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September 11, 2013

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    SAMHSA Prescription Drug Abuse Weekly Update

    ISSUE 36  |  SEPTEMBER 2013

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.
Featured Articles   ►Journal Articles    ►News and Reports
Other State and Local News    ►Webinar   ►Call for Submissions
Call for Public Comment    ►Save the Date   
Upcoming Conferences and Workships

Featured Articles

C. Katz, R. El–Gabalawy, K.M. Keyes, S.S. Martins, and J. Sareen. 2013. "Risk Factors for Incident Nonmedical Prescription Opioid Use and Abuse and Dependence: Results from a Longitudinal Nationally Representative Sample." Drug and Alcohol Dependence 132(1–2):107–13.

Researchers used data from Waves 1 and 2 of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (n = 34,653; ≥ 20 years old). Mental disorders were assessed using the Alcohol Use Disorder and Associated Disabilities Interview Schedule–DSM-IV edition. Physical conditions were based on self-reports of physician diagnoses. Multiple logistic regression models examined associations between mental and physical health predictors at Wave 1 and their association to incident nonmedical prescription opioid use (NMPOU) and abuse/dependence disorders at Wave 2. After adjusting for sociodemographics, Axis I and II mental disorders and physical conditions, the presence of mental disorders (i.e., mood, personality, and substance use disorders), physical conditions (i.e., increasing number of physical conditions, any physical condition, arteriosclerosis or hypertension, or cardiovascular disease and arthritis), and sociodemographic factors (i.e., sex and marital status) at Wave 1 positively predicted incident abuse/dependence at Wave 2. Comorbid disorders increased the risk of NMPOU and abuse/dependence.

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N. Dasgupta, C. Freifeld, J.S. Brownstein, C.M. Menone, H.L. Surratt, L. Poppish, J.L. Green, E.J. Lavonas, and R.C. Dart. 2013. "Crowdsourcing Black Market Prices for Prescription Opioids." Journal of Medical Internet Research 15(8):e178. doi:10.2196/jmir.2810.

Researchers used a crowdsourcing research Web site (StreetRx) to solicit data on the price site visitors paid for diverted prescription opioid analgesics during the first half of 2012. These results were compared with a survey of law enforcement officers in the Researched Abuse, Diversion, and Addiction-Related Surveillance System, and actual transaction prices on a "dark Internet" marketplace (Silk Road). Geometric means and 95 percent confidence intervals were calculated for comparing prices per milligram of drug in U.S. dollars. A secondary analysis compared prices per milligram of morphine equivalent using standard equianalgesic dosing conversions. A total of 954 price reports were obtained from crowdsourcing, 737 from law enforcement, and 147 from the online marketplace. Correlations between the three data sources were highly linear, with Spearman's rho of 0.93 (p < .001) between crowdsourced and law enforcement and 0.98 (p < .001) between crowdsourced and online marketplace. On StreetRx, mean prices per milligram were $3.29 hydromorphone, $2.13 buprenorphine, $1.57 oxymorphone, $0.97 oxycodone, $0.96 methadone, $0.81 hydrocodone, $0.52 morphine, and $0.05 tramadol. The only significant difference between data sources was morphine, with a Drug Diversion price of $0.67/mg (95 percent CI 0.59–0.75) and a Silk Road price of $0.42/mg (95 percent CI 0.37–0.48). Street prices generally followed clinical equianalgesic potency. Crowdsourced data provide a valid estimate of the street price of diverted prescription opioids. The (ostensibly free) black market was able to accurately predict the relative pharmacologic potency of opioid molecules.

Editor's Note: Depending on dosage, mean street price per pill would be $6.58–$26.32 for hydromorphone, $4.26–$17.04 for buprenorphine, $7.85–$31.40 for oxymorphone, $4.85–$14.55 for oxycodone, $2.40–$38.40 for methadone, $2.03–$8.10 for hydrocodone, $5.20–$15.60 for morphine, and $2.50–$5 for tramadol. Except for buprenorphine and methadone, a high-dosage user could legitimately be prescribed 180 of the largest-dosage pills per month with a street value exceeding $2,500–$5,500.

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Journal Articles

D.G. Antoine, E.C. Strain, D.A. Tompkins, and G.E. Bigelow. 2013. "Opioid Abusers' Ability to Differentiate an Opioid from Placebo in Laboratory Challenge Testing." Drug and Alcohol Dependence 132(1–2):369–72.

Researchers collected data from 23 participants in the qualification phase of an abuse liability study. Opioid-abusing participants received 30 mg oxycodone and placebo orally on separate days and were characterized as qualifiers (vs. non-qualifiers) if their peak visual analog scale liking rating for oxycodone was at least 20 points higher than the placebo's peak rating. Groups were compared on demographic characteristics, drug history, and physiologic, subject, and observer ratings. Qualifiers represented 61 percent of participants; non-qualifiers represented 39 percent. Groups had similar demographic characteristics, drug use histories, and pupillary constriction responses. However, unlike qualifiers, non-qualifiers had an exaggerated placebo response for the liking score (p = 0.03) and an attenuated oxycodone response for the liking score (p < 0.0001). Non-qualifiers' failure to differentiate oxycodone versus placebo was evident for subject and observer ratings. Different subjective responses to identical stimuli support the use of a qualification phase in abuse liability assessments. This study also documents certain opioid abusers' failure to differentiate 30 mg of oxycodone from placebo.

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M. Betses and T. Brennan. 2013. "Perspective: Abusive Prescribing of Controlled Substances—A Pharmacy View." The New England Journal of Medicine. doi:10.1056/NEJMp1308222.

CVS recently instituted a program of analysis and actions to limit inappropriate prescribing at CVS Pharmacy. The program was intended to identify and take action against physicians and other prescribers who exhibited extreme patterns of "high risk" drug use relative to other prescribers. CVS aimed to minimize the potential for falsely identifying legitimate prescribers (false positives), accepting that doing so might result in the failure to identify some suspicious prescribers. They identified high-risk prescribers by benchmarking them against others on several parameters, then used data from submitted prescriptions between March 2010 and January 2012 for hydrocodone, oxycodone, alprazolam, methadone, and carisoprodol. Prescribers were compared with others in the same geographic region who had the same listed specialty. CVS initially identified 42 outliers from a database of nearly 1 million prescribers. Seventeen of the 42 failed to respond to three letters requesting an interview, despite the indication that failure to speak with CVS would stop the clinician's controlled-substance prescriptions from being filled. Eight prescribers sent a written response; one response was sufficiently detailed to convince CVS the prescribing was appropriate. The remaining responses were inadequate and prescribers refused to engage in a telephone discussion. Two prescribers retained an attorney, and future discussion occurred through legal channels. CVS considered these 26 clinicians nonresponsive. Fifteen were contacted by phone and five provided legitimate reasons why their practice had the identified characteristics. The remaining 10 maintained their approach was legitimate but that they did not have to provide an explanation, or averred they planned to curb their narcotics prescribing. CVS decided not to fill the 10 clinicians’ controlled-substance prescriptions through CVS pharmacies. The same approach was taken for the 26 nonresponsive clinicians. Nine months later, CVS has received only three requests for reinstatement to its pharmacy chain.

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E. Ericsson, L. Bradvik, and A. Hakansson. 2013. "Mortality, Causes of Death and Risk Factors for Death Among Primary Amphetamine Users in the Swedish Criminal Justice System." Substance Use and Misuse. doi:10.3109/10826084.2013.825921.

This study examined mortality and predictors of death among 1,396 primary amphetamine users (85 percent males) who were interviewed with the Addiction Severity Index in the Swedish criminal justice system during 2000–06 and followed through 2008. Forty-nine clients were deceased (standardized mortality ratio 4.1 [3.0–5.4]); at least 84 percent of deaths were violent or drug related (12 percent suicides); and Cox regression analysis indicated death was associated with frequent use of sedatives and less frequent use of amphetamine. No female deaths were observed; death and male gender were associated in binary analysis. Implications for diagnosis and treatment are discussed in this article.

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K.P. Hill, H.E. Bennett, M.L. Griffin, H.S. Connery, G.M. Fitzmaurice, G. Subramaniam, G.E. Woody, and R.D. Weiss. 2013. "Association of Cannabis Use with Opioid Outcomes Among Opioid-Dependent Youth." Drug and Alcohol Dependence 132(1–2):342–45.

In the main study, researchers randomized opioid treatment participants (n = 152) aged 15–21 years to receive psychosocial treatments and a 12-week course of buprenorphine–naloxone with a dose taper to 0 in weeks 9–12 or a 2-week detoxification with buprenorphine–naloxone. Drug use was assessed by self-report and urine drug screen at baseline and during study weeks 1–12. The association between cannabis and opioid use at weeks 4, 8, and 12 was examined using logistic regression models. Participants reported a median of 3.0 days (range = 0–30) cannabis use in the past month; half (50.3 percent; n = 77) reported occasional use, one third reported no use (33.1 percent; n = 50), and one sixth reported daily cannabis use (16.6 percent; n = 25). Median lifetime cannabis use was 4.0 years (range = 0–11) and median age of use initiation was 15.0 years (range = 9–21). Neither past cannabis use (age of initiation and use in the month prior to baseline) nor concurrent use was associated with level of opioid use during treatment. Overall, cannabis use had no association with opioid use over 12 weeks in this sample of opioid-dependent youth.

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A.M. Holbrook, H.E. Jones, S.H. Heil, P.R. Martin, S.M. Stine, G. Fischer, M.G. Coyle, and K. Kaltenbach. 2013. "Induction of Pregnant Women onto Opioid-Agonist Maintenance Medication: An Analysis of Withdrawal Symptoms and Study Retention." Drug and Alcohol Dependence 132(1–2):329–34.

Researchers conducted a secondary analysis of data from 175 opioid-dependent pregnant women inducted onto buprenorphine or methadone subsequent to stabilization on morphine sulfate. ANOVA analyses were conducted to determine differences between mean peak Clinical Institute Narcotic Assessment (CINA) withdrawal scale scores by medication and completion status. General linear mixed models were fitted to compare trajectories of CINA scores between methadone and buprenorphine conditions, and between study dropouts and completers within the buprenorphine condition. Both buprenorphine and methadone patients experienced withdrawal categorized as minimal by the CINA scoring system. Significant differences in mean peak CINA scores for the first 72 hours of induction were found between the methadone (4.5; SD = 0.4) and buprenorphine conditions (6.9; SD = 0.4), with buprenorphine patients exhibiting higher mean peak CINA scores [F (3, 165) = 9.70, p < 0.001]. The trajectory of CINA scores showed buprenorphine patients exhibited a sharper increase in mean CINA scores than methadone patients [F (1, 233) = 8.70, p = 0.004]. There were no differences in mean peak CINA scores [F (3, 77) = 0.08, p = 0.52] or in trajectory of CINA scores [F (1, 166) = 0.42, p = 0.52] between buprenorphine study dropouts and completers. While mean peak CINA score was significantly higher in the buprenorphine condition than the methadone condition, neither medication condition experienced substantial withdrawal symptoms.

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News and Reports

Judge OKs Law to Make Firms Pay for Drug Disposal
San Francisco Chronicle
September 4, 2013

A federal judge dismissed a case challenging an Alameda County law that requires the pharmaceutical industry to pay for collection and disposal of unused prescription drugs. The district court judge ruled the county ordinance does not discriminate against out-of-state companies. The law takes effect in November.

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Attention Opioid Addicts: Studies in Progress Could Save You from Fatal Overdose
September 3, 2013

In August, Lightlake Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical firm, announced a partnership with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to help create and expand an intranasal delivery system that would make naloxone easier to use and more accessible for first responders, paramedics, and families of addicts. In the fall, NIDA will sponsor a 2-week clinical study designed to evaluate the pharmacokinetic properties of Lightlake's intranasal naloxone application. NIDA plans to file an Investigational New Drug application for a larger study. The goal of the partnership between NIDA and Lightlake is to have a Food and Drug Administration–approved intranasal naloxone solution that can be marketed within 12 to 18 months.

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Initiation of 'Project Lazarus' Reduces Overdose Deaths
Monthly Prescribing Reference
September 5, 2013

Two years after the start of Project Lazarus and the Chronic Pain Initiative Project, the overdose death rate dropped 69 percent in Wilkes County, North Carolina, said Project Lazarus President and Chief Executive Officer Fred Wells Brason II at PAINWeek. The Project Lazarus model can be conceptualized as a wheel with three core components: public awareness, coalition action, and data and evaluation. This forms "The Hub," which must always be present, with seven other components that can be initiated based on a community's specific needs. Coalitions should form strong ties and garner support from key community sectors to make strategic plans and design locally appropriate interventions for substance abuse and diversion. Project Lazarus provides training and technical assistance to community groups and clinicians throughout North Carolina.

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Results from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings and Detailed Tables
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
September 3, 2013

This report and detailed tables present a first look at results from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an annual survey of the civilian, noninstitutionalized U.S. population age 12 and older. The percentage of people who reported using prescription-type psychotherapeutic drugs nonmedically in the past month in 2012 (2.6 percent) was similar to the percentage in 2011 (2.4 percent) and in all years from 2002 through 2010. Among 12- to 17-year-old youth, the rate of current nonmedical use of prescription-type drugs declined from 4 percent in 2002 to 2.8 percent in 2012, and the rate of nonmedical pain reliever use declined from 3.2 to 2.2 percent. In 2012, the self-reported rate of current nonmedical use of psychotherapeutic drugs among 18- to 25-year-olds was 5.3 percent—similar to 2010 and 2011 rates, but lower than 2003–07 rates. More than 40 percent of those 50 and older who abused drugs were misusers of prescription drugs. In 2012, approximately 2.4 million people age 12 and older used psychotherapeutics nonmedically for the first time, which equates to 6,700 initiates per day. The annual number of initiators has been stable since 2002. More than one in four people who began abusing illicit drugs in 2012 were using prescription drugs nonmedically (26 percent, including 17 percent misusing pain relievers, 4.1 percent misusing tranquilizers, 3.6 percent misusing stimulants, and 1.3 percent misusing sedatives).

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Related Press Release

The Partnership at Drugfree.org Comments on National Survey on Drug Use and Health, Statement of Steve Pasierb, President and CEO
The Wall Street Journal
September 4, 2013

Steve Pasierb, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Partnership at Drugfree.org, shares his views on the recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The new data show prescription medicine abuse remains a pervasive problem among youth, and it is a health concern that continues to have a devastating impact on the lives of children. The Partnership at Drugfree.org is helping educate others about the dangers of prescription drugs with its Medicine Abuse Project. The goal is to prevent half a million teens from abusing prescription medicine by 2017—providing resources to parents, educators, healthcare providers, and law enforcement officials about the growing problem of teen medicine abuse.

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Other State and Local News

Older Americans Are Abusing Drugs More Now Than Ever Before
September 6, 2013

This transcript and video (1:53 minutes) discuss the increase in prescription drug abuse among elderly people. An expert in Miami Valley, Ohio, said three out of 10 older people are taking at least five prescription drugs multiple times a day, and some are even abusing the drugs. In the last 10 years, the nation has seen a nearly 100 percent increase in emergency room visits from elderly people because of prescription drug abuse, according to Andrea Hoff with Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services.

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Pharmacies, Doctors Fail to Stop Narcotic Shopping Spree
CBC News
September 2, 2013

This article and video (3:20 minutes) discuss how a woman stole two sisters' identities to obtain 23,000 narcotic pills from January 2007 to January 2013. The prescriptions were written by several physicians and dispensed at small and large pharmacies around British Columbia's Lower Mainland. Records showed 260 individual prescriptions were dispensed with an average of 90 pills each, mostly for oxycodone. Two doctors prescribed almost 4,500 pills in two 1-year periods. At one point, 80 oxycodone pills were prescribed to the woman, plus another 60 pills 2 days later. The fraud stopped when the alleged impersonator was charged with stealing a bottle of 208 oxycodone pills after the prescription had been filled. The sisters are going public with their story and want someone held accountable.

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State Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Waiting on Grant Funding
Concord Monitor
September 2, 2013

New Hampshire officials are waiting to hear if the state will receive $400,000 in federal funding to establish a prescription monitoring program. New Hampshire would become the 49th state in the country with the program, which could be operational next summer. Physicians must register for the program but they are not required to use it, and pharmacists are required to submit information weekly. Police will be able to access information only with a court order; patients will be able to request their personal information from the database.

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SBI and Local Investigators See Rise in Prescription Drug Thefts at NC Assisted Living Homes
Daily Journal
September 1, 2013

North Carolina assisted living homes are establishing procedures to prevent theft of pills meant for residents. The State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) has 11 agents focusing on investigating doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare workers who divert prescription drugs from patients. An SBI spokesperson estimates at least 20 percent of drug cases worked by field agents involve prescription drugs. Agent Ken Razza investigated 20 cases in the first 7 months of 2013, compared with 17 cases in all of 2012. He said the actual number of incidents is likely much higher because it does not include home healthcare providers or diversions by traveling nurses.

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Annual Indiana Youth Survey: Students Asked About Synthetic Marijuana, Prescription Drugs
Indiana University
September 3, 2013

This media release discusses findings from Indiana's 23rd Annual Survey of Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Use, which asked questions about risk factors for prescription drug use. The rate of students reporting use of prescription drugs that were not prescribed to them ranged from a low of 1.9 percent for 6th graders to a high of 14.3 percent for 12th graders. The rate of students who reported buying prescription drugs from friends ranged from 0.2 percent for 6th graders to 2.3 percent for 12th graders. For students who reported getting prescription drugs from family members, the rate ranged from 0.2 percent for 6th graders to 0.5 percent for 10th graders and 12th graders.

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Drug Overdose Deaths in New Mexico Decline in 2012
The Kansas City Star
September 4, 2013

New Mexico health officials recently announced drug overdose deaths in New Mexico are decreasing on the whole, but fatal prescription drug overdoses are increasing. They declined to give details on the numbers; however, they said around 1.6 million prescriptions for opioid analgesics were filled in New Mexico from July 2012 through June 2013. In 2012, the New Mexico Health Department reported 486 deaths—a 7 percent decrease from the previous year.

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Las Vegas Parents Urged to Be Vigilant of Children's Drug Abuse
Las Vegas Sun
September 4, 2013

Detectives with Las Vegas Metropolitan Police recently gave a drug awareness presentation to residents at the Metro Downtown Area Command. They urged parents to lock their medicine cabinets, count their pills, and deposit unused prescriptions at a police station. Young people look for prescription drugs such as OxyContin or Xanax to get high. Once the supply runs out or no longer provides the high they crave, they resort to using heroin. The drug is cheaper and dealers target schools to make it easier for students to purchase. The detectives said drug prevention comes down to awareness and education.

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Pharmacy Employees Take More Than One Third of Prescription Drugs Stolen in Maine
Maine Sun Journal
September 4, 2013

The Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting of state disciplinary records revealed that from 2003 to 2013, 16 pharmacists and 41 pharmacy technicians lost their licenses for stealing drugs from pharmacy shelves or patients whose prescriptions they filled. More than one third of the prescription drugs stolen from Maine pharmacies are taken by employees. One pharmacy technician stole 737 tablets of Suboxone, 8,724 tablets of hydrocodone, 600 tablets of phentermine, and 410 tablets of alprazolam. In another case, a pharmacist forged a prescription for Vicodin for his bulldog, then dispensed the pills to himself, according to state records. Almost every Maine pharmacist and pharmacy technician caught and disciplined for stealing medications said they did it to feed their drug habit. Besides a harsher punishment, the pharmacy board has proposed that in the next 3 to 5 years, everyone will have to be a certified pharmacy technician.

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Woman Charged with Selling Pain Pills at Work
The Medina-Gazette
September 6, 2013

Medina County Drug Task Force agents arrested a 53-year-old Ohio woman accused of selling prescription drugs at work. An employee at a custom rubber molding company told the owner who contacted the police. During an investigation, agents saw the woman selling oxycodone to another employee in the parking lot of the business. She was charged with trafficking oxycodone, a fourth-degree felony punishable by up to 18 months in prison. The employee who was buying the drugs has not yet been charged.

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State's New Prescription Pain Pill System Snags Apparent Doctor Shoppers
September 1, 2013

In its first 3 days, New York State's Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing (I-STOP) discovered at least 200 instances of apparent doctor shopping. Statewide, 16,352 healthcare providers and pharmacists conducted 162,719 searches during that time, according to the Department of Health. The new I-STOP system also began requiring real-time reporting by pharmacists when prescriptions for opioids are filled.

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YADAH Unveils Initiative to Fight Prescription Drug Abuse
September 6, 2013

Arizona's Young Adult Development Authority of Havasu (YADAH) hosted a town hall unveiling its initiative to reduce prescription drug abuse in Mohave County. Members of Arizona's Criminal Justice Commission (ACJC) presented the proposed initiative, which requires all prescribers to use the prescription drug monitoring program and will develop a best practices handbook for all state prescribers. The effort also placed a prescription drug drop box at every police department in America (currently there is one drop box in Havasu). ACJC plans to debut the handbook in January.

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Substance Abuse Program to Expand into Ninth-Grade Curriculum at Northern Valley Regional High School
North Jersey Media Group
September 5, 2013

The Northern Valley Regional High School District is adding 8 hours of substance education and awareness programming to the 9th grade health curriculum at Demarest and Old Tappan High Schools in New Jersey. The curriculum will include a variety of topics, such as understanding the social pressures students face; use and abuse of drugs and their impact on individuals, families, and communities; strategies to help treat substance abuse; and short- and long-term effects associated with prescription and over-the-counter drug use.

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DiGirolamo Pitches Bills to Help Curb Drug Overdoses
September 3, 2013

Pennsylvania Representative DiGirolamo authored two House bills to reduce prescription drug abuse statewide. HB 317 would create a prescription drug registry to help prevent "doctor shopping" among patients, and HB 1627 would create a "Good Samaritan" law protecting those who call for medical help when a person has overdosed. Pennsylvania's prescription drug monitoring program is limited to law enforcement and applies only to Schedule II controlled substances. The bill would expand the database to include nearly every addictive drug and narcotic in Schedules II through V and extend access to doctors and pharmacies. The General Assembly broke for summer recess before voting on HB 317.

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Pill Stoppers: City Collects Excess Meds
Reporter Newspaper
September 4, 2013

In August, Georgia's Sandy Springs Police launched a pill drop-off program. Residents can access the box Monday through Friday inside police headquarters. The police chief said the public response has been impressive, with the MedReturn box filling up each week.

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Albany County Official Arrested for Illegal Prescription Drug Possession
September 3, 2013

Albany County Deputy Executive Christine Quinn was arrested for attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance and a misdemeanor drug charge. Court records show Quinn was prescribed an 84-day supply of Ritalin on February 5. She returned to the same nurse practitioner on March 5 and claimed the pharmacy would only give her a 30-day supply. The nurse practitioner then issued her a second prescription for 270 pills. She is the first prescription holder to be referred to the Albany County District Attorney and charged under a new public health law for doctor shopping. Quinn pleaded not guilty and was released under the supervision of the Albany County Probation Department in New York.

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Overview of the Opioid Analgesic Epidemic
October 16, 2013
3–4 pm (EDT)

This Children's Safety Network Webinar will be presented by Andrew Kolodny, President of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing. He will discuss the factors that led to sharp increases in opioid overdose deaths and opioid addiction as well as strategies for bringing the epidemic under control.

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Call for Submissions

CADCA Accepting Presentation Submissions for 2014 National Leadership Forum
Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America
September 5, 2013

The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) is accepting presentation submissions for its 2014 National Leadership Forum, February 3–6, 2014, in National Harbor, Maryland. Presentations will be offered during 75-minute workshops on February 4 and 6. CADCA’s Forum is the largest training conference for community drug prevention leaders, treatment professionals and researchers, and SAMHSA's 10th Prevention Day.

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Call for Public Comment

Provide Feedback on the National Action Plan for Adverse Drug Event Prevention
Open public comment period: September 4 to October 3, 2013

Adverse drug events are the largest contributor to hospital-related complications, and account for more than 3.5 million physician office visits each year. As a result of increased attention to reduce and prevent dangers associated with adverse drug events, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in partnership with the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Federal Bureau of Prisons, has developed the National Action Plan for Adverse Drug Event Prevention. HHS is seeking feedback from a wide array of stakeholders, including organizations and professional groups, on the draft version of the plan.


Save the date

DEA's National Take-Back Initiative
October 26, 2013

Upcoming Conferences and Workshops

Educational Forum on Prescription Drug Abuse for Healthcare Providers
September 14, 2013
North Chesterfield, Virginia

Pharmacy Diversion Awareness Conference
September 21 and 22, 2013
Boston, Massachusetts

National Conference on Addiction Disorders 2013
September 21–25, 2013
Anaheim, California

Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program National Meeting
September 25–27, 2013
Washington, District of Columbia

2013 National Safety Council Congress and Expo
Congress: September 28-October 4, 2013
Expo: September 30–October 2, 2013
Chicago, Illinois

4th Annual Executive Forum on Creating a Culture of Health and Wellness
October 7–8, 2013
Chicago, Illinois

2013 American Association for Treatment of Opioid Dependence Conference
November 9–13, 2013
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

11th Annual World Health Care Congress
April 7–9, 2014
National Harbor, Maryland
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.
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