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May 21, 2014

 

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SAMHSA
SAMHSA Prescription Drug Abuse Weekly Update
WEEKLY
UPDATE
Issue 72  |  May 21, 2014
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.
Table of Content Featured Article Journal Articles and Reports Professional Education & Editorial News Other State and Local News Grant Announcement Other Resources Grant Awarded Take-Back Events Save the Date Upcoming Conferences and Workshops

Featured

D. Hartung, D. McCarty, R. Fu, K. Wiest, M. Chalk, and D.R. Gastfriend. 2014. "Extended-Release Naltrexone for Alcohol and Opioid Dependence: A Meta-Analysis of Healthcare Utilization Studies." Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, doi:10.1016/j.jsat.2014.03.007.

Researchers identified five observational studies comparing 1,565 patients using extended-release naltrexone to other therapies over a 6-month period. Opioid-dependent extended-release naltrexone patients had less inpatient substance abuse–related use versus other agents and $8,170 less total cost versus methadone. Alcohol-dependent extended-release naltrexone patients had longer medication refill persistence versus acamprosate and oral naltrexone.

Read more:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0740547214000749
http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/handle/1957/47476

Journal Articles and Reports

T.H. Bennett, K.R. Holloway, F. Brookman, O. Parry, and C. Gorden. 2014. "Explaining Prescription Drug Misuse Among Students from a Widening Access University: The Role of Techniques of Neutralization." Drugs: Education, Prevention, and Policy 21(3):189–96, doi:10.3109/09687637.2013.870980.

Researchers investigated prescription drug misuse using an email survey of students at a North Wales university, which enrolls many mature students. Eleven percent of students (n=559) completed the survey; 69 percent were female and 53 percent were age 28 or over (matching the university's overall age profile). Of the respondents, 31 percent had used prescriptions drugs, primarily pain relievers, without a prescription. Misuse was 38 percent among students older than 28 and 22 percent among younger students. An open-ended question asked, "Did you think that there was anything wrong in taking a drug that was not prescribed to you? (Please explain how you felt about this)." Of 193 misusers, 38 ignored the question; 42 simply answered "yes" or "no." The remaining respondents (who were probably not representative) most often justified their behavior in terms of desperation to relieve physical pain or mental anguish (46 percent), a view that use was legitimate because they previously had a prescription for the drug (23 percent), lack of a readily available person to prescribe a drug to address an immediate health need (23 percent), being careful in the past when using the drug (often including researching its safety) (20 percent), and a view that the drug was common and easily available (17 percent).

Read more:
http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/09687637.2013.870980

J. Castro–Lopes. 2014. "Impact of Chronic Pain on Primary Care Across Europe." Journal of Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy, doi:10.3109/15360288.2014.911794.

The United States accounts for 56 percent of all opiate consumption compared with 28 percent in Europe. Moreover, 83 percent of all oxycodone and 99 percent of all hydrocodone is consumed in the United States. A survey of 1,300 primary care physicians from 13 European countries found a large majority feel that chronic nonmalignant pain and its impact on quality of life are under-assessed in primary care and quite challenging to treat. Although 64 percent of respondents felt they had adequate tools to diagnose and manage chronic pain, only 48 percent used the tools (with use significantly less among clinicians practicing for more than 30 years). On average, 20 percent of patients were taking strong opioids, either as a monotherapy or in combination with other analgesics. Respondents felt more confident in prescribing opioids for cancer pain than for other chronic pain, primarily because of concerns about addiction and adverse events. Finally, more than 80 percent of respondents were dissatisfied with their initial pain training. In the past year, 75 percent had undergone (on average) 10 hours of formal training and education on chronic noncancer pain management in the previous year.

Read more:
http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/15360288.2014.911794

K.K. Gerlach, N. Dasgupta, S.H. Schnoll, and J.E. Henningfield. 2014. "Epidemiology of Stimulant Misuse and Abuse: Implications for Future Epidemiologic and Neuropharmacologic Research." Neuropharmacology, doi:10.1016/j.neuropharm.2014.04.020.

This review describes U.S. surveillance of stimulant misuse and abuse. Lack of consistent and systematic data collection is nationally and internationally problematic for assessing stimulant misuse and abuse, differences among stimulants, and determinants of these differences. Nonetheless, these surveillance data, including national-level surveys and reporting systems such as Poison Centers and emergency departments, suggest that factors such as the drug's form, the route by which it is used, and the reasons for use are important determinants of use patterns and adverse consequences, including development of a substance use disorder and overdose. The review raises issues about pharmaceutical scheduling that is insensitive to abuse potential (e.g., extended-release and transdermal methylphenidate and extended-release amphetamines are classified like readily abusable amphetamines and prescription cocaine) and concerns that surveys do not distinguish prescribed from illegally manufactured and sold stimulants.

Read more:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0028390814001567

A.R. Gallucci, S.L. Usdan, R.J. Martin, and K.A. Bolland. 2014. "Pill Popping Problems: The Non-Medical Use of Stimulant Medications in an Undergraduate Sample." Drugs: Education, Prevention, and Policy 21(3):181–88, doi:10.3109/09687637.2013.848840.

An anonymous survey examining nonmedical use of prescription stimulants was administered to 1,020 traditional undergraduate university students. The survey found 35 percent of students used a prescription stimulant at least once nonmedically during their lifetime, and 12 percent had done so in the previous 30 days. Most current and lifetime nonmedical users engaged in this behavior to improve or enhance academic performance. Current and lifetime nonmedical users were more likely to be non-freshmen, affiliated with a Greek organization, and diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Read more:
http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/09687637.2013.848840

A. Meier, C. Lambert–Harris, H. Xie, M. An, and B. McLeman. 2014. "Co-Occurring Prescription Opioid Use Problems and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptom Severity." The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, doi:10.3109/00952990.2014.910519.

Researchers abstracted administrative and chart information on 573 new admissions to three addiction treatment agencies in 2011. Prescription opioid use rose significantly with co-occurring post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity (odds ratio [OR]: 1.42, p<0.05), as did use of prescription opioids in combination with sedatives (OR: 3.81, p<0.01) or cocaine (OR: 2.24, p<0.001). The odds of having co-occurring PTSD symptoms and a prescription opioid use problem were much greater among females than males (OR: 2.63, p<0.001). Younger patients (18–34 years old) were also at higher risk (OR: 1.86, p<0.01). The study did not assess whether the incidents creating PTSD also forced patients to deal with physical pain for which they were prescribed opioids.

Read more:
http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/00952990.2014.910519

K.K. Rigg and W. DeCamp. 2014. "Explaining Prescription Opioid Misuse Among Veterans: A Theory-Based Analysis Using Structural Equation Modeling." Military Behavioral Health, doi:10.1080/21635781.2014.917011.

Researchers applied structural equation modeling to data on veterans from the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (n=2,008) to assess validity of a usage model based on availability and proneness. The editor was unable to access the full article and apologizes for this uninformative abstract.

Read more:
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/21635781.2014.917011

T. Voepel–Lewis, B. Zikmund–Fisher, E.L. Smith, S. Zyzanski, and A.R. Tait. 2014. "Opioid-Related Adverse Drug Events: Do Parents Recognize the Signals?" Clinical Journal of Pain, doi:10.1097/AJP.0000000000000111.

This study examined parents' recognition and response to pain and adverse drug effect signals using both hypothetical scenarios and real at-home opioid decisions. Researchers surveyed 514 parents whose children were prescribed opioids at discharge. The parents made analgesic decisions for four hypothetical scenarios that altered the child's pain level and adverse drug effect symptoms. After discharge, parents recorded their child's real pain levels and adverse drug effects as well as their analgesic decisions. Mixed effects logistic regression showed pain intensity had the largest influence on parents' hypothetical and real decisions to give opioids. Nausea/vomiting and, to a lesser extent, oversedation, reduced the likelihood of giving the prescribed opioid dose. Improving parents' recognition of oversedation and its potential consequences would improve opioid safety for pediatric patients.

Read more:
http://journals.lww.com/clinicalpain/Abstract/publishahead/Opioid_related_
Adverse_Drug_Events__Do_Parents.99430.aspx

Professional Education & Editorial

J. Sharpe Potter, V.S. Bebarta, E.N. Marino, R.G. Ramos, and B.J. Turner. 2014. "Pain Management and Opioid Risk Mitigation in the Military." Military Medicine 179(5):553–58, doi:10.7205/MILMED-D-13-00109.

Opioid analgesic misuse is a military health concern and priority issue recognized by military leadership. As opioids are among the most commonly prescribed medications in the military for pain management, the military has implemented opioid risk–mitigation strategies, including the Sole Provider Program and Controlled Drug Management Analysis and Reporting Tool, which are used to identify and monitor risk and misuse. However, substantial opportunities exist to improve these systems. Opioid risk mitigation strategies implemented by the civilian, but not the military sector, include establishing clinical guidelines for opioid prescribing and prescription monitoring programs.

Read more:
http://publications.amsus.org/doi/abs/10.7205/MILMED-D-13-00109

J.J. Timmons. 2014. "Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs to Curb Prescription Drug Abuse: Examining the Components of Program Efficacy." Student Pulse 6(5):1–4.

This paper outlines causes of nonmedical prescription drug use and provides a summary of state prescription monitoring program (PMP) adoption. It makes a case for unsolicited PMP reporting, both to draw attention to the program and target doctor shoppers and pill mills for intervention. The author also argues for widespread adoption of a cross-state information exchange that would improve the ability to catch doctor shoppers who cross state lines and for prompt reporting into electronic PMP files.

Read more:
http://www.studentpulse.com/articles/895/prescription-drug-monitoring-programs-to-curb-prescription-drug-abuse-examining-the-components-of-program-efficacy

K.R. Urban and W.J. Gao. 2014. "Performance Enhancement at the Cost of Potential Brain Plasticity: Neural Ramifications of Nootropic Drugs in the Healthy Developing Brain." Frontier in System Neuroscience 8:38, doi:10.3389/fnsys.2014.00038.

This review explains how the main classes of cognitive-enhancing drugs affect learning and memory circuits, and highlights potential risks and concerns for healthy individuals—particularly juveniles and adolescents. Performance enhancement with nootropic drugs potentially costs brain plasticity and has associated neural ramifications in the healthy developing brain.

Read more:
http://journal.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fnsys.2014.00038/full

News

DEA'S National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days Meet a Growing Need for Americans
United States Drug Enforcement Administration
May 8, 2014

The Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA's) National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day collected 780,158 pounds (390 tons) of pills from 6,072 sites on April 26, setting a new record. When added to previous DEA–coordinated Take-Back events, 4.1 million pounds (2,123 tons) of prescription medications have been removed from circulation since 2010.

Read more:
http://www.justice.gov/dea/divisions/hq/2014/hq050814.shtml

Wallingford Mayor and Police Chief's Resistance to Drug Drop Box Trumped by New Law
The Record Journal
May 12, 2014

The Connecticut General Assembly passed legislation that will require municipalities to install a prescription drug drop-off box at police stations beginning October 1. The bill requires that a secure locked box be accessible to the public 24 hours a day for "anonymous drop-off of unwanted pharmaceuticals at each municipal police station." The agencies involved will be required to arrange for medication to be incinerated. Wallingford's mayor and police chief have opposed past efforts to implement a drop box because of cost and security concerns. The mayor said the town will abide by the new law. Municipalities can apply for a state grant to help with costs.

Read more:
http://www.myrecordjournal.com/wallingford/wallingfordnews/4427736-129/wallingford-mayor-and-police-chiefs-resistance-to-drug-drop-box.html

Health, United States, 2013 Includes Special Section on Prescription Drugs
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
May 14, 2014

According to a special section on prescription drugs in the Health, United States, 2013 annual report, almost half of all Americans reported taking at least one prescription drug in the past 30 days during 2007–10, and 1 in 10 took 5 or more. Drug poisoning deaths involving opioid analgesics among those ages 15 and older more than tripled, from 1.9 deaths per 100,000 population in 1999–2000 to 6.6 in 2009–10.

Read more:
http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p0514-prescription-drugs.html
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs

Report: VA Not Following Guidelines on Pain Drugs
Army Times
May 14, 2014

A recent Inspector General report revealed the Veterans Affairs (VA) Department is failing to adequately screen for potential opioid pain reliever abuse and protect some patients prescribed these drugs. Nearly all patients received their opioid prescriptions at a single VA medical center, and three fourths had prescriptions issued by a single physician. Only 6.4 percent of patients who were prescribed opiates for the first time were given urine tests. Alarmingly, 13.1 percent of those prescribed opioids had a known active substance use issue, 7.4 percent also had a prescription for a benzodiazepine (a dangerous mix), and prescribers were not adhering to safety guidelines for prescription opiates containing acetaminophen.

Read more:
http://www.armytimes.com/article/20140514/NEWS/305140062/Report-VA-not-following-guidelines-pain-drugs

A Soldier's War on Pain
The New York Times
May 10, 2014

This article and video (6:21 minutes) discuss Army Sergeant Shane Savage's struggle with pain management while taking prescription opioids. Sergeant Savage was injured while serving in Afghanistan, suffering a severe concussion, post-traumatic stress, and chronic pain. Fort Hood doctors prescribed narcotic pain relievers. At one point, he was taking 12 different drugs, including pain blockers and narcotics, antidepressants, an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder treatment, and an anti-tremor drug. At bases like Fort Hood, soldiers reportedly can "spend years heavily medicated while awaiting a medical discharge." Surgeons repeatedly tried to fuse the smashed bones in Sergeant Savage's foot using metal screws and bone grafts, but each procedure eventually failed. There were times when he limited his opioid use, but after each operation, he started again. By last spring, he was taking more than 300 milligrams of prescribed morphine a day, and spent his days in a fog. Following a family confrontation, he quit, and despite continuing pain, his life improved. Sergeant Savage's experience mirrored a 2008 study by the Mayo Clinic and several since that found patients weaned off opioids and put through a nondrug-based program experience less pain than they do while on opioids and significantly improve in function. Today, Sergeant Savage manages his pain without narcotics, largely through horse therapy and techniques he learned during a 3-week stay at a multidisciplinary pain treatment program run by a Tampa, Florida, VA hospital. He has decided to have his left leg amputated at mid-calf and will use a prosthesis. He expects to leave the Army by the end of this year or in early 2015.

Read more:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/11/business/a-soldiers-war-on-pain.html

Official: Addiction Epidemic Filling Ohio Prisons
The Washington Times
May 13, 2014

Ohio officials said the pain reliever and heroin epidemics are countering the law's intentions. Although judges try to keep low-level offenders out of prison, they are forced to take action after seeing an offender relapse several times. Police chiefs across the state say addiction to pain relievers and heroin is driving a rash of thefts, burglaries, and other crimes. The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction is asking lawmakers for an extra $14 million this year and $40 million next year to reopen closed units at two prisons, as well as to take steps to address violence at the Toledo Correctional Institution, add parole officers, and boost medical and mental health staffing. Of that, $4.2 million this year and $8.5 million next would pay for an additional 400 beds statewide in halfway houses and local corrections facilities to keep people close to home and out of prison.

Read more:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/may/13/official-addiction-epidemic-filling-ohio-prisons/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS

FDA Responds to Criticism of Drug Critics Call 10 Times More Powerful than Oxycontin
NBC Washington
May 14, 2014

This article and video (4:28 minutes) discuss concerns about Zohydro, a type of hydrocodone set to hit drugstores nationwide. Officials are worried Zohydro could lead to addiction and overdose deaths. Critics question why the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) approved a drug so similar to OxyContin. Janet Woodcock, director of FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said OxyContin is the only drug currently using abuse-deterrent technology. The FDA also decided to put its strongest type of warning, a "black box" label, on all hydrocodone products, indicating to doctors that the drug can cause addiction and death.

Read more:
http://www.nbcwashington.com/investigations/FDA-Approved-Drug-10-Times-More-Powerful-Than-OxyContin-259318281.html

College Takes Innovative Approach to Fighting Prescription Drug Abuse
The Partnership at Drugfree.org
May 14, 2014

Miami University's counseling service requires students to participate in a workshop about time management and medication safety before starting an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medicine. Several weeks after attending the workshop, students fill out a goal completion worksheet to demonstrate how well they have adopted the skills and behaviors they learned. If they still want an evaluation for ADHD, they attend another hour-long workshop where they learn how to keep medications safe in a college setting and avoid misusing or diverting them. Only after students have attended both workshops can they see the staff psychiatrist. If the doctor determines the student would benefit from medication, the first prescription is for a nonaddictive medication. If it is not effective, the student may be prescribed benzodiazepines, but the prescription is usually limited to 10 pills per month. The student is then monitored frequently for signs of misuse or diversion.

Read more:
http://www.drugfree.org/join-together/prescription-drugs/college-takes-innovative-approach-to-fighting-prescription-drug-abuse

Couple Ran $60M Prescription Drug Scheme
USA Today
May 15, 2014

From 2006 to 2009, Cumberland Distribution Incorporated, licensed by Tennessee as a wholesale prescription drug distributor, resold $58 million worth of drugs that were obtained illegally from people on the street or in nursing homes. The drugs were then sorted and repackaged as new and sold to unsuspecting pharmacies. Customers were at risk of getting potentially tainted drugs or getting old drugs with less potency. Recently, Charles Edwards and his wife Brenda entered guilty pleas in the U.S. District Court in Nashville. Brenda pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, which carries a penalty of up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Her husband pleaded guilty to a single count each of mail fraud and money laundering. Mail fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years and a $250,000 fine, while money laundering can result in up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The defendants made more than $14 million in profits from the scheme over the 3-year period. (Editor's note: The government presumably will confiscate what remains of those profits.) The Edwards will be sentenced in November.

Read more:
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/05/15/couple-ran-60m-prescription-drug-scheme/9112453

The Most Popular Drugs in Hip-Hop Lyrics and the Top Rappers Talking About Them
The Huffington Post
May 13, 2014

This article includes a chart that separates the most popular drugs in hip-hop lyrics into five categories: marijuana, cocaine, pharmaceutical drugs, codeine, and MDMA. Another chart shows top rappers talking about the drugs. Project Know used the RapGenius database, extracting the prevalence of drug-related lyrics and breaking it down by slang variation. The results show marijuana and cocaine are by far the most common drugs discussed in songs. Rapper Eminem mentioned pharmaceutical drugs most.

Read more:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/09/most-popular-drugs-hip-hop_n_5297133.html

See Who's Being Hurt by America's Growing Prescription Drug Addiction
The Center for Investigative Reporting
May 13, 2014

This article provides a snapshot of how prescription drug addiction affects women, young adults, healthcare providers, veterans, and the middle and middle-upper class.

Read more:
http://cironline.org/blog/post/see-who%E2%80%99s-being-hurt-americas-growing-prescription-drug-addiction-6359

Drug Abuse Issues Reviewed at Hearing in Washington D.C.
KTIV
May 14, 2014

This article and video (57 seconds) discuss a recent hearing held by the U.S. Senate on heroin and prescription drug abuse. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley said the hearing addressed current laws and whether they are being enforced, probed the effectiveness of existing laws, examined the need for legislative change, and assessed funding adequacy and appropriateness of current funding priorities.

Read more:
http://www.ktiv.com/story/25519013/2014/05/14/drug-abuse-issues-reviewed-at-hearing-in-washington-dc

Ameritox Is Named Strategic Alliance Member of Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association National Labor
Digital Journal
May 13, 2014

Ameritox has been chosen as a strategic alliance member by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association's National Labor Office. The National Labor Office is the liaison between the 37 independent Blue Cross Blue Shield companies and labor unions. As a strategic alliance member, Ameritox will have the opportunity to offer its services to Blue companies in addressing prescription medication misuse and abuse.

Read more:
http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/1914099

President Clinton Speaks About Drug Abuse at School of Public Health
The Johns Hopkins News-Letter
May 13, 2014

President Clinton recently spoke at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health to kick off a one-and-a-half-day town hall meeting on reducing prescription drug abuse among college students. The event was co-hosted by the Clinton Health Matters Initiative, an arm of the Clinton Foundation that is targeting this collegiate health problem. The Foundation's strategy includes prevention education programming, student-led awareness campaigns, and increased substance abuse and mental health services on participating campuses. The former President said he was moved to take action when two young adults he and his wife knew personally died from drug overdoses. Dr. Gail Saltz, a psychiatrist and Today Show correspondent, moderated the panel discussion following Clinton's remarks. Panelists included U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg, former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-Mass.), and Douglas Hough, a Hopkins professor of behavioral economics and health. The town hall event (which the editor notes was apparently university focused, as it was not widely publicized even in the local metropolitan area) was attended mostly by faculty and school students.

Read more:
http://www.jhunewsletter.com/2014/05/13/president-clinton-speaks-about-drug-abuse-at-school-of-public-health-95301

Other State and Local News

Addicted to Scripts
Aspen Public Radio
May 13, 2014

This article and audio (6:42 minutes) discuss the growing number of people addicted to prescribed pain medicines in the United States, particularly Colorado. In response to the problem, Aspen Valley Hospital implemented a policy that says chronic pain will be treated temporarily with non-narcotics and the patient can consult with a primary care physician. The policy also informs the patient that the emergency room doctor will consult a statewide prescription monitoring program database to see if other prescriptions have been written or sought.

Read more:
http://aspenpublicradio.org/post/addicted-scripts

Deaths from Fentanyl-Laced Heroin Soar in Philadelphia
Philly.com
May 14, 2014

Dangerous heroin laced with the powerful pain reliever fentanyl is circulating in Philadelphia. The city's Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability said the drug combo killed at least 28 people between March 3 and April 20. The department is awaiting test results for seven more people. The city saw 24 deaths due to illicit fentanyl in 2013, ranging in age from 16 to 66. Sixty percent were white males, 20 percent were African American males, and 20 percent were white females. City officials do not know where the fentanyl is being produced, who is selling it, or what names are being used for the dangerous products.

Read more:
http://articles.philly.com/2014-05-14/news/49823791_1_fentanyl-southwest-philadelphia-roland-lamb

Heroin Overdoses in Camden, Gloucester Counties Climb as DEA, Police Fight Drug Trade
South Jersey Times
May 12, 2014

The Drug Enforcement Administration reported that heroin use in the Camden, N.J., area has been increasing steadily over the past 2 years, with 163 overdoses (including 19 fatalities) in the city so far in 2014. Twenty Camden City cases were reported in a 24-hour period in March. Camden County Police Chief Scott Thomson said the heroin smuggled into Philadelphia and Camden comes by way of Mexico. Camden County police have increased patrols of abandoned and vacant properties that are known haunts for users.

Read more:
http://www.nj.com/camden/index.ssf/2014/05/camden_gloucester_counties_
tallied_48_heroin_overdoses_in_two-week_period_last_march_dea.html


S.C. Could Intensify Reporting Efforts to Fight Prescription Abuse
Bluffton Today
May 14, 2014

South Carolina Bill S. 840 will require daily prescription monitoring program reporting of prescriptions instead of within 30 days. The South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services supports the bill.

Read more:
http://www.blufftontoday.com/bluffton-news/2014-05-14/sc-could-intensify-reporting-efforts-fight-prescription-abuse

Tracking Prescriptions to Reduce Abuse of Opioids Gains Traction
NJSpotlight.com
May 15, 2014

A-3129 and S-1998, a New Jersey bill advancing in the Legislature, would automatically register doctors in the prescription monitoring program (PMP) when they file their annual license renewal. It would also allow prescribers to designate other licensed healthcare professionals to access the database. Doctors have strongly opposed the proposed mandate, saying it would intrude on the practice of medicine and expose them to malpractice lawsuits. Also, mandatory reporting could lead some prescribers to reduce access to pain medications for patients with chronic pain. Resisting lobbying efforts, the bill does not include easing of law enforcement access to the PMP.

Read more:
http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/14/05/14/tracking-prescriptions-to-reduce-abuse-of-opioids-gains-traction

Oklahoma Doctors Balk at Prescription Drug Checks
NewsOK
May 15, 2014

Oklahoma's doctors declared a deadlock in negotiations over Senate Bill 1820, which would require them to check an online prescription monitoring program before writing narcotic prescriptions. The bill would require doctors, physician assistants, advanced practice nurses, and other prescribers to check the registry before writing new or refilling prescriptions for Schedule II and Schedule III controlled dangerous substances. The bill will also include abusable non-opiate drugs, such as testosterone supplements. The medical associations said they would not endorse the legislation unless it is scaled back to include only Schedule II narcotics and Schedule III drugs containing hydrocodone or codeine. They also oppose mandatory checks with every prescription refill. Instead, they want to limit the checks to the initial prescription, followed by annual follow-ups for chronic pain patients.

Read more:
http://newsok.com/oklahoma-doctors-balk-at-prescription-drug-checks/article/4824262

Heroin Surges as Kentucky Cracks Down on Pain Pills
The Courier-Journal
May 16, 2014

This article discusses the rise in Kentucky's heroin epidemic as state officials crack down on prescription pill abuse. Kentucky's heroin surge reflects a national trend, and four national studies show heroin users first abuse prescription narcotics. Still, state and federal officials do not believe their efforts to reduce prescription drug abuse are solely responsible for the rise in heroin, and say they have no intention of curbing their battle against pill abuse. Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway said the state is committed to reducing the spread of heroin through public education, law enforcement, legislation, and greater treatment access.

Read more:
http://www.courier-journal.com/longform/news/investigations/2014/05/16/heroin-surges-kentucky-cracks-pain-pills/9123285

9 Investigates: Legal Drugs Getting Drivers into Trouble
WSOC-TV
May 13, 2014

This article discusses driving impaired by prescription medications in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Charlotte–Mecklenburg Police Department said they come across drivers who mix prescriptions and alcohol. Mecklenburg County has seven Drug Recognition Experts. These experts undergo 80 hours of training to spot people impaired by both illegal and prescription medicines. The six most common drugs officers see are oxycodone, alprazolam (Xanax), zolpidem (Ambien), diazepam (Valium), carisoprodol (Soma), and clonazepam (Klonopin).

Read more:
http://www.wsoctv.com/news/news/local/9-investigates-legal-drugs-getting-drivers-trouble/nfwMw

Grant Announcement

Prescription Drug Overdose: Boost for State Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Deadline: June 4, 2014
http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=253411

Other Resources

A NIOSH Role in Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
May 14, 2014

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's (NIOSH's) new Center for Workers' Compensation Studies (CWCS) is collaborating with partners to improve workplace safety and health through workers' compensation data. CWCS teams NIOSH researchers with colleagues in the public and private sectors to explore opportunities for leveraging workers' compensation data to reduce work-related injuries and illnesses. In addition, CWCS seeks to ensure workers' compensation medical care is provided in a way that minimizes risk of opioid dependence. It is encouraging state departments of health and workers' compensation agencies to collaborate on workers' compensation data and is planning Webinars to focus on recent opioid prevention activities. CWCS has included a listing of prescription drug prevention resources for healthcare providers as well as additional information on prescription drug abuse. NIOSH welcomes all feedback as it works with partners to prevent opioid dependence among those receiving workers' compensation medical care.

Read more:
http://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2014/05/14/opioid-abuse

Grant Awarded

Behavioral Health Organization Receives $2M Drug Prevention Grant
White Mountain Independent
May 10, 2014

The Northern Arizona Regional Behavioral Health Authority received a $2.43 million grant from SAMHSA. This 5-year funding will help develop and increase the capacity of community-based coalitions in Mohave, Navajo, and Yavapai Counties. The grant program aims to prevent underage drinking among people ages 12 to 20 and prescription drug misuse and abuse among people ages 12 to 25. Additional efforts will focus on subpopulations with healthcare disparities, including veterans and their families, Native Americans, and students in higher education.

Read more:
http://www.wmicentral.com/news/apache_county/behavioral-health-organization-receives-m-drug-prevention-grant/article_7b2f9c36-d70c-11e3-89e6-001a4bcf887a.html

Take-Back Events

Dispose of Your Medications Responsibly at One of Our 8 Permanent Drop Boxes!
The Alliance of Southwest Missouri
May 13, 2014
http://www.theallianceofswmo.org/dispose-medications-responsibly-one-8-permanent-drop-boxes

Drug Take Back Collects over 300 Pounds of Prescription Drugs
Calhoun Times (Georgia)
May 12, 2014
http://www.northwestgeorgianews.com/calhoun_times/news/drug-take-back-collects-over-pounds-of-prescription-drugs/article_4ac9c4be-d792-11e3-9578-0017a43b2370.html

Muskego Police Install Drop-Off for Unused Prescription Drugs
Journal Sentinel (Wisconsin)
May 16, 2014
http://www.jsonline.com/news/waukesha/muskego-police-install-drop-off-for-unused-prescription-drugs-b99271693z1-259512681.html#axzz31tukERZQ

Forsyth Residents Give Back 71 Pounds of Prescription Drugs
Cumming Patch (Georgia)
May 15, 2014
http://cumming.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/forsyth-residents-give-back-71-pounds-of-prescription-drugs

Drug Take-Back Day Sets Records
KMVT (Idaho)
May 12, 2014
http://www.kmvt.com/news/local/Drug-Take-Back-Day-Sets-Records-258856181.html

North St. Paul Offering Medicine Drop Box
Lillie Suburban Newspaper (Minnesota)
May 14, 2014
http://www.lillienews.com/articles/2014/05/14/north-st-paul-offering-medicine-drop-box

Permanent Drug Collection Boxes Being Set Up in Stanislaus County for Prescription Medication
The Modesto Bee (California)
May 10, 2014
http://www.modbee.com/2014/05/10/3334618/permanent-drug-collection-boxes.html

N.J. Considers Permanent Drop-Off Sites for Expired Prescriptions
NewsWorks
May 14, 2014
http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/local/item/67963-nj-considers-permanent-drop-off-sites-for-expired-prescriptions?linktype=hp_topstory

Cumberland County's Fourth Prescription Drug Drop-Off Opens in Bridgeton
PressofAtlanticCity.com
May 15, 2014
http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/cumberland-county-s-fourth-perscription-drug-drop-off-opens-in/article_86c81cd8-dc45-11e3-8138-001a4bcf887a.html

Disposing of Meds Responsibly in Hingham
Wicked Local Media (Massachusetts)
May 10, 2014
http://hingham.wickedlocal.com/article/20140510/NEWS/140519651

Drug Takeback Set for Community Health Fair to Be Held May 31
White Mountain Independent
May 16, 2014
http://www.wmicentral.com/community_beat/briefs/drug-takeback-set-for-community-health-fair-to-be-held/article_25f387b0-dc83-11e3-a221-0019bb2963f4.html

Save the Date

Sixth Annual American Medicine Chest Challenge National Day of Awareness and Safe Disposal of Rx and OTC Medicine
American Medicine Chest Challenge
November 8, 2014
http://www.americanmedicinechest.com

Upcoming Conferences and Workshops

RX for Prevention: Preventing and Responding to Prescription Drug Abuse on Campus
Temple University, Villanova University, U.S. Attorneys' Office, and the Clery Center
June 11, 2014
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
http://clerycenter.org/event/2014-06-11-000000/rx-prevention-preventing-responding-prescription-drug-abuse-campus

Orange County Prescription Drug Abuse Summit
Orange County Drug-Free Coalition
June 18, 2014
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies
Conference Room, 1st Floor
83 West Miller Street
Orlando, Florida

This summit will focus on neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). Speakers will discuss the extent of the prescription drug problem, NAS, and community resources and solutions.

Read more:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/orange-county-prescription-drug-abuse-summit-tickets-11543048569

Pharmacy Diversion Awareness Conference
U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration
June 28–29, 2014—Renaissance Phoenix (Ariz.) Downtown
July 12–13, 2014—Sheraton Philadelphia (Pa.) Downtown Hotel
August 2–3, 2014—Denver (Colo.) Marriott Tech Center
http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/mtgs/pharm_awareness

CADCA's Mid-Year Training Institute 2014
July 20–Jul 24, 2014
Orlando, Florida
http://www.cadca.org/events/detail/mid-year-training-institute-2014

Prevention of Youth Substance Abuse in Rural Communities Conference: Bringing Hope to Communities in Despair
Coalition for Healthy Youth
August 6-8, 2014
Lancaster, South Carolina
http://www.lcpartnersforyouth.org/Coalition

Preventing Prescription Drug Abuse—Non-Members
New Jersey Pharmacists Association
August 7, 2014
Secaucus, New Jersey
http://www.njpharmacist.org/2013-03-18-09-58-49/ce-programs-meetings/preventing-prescription-drug-abuse?task=view_event&event_id=78

27th Annual NPN Prevention Research Conference
National Prevention Network
September 15–18, 2014
Hartford, Connecticut
http://swpc.ou.edu/npn

2014 Harold Rogers PDMP National Meeting
Brandeis University, Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Training and Technical Assistance Center
September 22–24, 2014
Washington, D.C.
http://www.pdmpassist.org/content/events
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.