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May 1, 2013

SAMHSA Prevention of Prescription Drug Abuse in the Workplace Listserv

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May 1, 2013 (PDF version)

Featured Articles and Report
Kaiser Program Leads to Huge Reduction in Vicodin and Oxycontin Prescriptions
April 22, 2013

This article and audio (5:03 minutes) discuss a 2-year Kaiser Permanente program that teaches doctors how to safely prescribe pain medication. The program has significantly reduced the number of prescriptions for pain relievers like OxyContin and Vicodin. Doctors learn facts about narcotics not always taught in medical school--for example, how pain pills are as potent as morphine. They also learn prescribing more than 120 milligrams a day can lead to addiction and death and that the more pills they prescribe, the more likely those pills will be shared with family and friends or diverted to street sales. Health officials have seen about a 75 to 80 percent reduction in OxyContin prescriptions within Kaiser Permanente and a 95 percent decrease in Vicodin prescriptions. Doctors are now more likely to offer patients generic prescriptions as well as alternative treatments such as physical therapy. They also limit patients to a 1-month supply of pain relievers.

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2013 National Drug Control Strategy
White House Office of National Drug Control Policy
April 24, 2013

The 2013 National Drug Control Strategy aims to serve as the nation's blueprint for reducing drug use and its consequences. This document includes strategies for the government to reduce drug use and strengthen community-based drug prevention efforts, empower healthcare workers to detect early signs of abuse, and reduce drug treatment stigmas. The Administration is focused on the goals of the Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Plan as well as addressing overdose deaths, emerging issues like Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, and increases in heroin use. There are signs that the national effort to reduce and prevent prescription drug abuse is working.

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Related Article
The White House's Latest Drug Policy Plan Is Actually Based on Science
Popular Science
April 25, 2013

The Obama administration may be getting serious about enacting tangible reform with the science-driven 2013 National Drug Control Strategy. This article describes the administration's efforts to research the neuroscience of addiction, supporting the notion that addiction is a disease that must be cured--not a moral failure. It also outlines a series of evidence-based reforms that treat the nation's drug problem as a public health issue, not simply a criminal justice issue.

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Journal Articles
I. Giraudon, K. Lowitz, P.I. Dargan, D.M. Wood, and R.C. Dart. 2013. "Prescription Opioid Abuse in the United Kingdom." British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. doi:10.1111/bcp.12133.

Researchers compared trends in prescription opioid deaths using online mortality data for England, Wales, and Scotland from the Office for National Statistics and General Register Office, and for the United States from the National Vital Statistics System. In 2010, there were more than 16,500 opioid analgesic-related deaths in the United States--more than double the 2002 number and heroin and cocaine deaths combined. In Scotland, methadone-related deaths increased from 71 in 2001 to 275 in 2011, representing more than half of all reported opioid deaths in 2011. This should be viewed in the context of a considerable increase in opioid substitution treatment availability in the United Kingdom. In the United States, most cases were linked to opioid analgesics, and the number of oxycodone deaths slightly exceeded the number of methadone deaths. In 1996, England and Wales reported one tramadol-related death, but by 2011 that number shot to 154. In Scotland, tramadol deaths increased from 8 in 2001 to 34 in 2011.

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Derek Szesny. 2013. "Relationship Between Nonmedical Benzodiazepine Use and Psychiatric Disorders Among Rural Appalachian Drug Abusers." M.P.H. and Dr.P.H. Theses and Dissertations--Public Health, University of Kentucky.

The association between nonmedical benzodiazepine use and major depressive disorder (MDD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), posttraumatic stress disorder, and antisocial personality disorder was examined in a population of opioid drug abusers. Data for this cross-sectional study was obtained from the Social Networks Among Appalachian People Study. A contingency table analysis and chi-square statistic were used to examine the association between past 30-day benzodiazepine use and psychiatric diagnoses. Independent correlates of recent benzodiazepine use were determined with multiple logistic regressions. All 503 participants reported a lifetime history of opioid drug abuse; 98 percent (n=493) reported use within the past 30 days and 71 percent (n=355) reported past 30-day benzodiazepine use. The presence of MDD (odds ratio [OR]: 1.9, 95 percent confidence interval [CI]: 1.2-3.0) or GAD (OR: 1.9, 95 percent CI: 1.2-3.0) was significantly (p<0.05) associated with recent benzodiazepine use. Other variables associated with benzodiazepine use were illicit methadone use (Adjusted OR [AOR]: 2.94, 95 percent CI: 1.9-4.56), marijuana use (AOR: 2.57, 95 percent CI: 1.64-4.01), oxycodone use (AOR: 2.52, 95 percent CI: 1.6-3.97), GAD (AOR: 1.67, 95 percent CI: 1.01-2.77), poor/fair health (AOR: 1.65, 2.6), and years living in Eastern Kentucky (AOR: 1.03, 95 percent CI: 1.0-1.1). Results show a strong association between nonmedical benzodiazepine use and psychiatric disorders.

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News and Reports
Drug Registry Program Cuts Down on Prescription Abuse
April 26, 2013

This article and video (2:55 minutes) discuss Montana's prescription drug registry program. It's said that one person in the state dies from a prescription drug overdose every day. Physicians, pharmacies, and emergency room doctors use the registry on a daily basis and believe it is making a difference.

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AMA Opposes Painkiller Labeling Changes
National Pain Report
April 25, 2013

The American Medical Association (AMA) opposes more restrictive labeling requirements for opioid pain relievers because of lacking valid scientific support. AMA also claims that pain intensity assessments are entirely subjective and rely on patients' personal reports. The association sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration expressing its concern and rejecting the citizen petition, Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing.

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'Oxyana' Premieres at Tribeca Film Festival, Gives an Up-Close Look at Drug Use in West Virginia
FOX News
April 19, 2013

Premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival, the documentary Oxyana depicted how OxyContin addiction has seriously affected people in Oceana, West Virginia. Some residents agreed to appear in the film to discuss illegal drug use.

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Authorities Tout Kiosks as Effective Way to Help Fight Addiction
Boston Globe
April 24, 2013
Local and state agencies have placed drug kiosks in Boston communities since March 2011. Inspired by National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day to implement an everyday option for disposing of unused medication, officials say tons of prescription drugs have been collected at kiosks in police stations--the most effective way to get drugs off the street.
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Mom Calls for Better Prescription Drug Education After Daughter's Death
Canada TV
April 24, 2013

A mother whose daughter died at age 15 from accidental hydromorphone intoxication took her case to the Nova Scotia legislature. She blames her daughter's death on a lack of education and wants her other children to have a better understanding about the dangers of prescription drugs while in school. This article and video (2:11 minutes) discuss her mission.

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Debate Heats Up Over U.S. Prescription Drug Tracking
April 25, 2013

The House and Senate released draft bills to ensure medicines can be tracked to prevent counterfeit or contaminated drugs from reaching the public. The House draft requires drugs to be traced in lots, which can contain thousands of individual bottles. The Senate bill would require individual drug units to be traceable, calling for a more significant investment in technology. Some states have also developed strong rules. California requires that the distribution history and location of drugs be electronically accessible by regulators, in real time. This allows for rapid isolation and recall of suspicious products.

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Are Teen Drivers Operating Under The Delusion That They Are Indestructible?
USA Today
April 25, 2013

Nearly 23 percent of teens admit to driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or prescription drugs at some point, according to a new Students Against Destructive Decisions and Liberty Mutual survey of 1,708 11th and 12th graders. Almost 20 percent of those who drink and drive say alcohol improves their driving--a view shared by 34 percent of those who drive under the influence of marijuana.

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Take With Homework
Willamette Week
April 24, 2013

Drug enforcement agents raided the home of John J. Loomis, a substitute teacher, after suspecting he was peddling Adderall to Portland-area students. Loomis allegedly conned 21 doctors into writing Adderall prescriptions over a 15-month period, resulting in his acquisition of 7,027 pills and drawing attention from doctors, who began refusing his requests. He was also flagged by the Oregon Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. Between September and November 2012, Loomis taught 15 times at 10 elementary, middle, and high schools. He is still an active teacher on the substitute list; however, at least two districts have stopped using his services.

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2012 Workers' Compensation Drug Trend Report
Express Scripts
April 2013

This report provides empirical data-based insights to guide payers in managing drug trend and pharmacy-related waste. Narcotics make up more than one third of the cost and utilization of workers' compensation and have a high potential for abuse and addiction. Express Scripts offers a comprehensive fraud, waste, and abuse program to help clients drive waste out of workers' compensation pharmacy programs while improving safety and minimizing injured worker disruption.

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Letter: Action Can Help Limit Prescription Drug Abuse
The Republic
April 25, 2013

This letter from a sergeant with the Columbus Police Department of Indiana provides simple solutions for reducing prescription drug abuse in the community.

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Good Samaritan Law Aimed at Cutting Overdoses
Star News
April 20, 2013

North Carolina passed a Good Samaritan Law granting immunity from minor criminal charges to those who seek medical help for drug or alcohol overdose victims. The law also encourages broadening naloxone availability by preventing criminal or civil liability of doctors who prescribe it and bystanders who administer it.

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I-Team: Prescription Drug Abuse an Epidemic
April 25, 2013

This article and video (4:07 minutes) discuss prescription drug abuse in Chicago, which the reporter says affects everyone--no matter where they live. He interviews a college student who started smoking marijuana at age 14 and moved on to prescription drugs. The reporter also interviews a woman who became addicted to prescription medication after fracturing her neck in a car crash.

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What Happens to Meds After Drug Take Back Day?
April 23, 2013

This article and video (1:49 minutes) discuss what happens after people drop off prescription medication on drug take-back days. Law enforcement officials use a solution to turn controlled substances into a gel that can be discarded. Other medications are packaged and sent to companies that follow the Food and Drug Administration's guidelines on proper medication disposal.

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FDA Decision Will Make Oxycontin More Profitable for Canadian Criminals, Police Fear
Toronto Sun
April 20, 2013

Officials are concerned about abuse and organized crime as people try to obtain generic OxyContin in Canada. The Food and Drug Administration did not approve the generic version of the drug in the United States.

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Fatal Accidental Drug Overdoses Hit New High in Ohio
The Columbus Dispatch
April 26, 2013

Ohio's unintentional opioid overdose deaths continued to rise in 2011, reaching 1,765, according to the Ohio Departments of Health and Alcohol and Drug Addiction. The number is the highest on record, surpassing 2010's 1,544 deaths by 14.3 percent. The percentage increase dropped from 26 percent in 2010 to 13 percent in 2011.

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Bad Medicine
Keloland Television
April 25, 2013

This article and video (4:47 minutes) focus on South Dakota nurses addicted to prescription medication. One nurse voluntarily surrendered her license after being investigated for prescription drug abuse. She worked undetected for years while using morphine, hydrocodone, and OxyContin. In 2011, 15 of the 21 South Dakota nurses who lost their licenses due to substance abuse were abusing drugs, as were 25 of the 34 nurses who lost their licenses in 2012.

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Keeping Track of Painkillers in SD
Keloland Television
April 25, 2013

This article and video (1:36 minute) discuss the South Dakota Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. Some doctors do not prescribe opioids, so not everyone is registered to use the system. Fifty percent of pharmacists and 25 percent of doctors and nurses use the program throughout the state.

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Summit Focuses National Attention, Efforts on Addressing Rx Drug Abuse Issues
National Rx Drug Abuse Summit
April 11, 2013

Nearly 900 people from 49 states and two foreign countries participated in the National Prescription Drug Abuse Summit, April 2-4, 2013, in Orlando, Florida. Recurring themes included the need to provide better education about drug abuse and diversion, especially for prescribers; greater use and seamless integration of state Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs; identifying and sharing best-practice solutions; openly admitting problems to facilitate the provision of effective treatment and recovery programs; and adequately treating pain without overprescribing narcotics that lack abuse-deterrent formulations.

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Students Use 'Study Drug' During Finals Week
April 24, 2013

This article and video (2:03 minutes) feature an Iowa State University student who abuses Adderall, saying it is more of a study tool than a drug. He doesn't sell the drug, but has given it to other students.

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Increase in Opiate Usage Trends in Kansas and Missouri
The University Daily Kansan
April 24, 2013

Opiate addiction is a growing problem throughout Southwest Missouri and Northeast Kansas. Mission Missouri sees an average of four out of five incoming patients with opiate abuse problems. Over 5 years, the number of opiate-related deaths in Scott County, Missouri, increased from 3 to 14. Since 2007, there have been more than 60 overdoses and 14 deaths from prescription and illicit opiate use in Johnson County, Kansas.

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Adderall Abuse: College Students Risk Harm Without Prescription
Centre Daily Times
April 21, 2013

This article discusses Penn State students who abuse Adderall. One student, who uses Adderall to study and stay awake when partying, started taking the drug in high school (her brother had a prescription). The girl's mother didn't mind and mailed the drug to her daughter for the first 2 years of school. Now, the student purchases Adderall from friends, even though she knows it's against the law. She admits that it makes her crave and smoke cigarettes and marijuana.

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2012 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study: Teens and Parents
The Partnership at Drugfree.org and MetLife Foundation
April 23, 2013

This survey measured attitudes toward substance abuse and behaviors of parents with at least one child between 10 and 19 years old and a teen sample for students in grades 9 through 12. One in four American teens reported misusing or abusing a prescription drug at least once--a 33 percent increase over the past 5 years. One in eight teens (13 percent) reported taking Ritalin or Adderall when it was not prescribed.

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Related Audio
Prescription Drug Abuse Among Teens
CBS Minnesota
April 23, 2013

Doctor Joseph Lee from Hazelden discusses a new survey highlighting startling figures on addiction and prescription drug abuse among teenagers. (8:30 minutes)

Related Video
Prescription Drug Problem
April 23, 2013

This transcript and video (1:10 minute) report on findings from the 2012 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study: Teens and Parents.


Prescription Drug Documentary, 'Behind the Orange Curtain' Now Available
PR Web
April 24, 2013

Behind the Orange Curtain is a documentary that raises awareness about prescription drug use and abuse nationwide. The film has won several awards, including the Newport Beach Filmmaker's Award and Best Documentary Feature at the 2012 Metropolitan Film Festival in New York City.

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State Task Force Fights Prescription Drug Abuse
Arkansas News
April 20, 2013

The Arkansas office of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) created a tactical diversion squad to focus on prescription drug abuse and drug distributors. The squad has three special agent positions and six task force officers. It operates out of the state's DEA office in Little Rock.

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Kentucky Meets the Gold Standard for Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
April 25, 2013

The Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting System is regarded by many as the "gold standard" for state Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs), according to the PDMP Center of Excellence at Brandeis University. Its high quality is credited to three primary factors: legislation mandating physician and pharmacy compliance; ongoing innovativeness, such as improvements to timeliness of data reporting; and high levels of ongoing cooperation among key stakeholders.

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Special Reports: Prescription Drugs
Times Record
April 14-26, 2013

The Times Record, a news source for Western Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma, concluded its 11-day series of reports on prescription drug abuse that began April 14. All 16 articles are available.

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Parents Warned About Teens and Prescription Pill Popping Parties
FOX 31
April 23, 2013

This article and video (2:19 minutes) discuss "Skittles" parties, where teens raid their parents' medicine cabinets for prescription pills to take to a party and blindly pick them out of a bag or bowl to swallow. It also highlights a 17-year-old's 6-year addiction to prescription medication.

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Purdue Pharma L.P. Announces Resolution of OxyContin(R) (oxycodone HCl controlled-release) Tablets CII Patent Lawsuit With Actavis, Inc.
The Wall Street Journal
April 26, 2013

Purdue Pharma L.P. and Actavis, Inc. have agreed to resolve pending patent lawsuits. Actavis will acknowledge infringement of Purdue patents and acquire a license from the company to sell generic versions of reformulated OxyContin starting as early as 2014.

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$2.6 Million Will Expand Lazarus
Wilkes Journal-Patriot
April 22, 2013

The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust and North Carolina Office of Rural Health and Community Care each provided $1.3 million to help Community Care of North Carolina expand the Wilkes County-based model that addresses chronic pain and prescription drug overdose. The money will fund statewide training in evidence-based approaches to pain management; $1.06 million will be used to replicate the Wilkes community coalition development model in 83 other North Carolina counties. Additional funding was granted to Project Lazarus of Wilkes for the remaining 17 counties, Fort Bragg, and Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian Reservation.

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Adderall: Serious Side Effects but Wide Student Use
Central Florida Future
April 22, 2013

The most common side effects of Adderall include insomnia, loss of appetite, dry mouth, increased blood pressure, and increased heart rate. Still, some students think the benefits outweigh the risks, especially during finals week.

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Teen Talk, April 25, 2013: Teens and Prescription Drug Abuse
April 25, 2013

This article and video (4:17 minutes) offer advice to parents for recognizing signs of prescription drug misuse among their children.

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Knox County Parents Receive Free At-Home Drug Tests for Teens
April 23, 2013

The rural/metro and Knox County Parent Teacher Association distributed 300 at-home drug tests to parents, covering seven illicit drugs and five prescription drugs. The tests are 99 percent effective.

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PSA: Mothers Against Prescription Drug Abuse
Mothers Against Prescription Drug Abuse
April 11, 2013

This public service announcement features a mother who lost her 18-year-old son to a prescription overdose. (0:15 minute)

Grant Announcements

Cardinal Health Foundation Invites Local Non-Profit Organizations to Apply for Grants to Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse
The Wall Street Journal
April 23, 2013
Deadline: May 13, 2013

The Cardinal Health Foundation will provide funding for nonprofit organizations in 18 U.S. locations and Puerto Rico to help raise awareness and promote education on prescription medication abuse prevention among youths, college students, adults, and the elderly.

Read more:
http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20130423-909978.html?mod=googlenews_wsj or http://bit.ly/15nHx4N
Strategic Prevention Framework Partnerships for Success II SEOW Supplements FY 2013 Grant Request for Applications
Deadline: May 31, 2013
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Upcoming Conferences and Workshops
2013 Symposium for Medical Professionals: Kentucky Medical Communities UNITEd
May 11: Bowling Green, Kentucky
June 8: Manchester, Kentucky
National Prevention Week 2013
May 12-18, 2013
Various Locations Nationwide
Prescription Drug Training
May 23, 2013
Reading, Pennsylvania
Pharmacy Diversion Awareness Conference
June 22 and 23: Chicago, Illinois
July 13 and 14: Portland, Oregon
August 3 and 4: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
August 16 and 17: San Diego, California
August 18 and 19: San Jose, California
September 21 and 22: Boston, Massachusetts
The Generation Rx University Conference for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention and Recovery
August 7-8, 2013
Columbus, Ohio
2013 National Safety Council Congress and Expo
Congress: September 28-October 4, 2013
Expo: September 30-October 2, 2013
Chicago, Illinois
Please e-mail Rekaya Gibson at rgibson@pire.org with questions or comments about the SAMHSA Prevention of Prescription Drug Abuse in the Workplace Listserv.  
About PAW and the Listserv
The PAW TA Center addresses prescription drug abuse--a growing public health problem with increasing burdens on workers, workplaces, and our economy. Prescription drug abuse affects workplace productivity and increases employee absenteeism, employee presenteeism, and workers' compensation claims. On a wider scale, overdose deaths linked to prescription opioids tripled from 1999 to 2006, and prescription drug abuse killed more Americans in 2009 than died that year in auto crashes.
Send your request for PAW technical assistance to PAW-TA@pire.org or contact Rekaya Gibson at 504.261.8107 or Deborah Galvin at 240.276.2721. Requests are subject to SAMHSA approval. You will be notified of the status of your request.
We aim to conduct systematic and inclusive searches of professional journals, leading newspapers and magazines, and federal websites, as well as contributions from listserv subscribers (please e-mail suggestions to rgibson@pire.org). We will send links to articles along with brief descriptions of those articles. As we develop the listserv, however, we hope to add commentary and invite feedback from subscribers. Our goal is to expand the listserv to become a widely used and recognized source of the most current and authoritative information on prescription drug abuse--especially in workplaces.
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The "SAMHSA Prevention of Prescription Drug Abuse in the Workplace Listserv" is a service provided by the SAMHSA Preventing Prescription Abuse in the Workplace Technical Assistance Center (PAW) to keep the field abreast of recent news and journal articles to assist in forming policy, research, and programs to reduce prescription drug misuse or abuse. Please note, the materials listed are not reflective of SAMHSA's or PAW's viewpoints or opinions and are not assessed for validity, reliability, or quality. The "SAMHSA Prevention of Prescription Drug Abuse in the Workplace Listserv" should not be considered an endorsement of the findings. Readers are cautioned not to act on the results of single studies, but rather to seek bodies of evidence. Copyright considerations prevent PAW from providing full-text journal articles.
The Injury Control Research Center at West Virginia University (WVU-ICRC) archives past Listserv issues at http://www.hsc.wvu.edu/icrc/Pages/SAMHSA-Prevention-of-Prescription-Drug-Abuse-in-th. The partnership efforts of WVU-ICRC are supported by Grant Number 1 R49 CE002109 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The contents of the Listserv archive are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not represent the official views of CDC or SAMHSA.
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