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November 19, 2015

PAW Weekly Update

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SAMHSA
SAMHSA Prescription Drug Abuse Weekly Update
WEEKLY
UPDATE
Issue 149  |  November 19, 2015
The Prevention of Prescription Drug Abuse in the Workplace (PAW) TA Center addresses prescription drug abuse—a growing public health problem with increasing burdens on workers, workplaces, and our economy. To subscribe colleagues, family members, or friends to this listserv sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), please click here or send their e-mail addresses to paw@dsgonline.com.
Index
Featured
Journal Articles and Reports
Professional Education and Policy Debate
National
Marijuana
International
Northeast/Mid-Atlantic News
South News
Midwest News
West News
Grant Awards
Grant Announcements
Take-Back Events and Dropboxes
Upcoming Conferences and Workshops

Featured

Wal-Mart's Campaign to Manage Prescription Drug Misuse
Safety National
November 12, 2015

Wal-Mart has developed a drug misuse management plan to address rapidly growing prescription drug misuse among employees enrolled in pain management programs. The retailer is acting as its own pharmacy benefit manager, which allows it to choose the right provider for each service (that is, pharmacy processor, network, and utilization review services), have greater data visibility, have input into prescription edits, eliminate the conflict of interest prescribing certain drugs, and maintain better communication between pharmacies and adjusters. The effort has lowered average morphine equivalent doses and problematic workers' compensation claims, increased the percentage of claims settled, reduced disability, increased return to work, and increased claimants requests for non-opioid relievers.

Read more:
https://www.safetynational.com/conferencechronicles/walmarts-campaign-to-manage-prescription-drug-misuse

Journal Articles and Reports

M. Bawor, B.B. Dennis, M. Varenbut, J. Daiter, D.C. Marsh, C. Plater, A. Worster, M. Steiner, R. Anglin, G. Pare, D. Desai, L. Thabane, and Z. Samaan. 2015. "Sex Differences in Substance Use, Health, and Social Functioning Among Opioid Users Receiving Methadone Treatment: A Multicenter Cohort Study." Biology of Sex Differences 6:21, doi:10.1186/s13293-015-0038-6.

Among 503 people receiving methadone maintenance treatment for opioid dependence disorder in Ontario, Canada, women were more likely than men to have physical and psychological health problems, a family history of psychiatric illness, childcare responsibilities, and to have begun using opioids through a physician prescription. Women were also less likely to be employed, smoke cigarettes, or use marijuana. Fifty-four percent of study participants were men. The mean age was 38, and 36 percent were employed, 32 percent were married, and 28 percent had completed a high school education.

Read more:
http://www.bsd-journal.com/content/6/1/21

K. Galway, D. Gossrau–Breen, S. Mallon, L. Hughes, M. Rosato, J. Rondon–Sulbaran, and G. Leavey. 2015. "Substance Misuse in Life and Death in a 2-Year Cohort of Suicides." British Journal of Psychiatry, doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.114.147603.

Over half (54 percent) of suicide victims in Northern Ireland had been tested for drugs prior to attempting suicide, according to an analysis of the primary care records of all 403 people who committed suicide over 2 years. Thirty-eight percent of those tested had taken illicit drugs or prescription drugs in excess of the prescribed therapeutic dosage. Testing was more common among younger suicide victims and those with a history of drug misuse.

Read more:
http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/early/2015/10/22/bjp.bp.114.147603.abstract

Y.F. Kuo, M.A. Raji, N.W. Chen, H. Hasan, and J.S. Goodwin. 2015. "Trends in Opioid Prescriptions Among Part D Medicare Recipients from 2007 to 2012." American Journal of Medicine, doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2015.10.002.

The proportion of Medicare prescription plan enrollees who received prescriptions for controlled opioids for more than 90 days in a year increased from 4.6 percent in 2007 to 7.4 percent in 2012. Variation among states in 2012 ranged from a low of 2.8 percent in New York to a high of 10.9 percent in Utah. Several demographic characteristics were independently associated with prolonged use, including age, gender, and education. States that regulate pain clinics had fewer long-term users of prescribed Schedule II opioids. Prolonged opioid prescription use increased the odds of opioid overdose–related emergency department visits or hospitalizations by 60 percent.

Read more:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26522794

M. Liebrenz, M. Schneider, A. Buadze, M–T. Gehring, A. Dube, and C. Caflisch. 2015. "High-Dose Benzodiazepine Dependence: A Qualitative Study of Patients' Perceptions on Initiation, Reasons for Use, and Obtainment." PLOS One, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0142057.

Among a convenience sample of 41 benzodiazepine-dependent Swiss adults in outpatient treatment, reasons for starting use of benzodiazepines included to cope with symptoms of psychological distress or mental health disorder other than substance use; manage symptoms of physical or psychological discomfort associated with sleep disorder; alleviate symptoms of substance-related disorders; and recreational purposes. Most patients considered benzodiazepines less dangerous than other substances and associated their use more often with harm reduction than as recreational. Most participants said they switched back and forth between legal and illegal suppliers to obtain the drug.

Read more:
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0142057

N. Markwick, R. McNeil, S. Anderson, W. Small, and T. Kerr. 2015. "Communicating Risk in the Context of Methadone Formulation Changes: A Qualitative Study of Overdose Warning Posters in Vancouver, Canada." International Journal of Drug Policy, doi:10.1016/j.drugpo.2015.10.013.

Overdose warning posters are a key source of information when methadone formulation changes for people in methadone maintenance treatment, but the posters do not provide adequate information for all participants, according to a convenience sample of 34 people enrolled in methadone maintenance treatment in Vancouver, Canada. Participants preferred language about changes in "concentration" rather than "strength" and thought universal hazard symbols effectively communicated overdose risks.

Read more:
http://www.ijdp.org/article/S0955-3959(15)00321-7/abstract

Professional Education and Policy Debate

H.J. Gould and D. Paul. 2015. "Critical Appraisal of Extended-Release Hydrocodone for Chronic Pain: Patient Considerations." Therapeutics Clinical Risk Management 11:1635–40, doi:10.2147/TCRM.S81979.

Approval of extended-release hydrocodone and the emotionally charged controversy over its approval may affect physician prescribing and the care available to patients who need chronic opioid therapy to manage pain, according to the authors of this opinion piece. They urge physicians that "it is important that we do not let fear cloud reason and distort our realization of the fact that although the use of opioid medications is not free of pitfalls, for many patients with chronic moderate-to-severe pain, opioid medications are the only available option."

Read more:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4622415

W. Shuaib, C. Beatrice, and A.G. Abazid. 2015. "Zolpidem Overdose: A Medical and Ethical Dilemma." American Journal of Therapeutics, doi:10.1097/MJT.0000000000000380.

Researchers present a case of a 53-year-old healthcare professional with an acute altered mental status after a trip to Africa. History revealed an overdose of a self-medicated hypnotic (zolpidem) for insomnia. The patient was conservatively managed and discharged on trazadone for insomnia.

Read more:
http://journals.lww.com/americantherapeutics/Abstract/publishahead/ Zolpidem_Overdose___A_Medical_and_Ethical_Dilemma_.98981.aspx

H. Zucker, A.J. Annucci, S. Stancliff, and H. Catania. 2015. "Overdose Prevention for Prisoners in New York: A Novel Program and Collaboration." Harm Reduction Journal 12:51, doi:10.1186/s12954-015-0084-8.

A new program in New York state prisons is designed to reduce inmates' risk of drug overdose death after release. Inmates are trained in overdose prevention and receive the opioid overdose antidote naloxone. The authors describe the program as a "milestone collaboration" among public health officials, correctional system officials, and a community-based harm reduction program.

Read more:
http://www.harmreductionjournal.com/content/12/1/51

National

What You Should Know About Prescription Drug Use at Work
Katie Loehrke, Business Journal
November 10, 2015

The Americans with Disabilities Act limits employers' rights to make medical inquiries of employees and applicants. This article answers common questions employers have with regard to prescription drug use by employees, such as whether employers can require employees to report any medications they are taking; ask about misuse or abuse of prescription drugs; and what to do if employers suspect prescription drug use is causing a performance or safety problem. The article urges employers to recognize that many employees take medication with no negative impact on their ability to safely and effectively perform their jobs.

Read more:
http://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/how-to/human-resources/2015/11/what-you-should-know-about-prescription-drug-use.html?page=all

Partial Refills Could Reduce Opioid Abuse
Peter Urban, MetroWest Daily News
November 9, 2015

In a letter to U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Acting Director Chuck Rosenberg, 47 members of Congress asked him to clarify existing federal regulations to permit the partial filling of opioid prescriptions. Rep. Katherine Clark (D–Mass.) spearheaded the letter because the legislature in her state is considering a bill to allow partial filling. The Massachusetts Medical Society and Society of Addiction Medicine back the effort.

Read more:
http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/article/20151109/NEWS/151106211

FDA Gives 'Tentative' Approval to Abuse-Deterrent Xtampza Extended Release
Pauline Anderson, Medscape
November 9, 2015

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted tentative approval of Xtampza extended release (ER), an abuse-deterrent oxycodone by Collegium Pharmaceutical, Inc. However, patent litigation filed earlier this year by Purdue Pharma, LP, requires an automatic stay of up to 30 months. Xtampza ER does not get sticky when wet and cannot be transformed into an immediate-release form, even if it is crushed or chewed. It prevents misuse by inhalation or injection. Nevertheless, the FDA expressed concern about whether patients will follow directions to take the medication with food. Less bioavailability with fasting creates the potential for adverse events, including overdose.

Read more:
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/854181

MARIJUANA

N.G. Choia, D.M. DiNittoa, C.N. Martia, and B.Y. Choia. 2015. "Relationship Between Marijuana and Other Illicit Drug Use and Depression/Suicidal Thoughts Among Late Middle-Aged and Older Adults." International Psychogeriatrics, doi:10.1017/S1041610215001738.

Analysis of National Survey on Drug Use and Health data from 2008 to 2012 found 6 percent of people age 50 and older had used marijuana or other illicit drugs in the past year. Compared with non-users of any illicit drug, those who used only marijuana were 1.5 times more likely to experience major depression in the past year, those who used only other illicit drugs were 2.8 times more likely, and those who used both were 2.1 times more likely. Those who used both also had higher odds of suicidal thoughts (odds ratio = 2.4). Marijuana use frequency was a significant correlate of suicidal thoughts only among those with major depression.

Read more:
http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=10031058&fileId=S1041610215001738

M–A. Fitzcharles, P.A. Ste–Marie, W. Häuser, D.J. Clauw, S. Jamal, J. Karsh, T. Landry, S. LeClercq, J.J. McDougall, Y. Shir, K. Shojania, and Z. Walsh. 2015. "Efficacy, Tolerability and Safety of Cannabinoid Treatments in the Rheumatic Diseases: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials." Arthritis Care & Research, doi:10.1002/acr.22727.

A systematic review identified four small, short-term studies of cannabinoid use to treat rheumatic diseases, with a total of 201 patients treated (58 with rheumatoid arthritis, 71 with fibromyalgia, and 74 with osteoarthritis). Cannabinoids—the chemicals in marijuana that affect the nervous system—significantly reduced participants' pain in two studies, improved sleep in two studies, and improved quality of life in one study. The study on cannabinoid use to treat osteoarthritis was prematurely terminated due to marked ineffectiveness. Almost half of patients in the studies who used marijuana reported dizziness, cognitive problems, drowsiness, or nausea.

Read more:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/acr.22727/abstract

Sara Boyns, Workplace Law: Medical Marijuana in the Workplace
Sara Boyns, Monterey Herald
November 12, 2015

Attorney Sara Boyns of the law firm Fenton & Keller in Monterey, Calif., answered questions about medical marijuana in the workplace, such as what to do if employees come to work under the influence of marijuana; what to do if an employee has a prescription; and whether employers can discharge employees for coming to work under the influence.

Read more:
http://www.montereyherald.com/opinion/20151112/sara-boyns-workplace-law-medical-marijuana-in-the-workplace

N.Y. Governor Signs Bills to Speed Up Medical Marijuana Distribution
Jesse, McKinley, New York Times
November 11, 2015

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill to establish an emergency medical marijuana program for qualified patients, 2 months before the planned debut of a statewide medical marijuana program. Under the law, the state health department will set up the separate emergency program to expedite access for those whose lack of access to the drug poses a serious risk to their lives. The health department will also register more organizations to produce the drug as soon as practicable. And the health department will assess whether the geographic mix of the planned five growers and 20 dispensaries provide sufficient access.

Read more:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/12/nyregion/cuomo-signs-2-bills-to-speed-up-medical-marijuana-distribution.html

Medical Marijuana Debuts in Ill. but Some Patients Turned Away
Robert McCoppin and Dan Moran, Chicago Tribune
November 9, 2015

Six medical marijuana dispensaries opened in Illinois. Customers are not allowed inside the dispensaries unless they have been certified by a doctor as having one of about 40 specified debilitating medical conditions. Some people have been turned away because they had not yet registered online with a dispensary.

Read more:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-illinois-medical-marijuana-first-day-met-20151108-story.html

Texas Veterans Launch Campaign for Medical Pot Legalization
Brian Rosenthal, Houston Chronicle
November 12, 2015

Several military veterans launched "Operation Trapped" to persuade Texas lawmakers to legalize medical marijuana for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and similar conditions. The campaign will ask veterans who support legalization to submit an empty prescription drug bottle that will be filled with a toy soldier. The bottles will be presented at an event on Veterans Day 2016.

Read more:
http://www.chron.com/news/politics/texas/article/Texas-veterans-launch-new-campaign-calling-for-6624944.php

N.J. School First in Nation to Allow Medical Marijuana for Students
Susan Livio, New Jersey Advance Media
November 12, 2015

The Larc School for students ages 3–21 with disabilities in Bellmawr, N.J., appears to be the first in the nation to permit medical marijuana on campus. Parents or caregivers of children who are registered with the New Jersey medicinal marijuana program must show their identification cards. The school will keep a copy on file. The registered parent or caregiver may enter the school and administer the medicine in a private room with a staff member present. (Includes video: 2:50 minutes)

Read more:
http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/11/ nj_teens_school_adopts_medical_marijuana_policy_to.html

Hillary Clinton Calls for Loosening Federal Restrictions on Marijuana
Jessica Taylor, National Public Radio
November 7, 2015

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton supports a reclassification of marijuana from a Schedule I drug to make it easier to conduct research for medicinal purposes. The Democratic presidential candidate said she still does not support the legalization of marijuana but believes the federal government should monitor outcomes in states where it has been legalized.

Read more:
http://www.npr.org/2015/11/07/455163899/clinton-calls-for-loosening-federal-restrictions-on-marijuana

Some Doctors Uneasy About Medical Marijuana
Patrick Yeagle, Illinois Times
November 12, 2015

Two of the four main medical institutions in Springfield, Ill., have advised their doctors to avoid the state's new medical marijuana program, warning that prescribing a Schedule I drug could endanger their license to prescribe controlled substances. Some argue that doctors will not actually be prescribing marijuana to patients; they only will certify that the patient has an approved medical condition and that the patient may benefit from marijuana use.

Read more:
http://illinoistimes.com/article-16406-some-doctors-uneasy-about-medical-marijuana.html

Veterans Dump Pill Bottles at the White House in Protest
Anthony Johnson, Marijuana Politics
November 12, 2015

Veterans dumped prescription pill bottles at the White House during a protest for medical marijuana access. Proponents say federal efforts are moving too slowly for veterans who want access to medical cannabis. The Senate passed the Veterans Equal Access Amendment, which would allow Veterans Health Administration doctors to recommend medical cannabis in states where the substance is legal. Proponents say the bill does not go far enough.

Read more:
http://marijuanapolitics.com/veterans-dump-pill-bottles-at-the-white-house-in-protest

Ten Uses of Medical Marijuana
Investing News Network Daily
November 9, 2015

This article discusses 10 ailments that people treat with medical marijuana: cancer, Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy and Tourette syndrome, concussions, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, Crohn's disease and irritable bowel syndrome, mood disorders, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS.

Read more:
http://investingnews.com/daily/resource-investing/agriculture-investing/cannabis-investing/10-uses-of-medical-marijuana/?nameplate_category=Daily

International

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Order Nanaimo Pot Dispensaries to Close
CTV Vancouver Island
November 13, 2015

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have ordered 10 medical marijuana dispensaries in Nanaimo, British Columbia, to cease operations within 7 days. Nanaimo police obtained evidence that each store is guilty of drug trafficking, either by selling to minors or unlicensed marijuana users. (Includes video: 2:25 minutes)

Read more:
http://vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca/rcmp-order-nanaimo-pot-dispensaries-to-close-within-7-days-1.2655860

Hobart (Australia) City Council Votes to Exempt Aldermen from New Drug-Testing Regime
ABC (Australia)
November 9, 2015

The city council of Hobart, Australia, has voted to exempt themselves from workplace drug testing, which will be imposed on all other council staff. Under their draft, "Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy," council workers would be subject to random breath and saliva testing but not council members, who argue they are not employees. The council is waiting for the Tasmania government to release its model code of conduct for aldermen. It is expected to include a statement outlining the expectation that council members will behave responsibly with alcohol and drugs and a provision for self-testing.

Read more:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-10/hobart-city-council-votes-to-exempt-aldermen-from-drug-testing/6926262

Northeast/Mid-Atlantic News

Mass. Drug Loss Stats Spike: 15 Percent Bump in Stolen, Missing Pills
Matt Stout, Boston Herald
November 10, 2015

Opioids and other prescription pills increasingly are disappearing from hospitals and clinics across Massachusetts. The drug inspection unit within the state's public health department reported 863 instances of loss or tampering of controlled substances through the end of August—well above last year's total of 751.

Read more:
http://www.bostonherald.com/news/local_coverage/2015/11/ drug_loss_stats_spike_15_percent_bump_in_stolen_missing_pills

Milford (Conn.) Psychiatrist, Employee Charged with Illegally Distributing Prescription Narcotics
David Moran, Hartford Courant
November 12, 2015

Psychiatrist Ljudmil Kljusev, M.D., and his employee, Dusan Bosotov, face federal drug charges for illegally providing Milford, Conn., patients with prescription narcotics. Dr. Kljusev prescribed a high volume of Adderall and Xanax to patients without a full medical exam and dispensed prescriptions to patients who displayed substance misuse and addiction behaviors. Bosotov was also charged with illegally distributing narcotics. He issued prescriptions that were pre-signed by Dr. Kljusev, who was out of the country. Both Dr. Kljusev and Bosotov are charged with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute narcotics and could face a maximum prison term of 20 years. Dr. Kljusev is also charged with money laundering, which carries a maximum term of 10 years.

Read more:
http://www.courant.com/breaking-news/hc-milford-psychiatrist-arrested-1113-2-20151112-story.html

Insurers Tackling Opioid Crisis with Support for Addicts
Priyanka Dayal McCluskey, Boston Globe
November 11, 2015

Insurance companies are imposing restrictions on prescriptions for pain relievers, such as Vicodin and OxyContin, lifting restrictions for addiction treatment, and deploying case managers and coaches to guide patients through treatment. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is now contacting its members who are in detox programs to help coordinate their care and prevent relapses. Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan has assigned staff to call and visit members with addiction to help them find and stick with treatments. Neighborhood Health Plan, the insurance arm of Partners HealthCare, recently partnered with Massachusetts General Hospital to hire a recovery coach to help members stay sober.

Read more:
https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2015/11/11/ insurers-take-new-steps-fight-opioid-addiction-costs-rise/WGZ5l3v7cxjsByDoia9GCO/story.html

Mass. Medical School Students to Get Enhanced Training on Opioid Drug Abuse
Anne–Gerard Flynn, MassLive
November 10, 2015

Four Massachusetts medical schools are requiring students to demonstrate competency in prescribing opioid pain medication and identifying patients at risk for misusing narcotics.

Read more:
http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2015/11/ massachusetts_medical_school_s.html

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Announces Strategy to Curb Heroin, Prescription Drugs, and Violent Crime
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
November 10, 2015

The U.S Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has selected Pittsburgh as the pilot city for its "360 Strategy," aimed at helping cities deal with the heroin and prescription drug misuse epidemic and associated violent crime. The strategy includes providing DEA leadership with coordinated DEA enforcement actions targeting all levels of drug trafficking organizations and violent gangs supplying drugs in neighborhoods; engaging drug manufacturers, wholesalers, practitioners and pharmacists to increase awareness of the heroin and prescription drug problem and push for responsible prescribing and use of these medications throughout the medical community; and community outreach and partnership with local organizations following DEA enforcement actions to equip and empower communities with the tools to fight the epidemic. Officials will form community alliances to help carry prevention and treatment messages to the local population over the long term.

Read more:
http://www.dea.gov/divisions/hq/2015/hq111015.shtml

South News

Forsyth County (Ga.) Man Accused of Posing as Cable Repairman to Steal Medication
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
November 12, 2015

Sheriff deputies in Forsyth County, Ga., arrested a man who allegedly impersonated a cable-TV repair technician to steal prescription drugs from unsuspecting homeowners. According to the police, the suspect would disconnect the cable to people's houses and then tell residents he was in the neighborhood because of cable problems. Police found two Comcast identifications and a Comcast shirt and jacket in the suspect's truck. He worked for a Comcast contractor.

Read more:
http://www.ajc.com/news/news/crime-law/ forsyth-county-man-accused-of-posing-as-cable-repa/npL2s

Xanax Abuse Is a Public Health Crisis, Ala. Officials Say
Stephanie Taylor, Tuscaloosa News
November 9, 2015

Law enforcement officials warned that high school and college students in Tuscaloosa, Ala., are misusing Xanax in increasing numbers, calling it a public health crisis. This year, the West Alabama Narcotics Task Force has seized more than 10,000 Xanax pills, more than $50,000, and arrested 33 people for selling or illegally possessing the drug.

Read more:
http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/article/20151109/news/151109678?tc=ar

Palmetto Health in S.C. Takes Steps to Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse
Market Watch
November 9, 2015

Palmetto Health in Columbia, S.C., now uses NARxCHECK, which is integrated into Cerner's electronic health record system (EHR) to access and analyze South Carolina Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) information. The NARxCHECK algorithm assesses a patient’s controlled substance history from PDMP data, computes a score, and highlights potential issues with misuse of narcotics, sedatives, and stimulants. Embedding NARxCHECK within the Cerner EHR provides authorized users with nearly real-time access to PDMP data and provides transparent compliance monitoring.

Read more:
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/palmetto-health-takes-steps-to-prevent-prescription-drug-abuse-2015-11-09

Regional Study in Texas Shows Gaps in Prevention for Youth Substance Abuse
Erin Stone, Midland Reporter-Telegram
November 12, 2015

The Texas Prevention Impact Index Survey found Permian Basin youth are increasingly using marijuana and prescription drugs. The study includes 30 counties in western Texas that have only three state-funded drug and alcohol prevention programs.

Read more:
http://www.mrt.com/news/top_stories/article_6934a04a-8993-11e5-ba13-4bb04504e143.html

Midwest News

Prescription Abuse Among Tenn. Medical Professionals on the Rise
Olivia Bailey, WCYB
November 12, 2015

A nurse at Indian Path Medical Center in Tennessee stole medication for personal use while on the job. He was able to renew his state nursing license even though he had prior reports of diverting medication and faced prosecution. He pled guilty to 61 counts of stealing medication, may serve up to 6 years in prison, and will undergo drug evaluations and treatment. He voluntarily gave up his nursing license shortly after being informed of the investigation into his case.

Read more:
http://www.wcyb.com/news/prescription-abuse-among-medical-professions-on-the-rise/36414096

Drug Poisoning Deaths Plague Iowa, Continue to Rise
Mark Carlson, KCRG-TV9
November 10, 2015

Iowa health officials have seen a nearly 250 percent increase in unintentional poisoning deaths between 2002 and 2014. Nearly 83 percent of the deaths were tied to drug use. (Includes video: 4:36 minutes)

Read more:
http://www.kcrg.com/subject/news/health/drug-poisoning-deaths-plague-iowa-continue-to-rise-20151110

West News

Utah Hospital Employees Stealing Drugs a Growing Problem, Experts Say
Daphne Chen, KSL
November 8, 2015

In the past 10 years, at least 84 nurses, pharmacists, or pharmacy technicians have been disciplined by Utah's Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing for stealing medications from their employers.

Read more:
https://www.ksl.com/?sid=37285535&nid=148&title=hospital-employees-stealing-drugs-a-growing-problem-experts-say

Grant Awards

Ky. Governor Announces $3 Million in Grants for Heroin, Prescription Drug Abuse Treatment
State of Kentucky
November 10, 2015

Kentucky has received more than $3 million in grants to provide substance abuse treatment in six jails, expand existing treatment programs to two other jails, and provide injectable extended-release medical assisted treatment for offenders who are released from custody.

Read more:
http://kentucky.gov/Pages/Activity-Stream.aspx?viewMode=ViewDetailInNewPage&eventID=%7B1A7282F8-73AD-4941-B69C-311D4C24F262%7D&activityType=PressRelease

N.Y. County Receives $627,000 Grant to Fight Drug Abuse
Mike Hibbard, Finger Lake Times
November 9, 2015

The Partnership for Ontario County was awarded a $627,000 grant from the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services for its Partnership for Success initiative.

Read more:
http://www.fltimes.com/article_1626b808-85d7-11e5-9bf7-5388036d4cc8.html

Grant Announcements

Partnership for Clean Competition
Pre-applications due November 1, 2015
Full applications due December 1, 2015
http://www.cleancompetition.org/Pages/programs-grants.aspx

National Institute on Drug Abuse Translational Avant-Garde Award for Development of Medication to Treat Substance Use Disorders
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health
Deadline: December 3, 2015
http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/search-grants.html

NJHI 2016: Building a Culture of Health in New Jersey—Communities Moving to Action, Round 2
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Deadline: January 14, 2016
http://www.rwjf.org/en/library/funding-opportunities/2015/njhi-2016--building-a-culture-of-health-in-new-jersey---communiti.html

Take-Back Events and Drop Boxes

Maine Capital Area's Drug Take Back Day Collects Nearly 2.5 Tons
Maine Today Media (Maine)
November 6, 2015
https://www.centralmaine.com/2015/11/06/capital-areas-drug-take-back-day-collects-nearly-2-5-tons

Simi Valley (Calif.) Police to Collected Unneeded Medications
Ventura County Star (California)
November 7, 2015
http://www.vcstar.com/news/local-news/simi-valley/simi-valley-police-to-collected-unneeded-medications_99731290

Boulder County (Colo.) Sheriff's Office Revives Prescription-Drug Disposal Program
Mitchell Byers, Times-Call (Colorado)
November 13, 2015
http://www.timescall.com/top-stories/ci_29109162/boulder-county-sheriffs-office-revives-prescription-drug-disposal

Medication Disposal Box Now Available at Chelmsford (Mass.) Police Station
Brooklyn Lowery, Chelmsford Patch (Massachusetts)
November 7, 2015
http://patch.com/massachusetts/chelmsford/medication-disposal-box-now-available-chelmsford-police-station-0

N.J. State Police Bringing Medicine Drop to Upper Township
Press of Atlantic City (New Jersey)
November 6, 2015
http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/state-police-bringing-medicine-drop-to-upper-township/article_e6df5758-84dc-11e5-9246-83d9503006d6.html

Prescription Drug Dropoffs Start at Millville Police Station
Joseph P. Smith, Vineland Daily Journal (New Jersey)
November 10, 2015
http://www.thedailyjournal.com/story/news/2015/11/10/prescription-drug-dropoffs-start-police-station/75460964/?from=global&sessionKey=&autologin=

Cliffside Park Residents Invited to Discard Unused Pills
Kristen Agnes, NorthJersey.com (New Jersey)
November 13, 2015
http://www.northjersey.com/community-news/residents-are-invited-to-discard-unused-pills-1.1454610

Upcoming Conferences and Workshops

University of Michigan Injury Center Prescription Drug Overdose Summit
University of Michigan Injury Center
December 1, 2015
Ann Arbor, Michigan
http://www.injurycenter.umich.edu/conferences/opioid-overdose-summit

Ensuring Access to Pain Care: Engaging Pain Medicine and Primary Care Teams
American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM)
February 18–21, 2016
Palm Springs, California
http://www.painmed.org/annualmeeting

2016 National Rx Drug Abuse and 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.