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November 25, 2015

PAW Weekly Update

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SAMHSA
SAMHSA Prescription Drug Abuse Weekly Update
WEEKLY
UPDATE
Issue 150  |  November 25, 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 Drop Boxes
Upcoming Conferences and Workshops

Featured

American Medical Association Promises Push Against Pot Use in Pregnancy
Associated Press
November 16, 2015

The American Medical Association has adopted a policy of warning that marijuana use during pregnancy and breastfeeding poses potential harms to offspring. The physicians group will lobby for federal regulations to require that a written warning appear on medical and recreational marijuana product packaging and be posted wherever the products are sold. Studies suggest marijuana use may be linked with low birth weight, premature birth, and behavior problems in young children.

Read more:
http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/ama-promises-push-against-pot-use-pregnancy-n464531

Cincinnati Area Officials: Heroin Increasingly Disguised as Prescription Pills
Taylor Mirfendereski, WCPO
November 17, 2015

Heroin disguised as oxycodone has been showing up in Ohio and Kentucky. Drug dealers have been pressing heroin into counterfeit pills so identical that even a trained eye cannot tell the difference. Dealers reportedly use pill presses discarded by pharmaceutical companies to put a fake imprint on the much cheaper heroin pills to pass them off as more expensive pain medicine to unwitting buyers.

Read more:
http://www.wcpo.com/news/insider/officials-heroin-increasingly-disguised-as-prescription-pills-cincinnati

Journal Articles and Reports

G.C. Alexander, S. Frattaroli, and A.C. Gielen, eds. 2015. The Prescription Opioid Epidemic: An Evidence-Based Approach. John Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health.

This consensus panel report organizes 37 recommendations for responding to the prescription drug crisis into seven categories: 1) prescribing guidelines, 2) prescription drug monitoring programs, 3) pharmacy benefit managers and pharmacies, 4) engineering strategies, 5) overdose education and naloxone distribution programs, 6) addiction treatment, and 7) community-based prevention. The report also has a compact synthesis of evidence on each category.

Read more:
http://www.jhsph.edu/research/centers-and-institutes/center-for-drug-safety-and-effectiveness/opioid-epidemic-town-hall-2015/2015-prescription-opioid-epidemic-report.pdf

http://www.jhsph.edu/news/news-releases/2015/public-health-leaders-urge-far-reaching-reforms-to-curb-prescription-opioid-epidemic.html

Forum discussion of the report’s recommendations (Video: 1 hour, 1 minute):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEOLIh7Efjg&feature=youtu.be

CBR Pharma Insights. 2015. Opioids Overview to 2021—An Assessment of Pain Management and Dependence.

This report discusses prescription opioid use for cancer and non-cancer pain and examines the management of opioid dependence in Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Worldwide prescription opioid sales totaled $15.7 billion in 2014, with the United States accounting for the highest share, followed by Japan and Germany. The global prevalence of chronic pain was 20–30 percent in the same year; most sufferers were not prescribed opioids. The report discusses each country’s regulatory restrictions, treatments available for opioid dependence, and dependence treatment settings, trends, and patient referral pathways.

Read more:
http://www.acutemarketreports.com/report/opioids-overview-to-2021-an-assessment-of-pain-management-and-dependence

E.R. Cedarbaum and C.J. Banta–Green. 2015. “Health Behaviors of Young Adult Heroin Injectors in the Seattle Area.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence, doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.11.011.

Multivariate analysis of data from 389 heroin injectors surveyed at King County, Wash., syringe exchange programs in 2013 found adults under 30 were more likely than other adult injectors to reuse syringes (odds ratio [OR] = 2.3), share syringes (OR = 2.9), report they were “hooked on” prescription-type opioids prior to using heroin (OR = 2.5), have had a sexual partner in the prior year (opposite sex OR = 7.4, same sex OR = 23.3, both genders OR = 22.0), and report powder cocaine use in the prior 3 months (OR = 2.5). They were less likely to report using pain medicines (OR = 0.3), having an abscess in the prior year (OR = 0.3), or testing positive for hepatitis C (OR = 0.2).

Read more:
http://www.drugandalcoholdependence.com/article/S0376-8716(15)01753-6/abstract

P. De Marco Centeno, M. Baig, S.E. Lee, C.J. Lane, and I.T. Lagomasino. 2015. “Disclosure of Use and Abuse of Controlled Substances Among Psychiatric Outpatients.” Journal of Psychiatric Practice 21(6):412–18, doi:10.1097/PRA.0000000000000104.

Among a random sample of 150 patients who attended an adult outpatient psychiatric clinic in Los Angeles between July 2012 and May 2013, 113 were found in California’s prescription drug monitoring program database, including 81 who collectively had obtained 111 prescriptions for controlled substances in the past 12 months. Half of these prescriptions were not disclosed to the primary psychiatrist. Fourteen patients had patterns consistent with prescription drug misuse.

Read more:
http://journals.lww.com/practicalpsychiatry/Abstract/2015/11000/
Disclosure_of_Use_and_Abuse_of_Controlled.3.aspx


R.L. DuPont, M.D. Seppala, and W.L. White. 2015. “The Three Missing Elements in the Treatment of Substance Use Disorders: Lessons from the Physician Health Programs.” Journal of Addictive Diseases, doi:10.1080/10550887.2015.1102797

State physician health programs form a well-established national system of care management that makes long-term recovery—not cycles of substance use disorder recurrence—the typical outcome of treatment for doctors with substance use disorders. To make recovery the expected outcome of treatment for moderate-to-severe substance use disorders, the physician health programs incorporate three elements missing from most treatment programs: definition of long-term recovery as the goal of all treatment and post-treatment interventions; provision of sustained post-treatment monitoring and professional and peer support, including drug testing; and insistence by others around the patients on sustained abstinence as crucial for those suffering from moderate-to-severe and prolonged disorders.

Read more:
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10550887.2015.1102797

U.L. França, S. Mustafa, and M.L. McManus. 2015. “The Growing Burden of Neonatal Opiate Exposure on Children and Family Services in Massachusetts.” Child Maltreatment, doi:10.1177/1077559515615437.

Massachusetts Department of Children and Families professionals now devote more than 10,000 hours per month to neonatal abstinence syndrome resulting from increased opioid use among pregnant women. This estimate was modeled from encounter-level hospital data and a process map of services. The authors call for additional investment in social service providers, foster care, early intervention programs, and other family services to address the issue.

Read more:
http://cmx.sagepub.com/content/early/2015/11/11/1077559515615437.abstract

B.F. Grant, T.D. Saha, W.J. Ruan, R.B. Goldstein, S.P. Chou, J. Jung, H. Zhang, S.M. Smith, R.P. Pickering, B. Huang, and D.S. Hasin. 2015. “Epidemiology of DSM–5 Drug Use Disorder: Results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions–III.” JAMA Psychiatry, doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.2132

The prevalence of past-year and lifetime drug use disorder among Americans was 3.9 percent and 9.9 percent, respectively, according to the 2012–13 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions–III. The study did not differentiate between prescription and illicit drugs. Drug use disorder was generally greater among men, white and Native American individuals, younger and previously or never married adults, people with less education and income, people residing in the western United States, and people with other substance use disorders. It was more common among people with major depressive disorder; dysthymia; bipolar I; posttraumatic stress disorder; and antisocial, borderline, or schizotypal personality disorders. Lifetime drug use disorder was higher among people with generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social phobia. Twelve-month drug use disorder was associated with significant disability, increasing with drug use disorder severity. Only 13.5 percent of those with past-year and 24.6 percent of those with lifetime drug use disorder had received treatment.

Read more:
http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2470680
http://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/10-percent-us-adults-have-drug-use-disorder-some-point-their-lives

White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. “National Drug Control Strategy: Data Supplement 2015.” Accessed November 20, 2015.

This companion document to the 2015 National Drug Control Strategy compiles data from an array of information systems and serves as a reference for what is known about illicit and prescription drug use, their consequences, treatment programs, and expenditures and availability in the United States and internationally.

Read more:
https://www.whitehouse.gov//sites/default/files/ondcp/policy-and-research/2015_data_supplement_final.pdf

C.M. Wilder, S.C. Miller, E. Tiffany, T. Winhusen, E.L. Winstanley, and M.D. Stein. 2015. “Risk Factors for Opioid Overdose and Awareness of Overdose Risk Among Veterans Prescribed Chronic Opioids for Addiction or Pain.” Journal of Addictive Diseases, doi:10.1080/10550887.2016.1107264.

A telephone survey of 90 self-selected veterans who receive chronic opioid medication for opioid use disorder or pain management from Cincinnati Veterans Health Administration hospital clinics found nearly all respondents had multiple overdose risk factors. About 70 percent of participants believed their overdose risk was below that of the average American adult. No significant relationship existed between self-estimated overdose risk and either number or knowledge of opioid overdose risk factors.

Read more:
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10550887.2016.1107264

Professional Education and Policy Debate

J.R. Covvey. 2015. “Recent Developments Toward the Safer Use of Opioids, with a Focus on Hydrocodone.” Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy 11(6):901–8, doi:10.1016/j.sapharm.2015.02.001.

Recent changes that could reduce misuse of hydrocodone, the most widely prescribed opioid product, include federal rescheduling of hydrocodone-combination products as Schedule II drugs and introduction of two extended-release formulations to the U.S. market.

Read more:
http://www.rsap.org/article/S1551-7411(15)00040-6/abstract

M. Gasior, M. Bond, and R. Malamut. 2015. “Routes of Abuse of Prescription Opioid Analgesics: A Review and Assessment of the Potential Impact of Abuse-Deterrent Formulations.” Postgraduate Medicine, doi:10.1080/00325481.2016.1120642.

Prescription opioid analgesics can be abused via intended and non-intended routes of administration, both intact or after manipulation of the original formulation to alter the drug-delivery characteristics. Available data indicate that ingestion (with or without manipulation of the prescribed formulation) is the most prevalent route of abuse, followed by inhalation (snorting, smoking, and vaping) and injection. However, reported routes of abuse vary considerably among formulations. A number of factors appear to be associated with non-oral routes of abuse, including a longer duration of abuse, younger age, male sex, and a rural or socially deprived location. Available abuse-deterrent formulations aim to hinder extraction of the active ingredient; prevent administration through alternative routes; or make abuse of the manipulated product less attractive, less rewarding, or even aversive.

Read more:
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00325481.2016.1120642

D. Kirpalani. 2015. “How to Maximize Patient Safety When Prescribing Opioids.” Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 7(11):S225–S235, doi:10.1016/j.pmrj.2015.08.016.

This review summarizes the latest guidelines and evidence to assist in maximizing patient safety while using chronic opioid therapy as part of pain management.

Read more:
http://www.pmrjournal.org/article/S1934-1482(15)00996-X/abstract

J. Levi, L.M. Segal, A. DeBiasi, and A. Martin. 2015. Reducing Teen Substance Misuse: What Really Works. Trust for America’s Health.

In the past decade, youth drug overdose deaths increased dramatically in 35 states. Overdose death rates more than quadrupled in Kansas, Montana, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Rates more than tripled in Arkansas, Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Oklahoma, Utah, and West Virginia. Current rates are highest in West Virginia, where 12.6 per 100,000 young people overdosed between 2011 and 13, and lowest in North Dakota, where 2.2 per 100,000 young people overdosed in the same time period. This report ranks states on their actions to curb teen substance use among people ages 12–25 in the United States between 1999 and 2013.

Read more:
http://www.healthyamericans.org/assets/files/TFAH-2015-TeenSubstAbuse%20FINAL.pdf
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/11/19/youth-overdose-deaths-increase/76028952/

J.S. Rogers, S.J. Rehrer, and N.R. Hoot. 2015. “Acetylfentanyl: An Emerging Drug of Abuse.” Journal of Emergency Medicine, doi:10.1016/j.jemermed.2015.10.014.

Acetylfentanyl, a synthetic opioid agonist closely related to fentanyl, recently emerged as an abused drug linked to numerous deaths. In this case report, a 36-year-old man developed the habit of using a propylene glycol electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) filled with acetylfentanyl to aid relaxation. He purchased the drug online. He had been using the e-cigarette with increasing frequency while on medical leave. At approximately 3 a.m., his family called 911 for altered mental status. His presentation included respiratory depression, pinpoint pupils, hypoxemia, and a Glasgow Coma Scale score of 6. He responded to serial doses of intravenous naloxone with improvement in his mental status and respiratory condition. He was placed on a naloxone infusion and recovered in intensive care. Although acetylfentanyl can be managed effectively with naloxone, higher than conventional dosing may be required to achieve therapeutic effect.

Read more:
http://www.jem-journal.com/article/S0736-4679(15)01148-8/abstract

L.R. Webster and M. Grabois. 2015. “Current Regulations Related to Opioid Prescribing.” Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 7(11):S236–S247, doi:10.1016/j.pmrj.2015.08.011.

This overview of the legal and regulatory framework for controlled prescription drugs also discusses recent actions at the federal and state levels to prevent opioid-related harm.

Read more:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1934148215009727

National

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Sues Employer Who Allegedly Refused to Hire Methadone User
Kathryn J. Russo, Drug and Alcohol Law Advisor
November 15, 2015

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed a lawsuit against an employer who purportedly refused to hire a woman in medically supervised rehabilitation, alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. According to the EEOC, the recovering heroin addict was in a supervised methadone treatment program, which she disclosed when she applied for a job as a production laborer. The employer refused to hire the woman because of her methadone use. The article suggests employers be careful not to discriminate against applicants or employees who use prescription drugs, including methadone. They should consider on a case-by-case basis whether the applicant or employee can perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation and without posing a direct threat of harm to themselves or others in the workplace. In addition, employers who drug test for prescription medications need to ensure the review of positive drug test results by a medical review officer and take steps to make sure adverse employment actions are not based on incorrect or stereotyped assumptions about certain types of drugs.

Read more:
http://www.drugtestlawadvisor.com/2015/11/eeoc-sues-employer-who-allegedly-refused-to-hire-methadone-user/

The Heroin Addict in Your Workplace
James Carpenter, Corp! Magazine
November 12, 2015

This article suggests keeping five things in mind about addiction in the workplace: white collar employees are more likely than ever to have a substance use disorder; policies must be in line with federal and state employment [and marijuana] laws so resources are in place and the workplace response is legally defensible if a problem arises; response to opioid addiction is more effective if medically assisted therapies are feasible; recovery is more likely if those responding understand and encourage the importance of mental health counseling; and, if a problem arises, confronting the employee with a serious but caring tone tends to be a wise approach.

Read more:
https://www.corpmagazine.com/human-resources/heroin-addict-workplace/

FDA Moves Quickly to Approve Easy-to-Use Nasal Spray to Treat Opioid Overdose
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
November 18, 2015

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Narcan nasal spray, the first FDA–approved nasal spray version of naloxone hydrochloride. Narcan nasal spray does not require assembly and delivers a consistent, measured dose when used as directed. It is effective for adults and children and can be administered by anyone. Unapproved naloxone kits that combine an FDA–approved injectable formulation of naloxone with an atomizer that can deliver naloxone nasally are already in widespread use.

Read more:
http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm473505.htm?
source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery


American Medical Association Adopts New Policies to Improve Health of Nation
American Medical Association
November 16, 2015

The American Medical Association has adopted a policy to improve naloxone access. The new policy encourages manufacturers or other qualified sponsors to pursue the Food and Drug Administration’s application process for approval of naloxone as an over-the-counter medication.

Read more:
http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/ama-adopts-new-policies-to-improve-health-of-nation-on-day-one-of-interim-meeting-2074249.htm

Marijuana

J.G. Nevius. 2015. “Insuring Against the Environmental and Other Risks, and Preparing for the Rewards, Associated with the Emergence of Legal Cannabis: Smoking Hot or Up in Smoke?” Environmental Claims Journal 27(4):318–35, doi:10.1080/10406026.2015.1093910.

This article provides an overview of the risks and insurance-coverage issues facing the cannabis industry. Many identifiable risks are common to virtually all businesses. Industry-specific environmental risks include impacts on water quality, energy use, and waste management and disposal. Unique risks arise from the difference between federal and state regulations of marijuana and the resulting impact on obtaining financing or payment of insurance claims.

Read more:
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10406026.2015.1093910

M. Scherer, P. Harrell, and E. Romano. 2015. “Marijuana and Other Substance Use Among Motor Vehicle Operators: A Latent Class Analysis.” Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, doi:10.1080/10550887.2016.1107264

An analysis of 2007 National Roadside Survey data revealed 81 percent of 250 drivers who screened positive for two or more of 13 substances (other than alcohol) had unprescribed prescription opioids in their systems. Researchers segmented the drivers into four subclasses: Class 1 (5 percent) tested positive for a wide range of substances; Class 2 (27 percent) used marijuana and cocaine; Class 3 (36 percent) used marijuana and nonmedical prescription opiate analgesics use; and Class 4 (32 percent) used nonmedical prescription opiate analgesics and benzodiazepines. Drivers in Class 2 were more likely to be under age 35 and far more likely to have a positive breath alcohol concentration than drivers in any other class.

Read more:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26562599

Colo. Governor Takes Steps to Safeguard Marijuana Crop
CBS News
November 17, 2015

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has ordered state agencies to destroy marijuana treated with unapproved pesticides, calling it a “threat to public safety” in his executive order. A company could destroy any affected marijuana voluntarily or face administrative actions by the state to force the destruction. No pesticides are approved for use on marijuana, since U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations do not identify pesticides for federally banned substances.

Read more:
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/governor-takes-steps-to-safeguard-marijuana-crop/

With Legalization Comes Litigation: Legal Marijuana Use Yields Failure to Warn Lawsuit
Arnold and Porter LLP
November 16, 2015

A Colorado marijuana grower was recently named a defendant in a first-of-its-kind class action lawsuit in which plaintiffs claim the grower failed to warn consumers its marijuana was treated with a fungicide known to break down into a carcinogen when ignited. In the absence of federal regulations, similar claims involving marijuana products are possible.

Read more:
http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=299e2793-f223-4b6f-a5a3-c979711ee59b

Plan to Prevent Marijuana Edible Overdoses, Colo. Experts Advise Other States
Celia Vimont, Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
November 18, 2015

Unintentional poisonings from marijuana edibles, especially among children, are a consequence of recreational marijuana legalization, experts are warning. Denver-area children’s hospitals saw 14 cases of pediatric exposures in the 2 years since legalization, compared with none in previous years. Tista Ghosh, deputy chief medical officer in the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, warns other states considering legalizing recreational marijuana to consider lessons learned in Colorado when making rules regarding edibles packaging and serving sizes. The state is looking to standardize warning labels for edibles and mandate that 10-milligram doses of tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical in marijuana that is most responsible for its psychological effects, be individually packaged. Colorado is also running educational campaigns following three high-profile deaths in which edibles were implicated.

Read more:
http://www.drugfree.org/join-together/plan-prevent-marijuana-edible-overdoses-colorado-experts-advise-states/

Florida Legislators May Let Terminally Ill Patients Use Marijuana
WKMG
November 17, 2015

A subcommittee within the Florida House of Representatives has approved legislation that would allow patients to use marijuana if they have less than a year to live. A similar bill is being debated in the Senate. The state earlier this year enacted a “right to try” law, which shields physicians from being punished for providing terminally ill patients with access to investigational drugs, biological products, or devices that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Read more:
http://www.clickorlando.com/news/florida-legislators-may-let-terminally-ill-patients-use-marijuana/36496560

[Video] 11 TV Hill: How Medical Marijuana Will Work in Maryland
Jason Newton, WBAL
November 15, 2015

Hannah Byron, executive director of the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, explains how medical marijuana will work in the state. The state approved medical marijuana over 2 years ago; however, it is just beginning to issuing business licenses to dispensaries and cultivation centers. (Duration: 8:18 minutes)

Read more:
http://www.wbaltv.com/tv/11-tv-hill/11-tv-hill-how-medical-marijuana-will-work-in-maryland/36385638

What Will Legal Marijuana Cost Employers?
Nicole Jupe, Quest Diagnostics
November 2, 2015

This National Families in Action and Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) white paper examines the complexities that employers face with the legalization of medical or recreational marijuana and how the changing legal landscape will affect employers. It organizes the issue into five areas—litigation, productivity, safety, flexibility, and compliance—and suggests ways employers can help protect their workplaces, including by staying informed about state marijuana legislation and various forms of marijuana products.

Read more:
http://nationalfamilies.org/reports/What_Will_Legal_Marijuana_Cost_Employers--Complete.pdf
http://blog.employersolutions.com/what-will-legal-marijuana-cost-employers/

International

Drug Driving: Are Your Meds Affecting You?
EurekAlert
November 16, 2015

A road safety researcher at Queensland University of Technology’s Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety warns medication labels on the dangers of driving are not enough to stop people from getting behind the wheel. Australia’s medication warning labels and pharmacist advice were the primary methods to control drug driving but required the user to self-assess their impairment. Research shows drivers are unable to accurately self-assess their impairment when taking medication and are overconfident in assessing their abilities. Impairment can also be compounded when combined with other medications or alcohol.

Read more:
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-11/quot-dda111615.php

Mothers Against Drunk Driving of Canada Plans Campaign Against Drug-Impaired Driving
Jeremy Simes, Metro Calgary
November 13, 2015

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) of Canada plans to launch campaigns involving drug-impaired driving as part of its 5-year strategy. MADD anticipates the government plans to legalize marijuana. It will launch the campaigns once it further researches the effects of driving while high.

Read more:
http://www.metronews.ca/news/calgary/2015/11/13/madd-canada-plans-campaign-against-drug-impaired-driving.html

Northeast/Mid-Atlantic News

Mass. Lawmakers Approve Bill Criminalizing Fentanyl Trafficking
David Scharfenberg, The Boston Globe
November 18, 2015

Massachusetts lawmakers have approved a bill criminalizing fentanyl trafficking. The law imposes a prison sentence of up to 20 years.

Read more:
https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/11/18/fentanylnib/
8HpVAYhUdqnz7LEdOzaZjJ/story.html


Vt. Health Commissioner Warns of Dangerous Leftover Prescription Drugs
Vermont Health Department
November 16, 2015

Released in time for Thanksgiving, Vermont Health Commissioner Harry Chen warns in a 30-second advertisement that prescription drugs are “Vermont’s most dangerous leftovers.” A second advertisement promotes the use of naloxone. The public service announcements were created in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Justice. They will be posted on the Health Department website, and local stations will be asked to air the video and audio ads.

Read more:
http://vtdigger.org/2015/11/16/health-commissioner-warns-of-dangerous-leftover-prescription-drugs/

Report Tallies Nearly 2,500 Drug Deaths in Pa. in 2014
WTAE
November 18, 2015

Nearly half of the 2,497 overdose deaths in Pennsylvania last year involved heroin, according to a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration report. Philadelphia and its four surrounding counties saw 1,080 overdose deaths, and Allegheny County (of which Pittsburgh is the country seat) saw 307. Many involved heroin mixed with pain relievers or anti-anxiety drugs. Two thirds of those who died were over age 30, four fifths were white, and two thirds were male.

Read more:
http://www.wtae.com/news/dea-report-on-drug-deaths-in-pennsylvania/36513974

Mass. Nurses Group Says Opioid Bill Would Overburden Emergency Departments
Anne-Gerard Flynn, MassLive
November 16, 2015

The Massachusetts Nurses Association has released a statement calling the proposal to curb the state’s prescription drug misuse and heroin use epidemic a “disservice” to the target population. The proposal would allow doctors to hospitalize drug addicts involuntarily for up to 72 hours without a court order if they pose a danger to themselves or others. The nurses group warned this will overburden emergency departments that are already overcrowded with patients suffering from mental illness and addiction.

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


Pa. Health Secretary Leads Meeting on Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Reforms
PR Newswire
November 17, 2015

Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Karen Murphy convened the fifth meeting of the “Achieving Better Care by Monitoring All Prescriptions” Program (ABC–MAP) governance board. The board’s goal is to develop policies and procedures to expand the state’s prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP). The discussion focused on law enforcement aspects of curbing opioid misuse at a state and local level, including equipping patrol cars with naloxone. Secretary Murphy also shared an update on the search for a PDMP director and vendor procurement process.

Read more:
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/pennsylvania-secretary-of-health-leads-achieving-better-care-by-monitoring-all-prescriptions-program-abc-map-board-meeting-with-focus-on-law-enforcement-300180328.html

South News

Drug Test Failures on the Rise in W.V. Coal Mines
Kathryn Ghion, WBOY
November 19, 2015

So far this year, 252 coal miners have failed drug tests in West Virginia—up each year since the state made testing mandatory in 2013. The Office of Miners’ Health Safety and Training decertified the miners and sent letters informing them of their legal rights. Miners have the option of going to a substance use treatment facility to get their certification reinstated. After treatment, the case goes before an appeals board, which either rules for the miner or the Office of Miners’ Health Safety and Training.

Read more:
http://www.wboy.com/story/30544262/drug-test-failures-on-the-rise-in-wv-coal-mines

Ark. Legislative Committee to Study Prescription Drug Abuse
Isabella Moller, KARK
November 18, 2015

At the urging of Arkansas State Representative Justin Loyd, a pharmacist, the House Committee on Public Health, Welfare, and Labor will study patient access to opioid drugs. It will review opioids and their impact on hospitals, substance abuse clinics, and society. A report is scheduled for February 2016.

Read more:
http://www.arkansasmatters.com/news/local-news/prescription-drug-abuse-proposed-study-to-combat-issue

Midwest News

Ex-Pharmacist in Ohio Tells Story of Addiction
Allison Reamer, The Courier
November 19, 2015

Chris Hart, a former pharmacist, began taking non-prescribed pain relievers while on the job. Hart experimented with prescriptions and often moved to different jobs. He eventually became addicted to sleeping pills. In 1993, when an inspector for the state pharmacy board in Ohio inquired about missing pills, Hart confessed to stealing medication. After more than 7 years of sobriety and getting back his pharmacy license, Hart relapsed. He was caught stealing pills again, spent 60 days in jail for convictions on three counts of medication theft, and forfeited his license to practice. Hart has been sober since Jan. 20, 2004. He teaches “Chemical Dependency and the Pharmacist” to pharmacy students at five universities.

Read more:
http://thecourier.com/local-news/2015/11/19/ex-pharmacist-tells-story-of-addiction/

West News

Prescription Deaths Fall, but Heroin Deaths on the Rise in Washington
Bonney Lake–Summer Courier-Herald
November 17, 2015

Deaths from prescription narcotics in Washington have decreased from a peak of 512 in 2008 to 319 in 2014, according to 2014 state vital statistic records. At the same time, heroin deaths increased to 293 in 2014—about twice as many as in 2008.

Read more:
http://www.blscourierherald.com/news/351086911.html

Prescriptions Play Major Role in Hawaii’s Overdose Epidemic
Allyson Blair, KHNL
November 18, 2015

In Hawaii, drug overdoses kill more people than guns, car accidents, or drownings. Doctors there treat close to 4,300 people for overdoses each year. In 2014, Hawaii had 155 fatal drug overdoses—three quarters of which were accidental—its highest total since 2011. (Includes video: 2:01 minutes)

Read more:
http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/30554844/prescriptions-play-major-role-in-states-overdose-epidemic

Grant Awards

Page County (Va.) Group Gets Six-Figure Grant
Katie Caler, WHSV
November 18, 2015

The Page Alliance for Community Action in Page County, Va., has received a $625,000 grant to prevent substance misuse among the county’s youth.

Read more:
http://www.whsv.com/content/news/Page-County-Group-Gets-Six-Figure-Grant-351518281.html

Grant Announcements

Research on Prescription Opioid Use, Opioid Prescribing, and Associated Heroin Risk (RFA-CE-16-003)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Deadline: February 18, 2016

The purposes of this research are to investigate the patterns of prescription opioid pain reliever use and misuse and transitions from misuse to heroin use, whether opioid prescribing is a risk factor for heroin overdose, and whether policies and strategies aimed at curbing inappropriate prescribing are associated with increased or decreased risk for heroin overdose.

Read more:
http://www.grants.gov/view-opportunity.html?oppId=280151

National Institute on Drug Abuse Challenge: Addiction Research: There’s an App for That
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute on Drug Abuse
Submission period begins November 3, 2015, 9 a.m. EST.
Submission period ends April 29, 2016, 11:59 p.m. EST.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse aims to develop novel mobile applications (apps) for future addiction research explicitly created on Apple’s ResearchKit framework. ResearchKit is open-source software that makes it easy for researchers and developers to create apps for specific biomedical research questions by circumventing development of custom code. The ideal team will have expertise to ask unique and clinically meaningful research questions and design a human research study which will allow for better understanding of the issues related to drug misuse and addiction and strong core competency to use the ResearchKit framework to enable the proposed research question/design and app development.

Read more:
http://nida.ideascale.com/a/pages/addiction-research-theres-an-app-for-that

Partnership for Clean Competition
Pre-applications due November 1
Full applications due December 1
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

New Jersey Health Initiative 2016: Building a Culture of Health in New Jersey—Communities Moving to Action, Round Two
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

Police Collect over 200 Pounds of Prescription Drugs
The Simi Valley Acorn (California)
November 20, 2015
http://www.simivalleyacorn.com/news/2015-11-20/Editorials/Police_collect_over_200_pounds_of_prescription_dru.html

Drug Drop Boxes Coming to All Baltimore Police Stations
Andrea K. McDaniel, The Baltimore Sun (Maryland)
November 16, 2015
http://www.baltimoresun.com/health/blog/bal-drug-drop-box-expansion-story.html

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 & 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.