is accomplished by facilitating steps to enable placement of a proven resource (a look-alike pharmaceutical bottle) that blends with the pharmacy inventory and that can be electronically tracked.                

Read more:                
http://www.naddi.org/aws/NADDI/pt/sp/programs_grants                 
http://naddibottletracking.org/law-enforcement                                  

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                
National Institute on Drug Abuse                
Submission Period begins November 3, 2015, 9:00 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                 
               

Take-Back Events & Drop Boxes

York County (Penn.) Drug Take-Back Boxes Collect 2.12 Tons                
Ted Czech, York Daily Record                
January 18, 2016                
http://www.ydr.com/story/news/crime/2016/01/18/couty-drug-take-back-boxes-collect-212-tons/78967450                                  

Stratford (Conn.) Collects a Ton of Old Prescription Drugs                
Bill Cummings, Connecticut Post                
January 17, 2016                
http://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Stratford-collects-a-ton-of-old-prescription-drugs-6765332.php                                                   

Coventry (Conn.) Police Department’s Drop Box Gets 310 Pounds of Prescription Drugs                
Journal Inquirer (Connecticut)                
January 20, 2016                
http://www.journalinquirer.com/towns/coventry/drop-box-gets-pounds-of-prescription-drugs/article_2ed8f196-bf92-11e5-ae58-93958bc88eb1.html                                  

Okla. Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control, Covanta Reach Milestone in Drugs Disposal                
Stacy Ryburn, Tulsa World                
January 16, 2016                
http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/state/obn-covanta-reach-milestone-in-disposal-of-prescription-drugs/article_4e9b2788-19af-526d-9c7c-b8f589d52992.html                                  

Madison County (Ill.) Drug Program Collects Over 2,500 Medications Since 2015                
Timothy Godfrey, KMOV                
January 15, 2016                
http://www.kmov.com/story/30976222/drug-safety-program-reels-in-over-1-ton-of-over-the-counter-prescribed-drugs                                                   

Margate (N.J.) Police to Install Permanent Prescription Drop Box                
Press of Atlantic City                
January 18, 2016                
http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/communities/margate_ventnor_longport/margate-police-to-install-permanent-prescription-drop-box/article_90982e12-be2d-11e5-95db-eb96b12c7e34.html                                  

Deer Park Pharmacy in Cincinnati First in Pilot Program with Drug Drop Box                
Terry DeMio, Cinncinati.com                
January 22, 2016                
http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2016/01/22/deer-park-first-pilot-program-drug-drop-box/79107010                                  

Philadelphia Police, District Attorney Launch Prescription Drug Disposal Pilot Program                
Paul Kurtz, CBS Philly                
January 20, 2016                
http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2016/01/20/philadelphia-program-dispose-prescription-drugs                 
               

Upcoming Conferences and Workshops

2016 Annual Conference                
International Health Facility Diversion Association                
September 13–14, 2016                
Duke Energy Convention Center                
525 Elm Street                
Cincinnati, Ohio                 

This first annual conference will be devoted to the topic of drug diversion in healthcare facilities. The agenda includes an examination of major Drug Enforcement Administration investigations, panel discussions from well-known experts, education about drug screening methods and toxicology, training on addiction and recidivism, insight from prior diverters, legal issues, and perspectives from victims of this type of diversion.                

Read more:                
https://ihfda.org/2016-annual-conference                 

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

Pharmacy Diversion Awareness Conference                
U.S. Drug and 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                                  

Ohio Workers' Compensation Medical & Health Symposium                
Bureau of Workers’ Compensation                
March 10 – 11, 2016                
Columbus, Ohio                
https://www.bwc.ohio.gov/provider/brochureware/PainSymposium/default.asp                                  

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

Third 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.