LOCAL OPIOID EVENTS

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OPIOID NEWS

January 30, 2019
States Will Need More Opioid Funding
State and local health officials are afraid that treatment programs for opioid addiction could fall short without more funding, especially in states that haven’t expanded Medicaid.
 
More than a decade into an opioid overdose epidemic that’s costing the nation at least $78 billion a year, emergency federal dollars have kindled local victories. But state and local officials say they need sustainable funding for what they expect to be a long-term struggle to provide effective treatment for legions of people addicted to opioids.
To read the full story as reported by The Pew Charitable Trusts, click here.
November 1, 2018
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CDC Releases Evidence-Based Strategies
Guide for Preventing Opioid Overdoses
 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released Evidence-Based Strategies for Preventing Opioid Overdose: What’s Working in the United States, an introduction for public heath, law enforcement, local organizations, and others striving to serve their community. 
This document is intended to assist community leaders, local and regional organizers, non-profit groups, law enforcement, public health, and members of the public in understanding and navigating effective strategies to prevent opioid overdose in their communities.
To view the full guide on the CDC website, click here.
October 24, 2018
President Trump Signs Sweeping Opioid Legislation Package 
 
Almost a year after declaring the opioid epidemic a public health emergency, President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed into law a sweeping legislative package that lawmakers and public health experts believe will help curb the growing crisis in the United States.
The legislative package directs funding to federal agencies and states so they can make increasing access to addiction treatment a priority, and sets in place interventions to help mitigate the crisis, like preventing overprescription and training law enforcement to intercept shipments, including the deadly and highly addictive drug fentanyl, at U.S. borders.
To read the full story as reported by NBC News, click here.
October 24, 2018
State of Michigan Launches
Opioid Website 
 
The state of Michigan has launched a new website that combines the information from various departments on opioid addiction and treatment.
The website provides resources for a variety of audiences, including those suffering with addiction, their families, prescribers, pharmacists, and others who work in addiction treatment.
The website can be found at
https://www.michigan.gov/opioids
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October 22, 2018
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Local Nursing Professor is a Leader in Delivering Naloxone Training to Community
 

Gina Dahlem, clinical assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Nursing and WHI Opioid Project Member has delivered naloxone training to over 1,700 people working law enforcement, schools, various community agencies and the general public. 

You can read a University of Michigan article highlighting her work and also watch a video interview here.

October 15, 2018
WHI Opioid Project Hosts Washtenaw County's First Opioid Summit 
 
Addiction and health professionals, providers, prescribers, direct service workers, and members of the community came together to attend Washtenaw County's first opioid summit, hosted by the Washtenaw Health Initiative Opioid Project.
 
The summit was split into two sessions. The afternoon session, geared toward professionals, kicked off with an epidemiological discussion of opioid exposure in the county, before moving into presentations about recovery facts and myths and strategies for communicating with addicted patients. Students of EMU's Prevention Theatre Collective performed a series of engaging skits aimed at shifting attitudes and behaviors concerning drug use. The latter part of the session included presentations about matching level of care to severity in treating opioid use disorder, an overview of state legislation, and naloxone training. The session concluded with a presentation from the Opioid Project co-chairs that presented current state findings. The evening session, tailored for community members, also included an epidemiological discussion, followed by a discussion about prescription issues leading to opioid addiction, an inspirational story from a recovering person, and naloxone training. The session also concluded with a current state findings presentation.
Presentations and materials from the summit are posted on the Opioid Project's website here.
You can read about the summit and listen to audio coverage played on NPR-station WEMU 89.1 here.
September 19, 2018
Surgeon General Releases
Spotlight on Opioids
 

Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Spotlight on Opioids calls for a cultural shift in the way Americans talk about the opioid crisis and recommends actions that can prevent and treat opioid misuse and promote recovery.

The Spotlight – the Surgeon General’s newest update on opioid addiction – also provides the latest data on prevalence of substance misuse, opioid misuse, opioid use disorder and overdoses.

To read this report, click here.

September 17, 2018
How to Change Treatment for Opioid Addiction
 
A new Axios article discusses how our existing addiction treatment system is falling short and what policy changes could help fix it. It identifies three main priorities for improving access to treatment:
  • Get people into the system: People with opioid use disorder frequently end up in a hospital, or in the criminal justice system, but those institutions need to be better pipelines to help steer those patients or suspects into treatment programs.
     
  • Make the best treatments more accessible: That would include clearing away rules that limit access to medication-assisted therapy (MAT). “These medications should be cheaper and easier to access than heroin. Not the other way round," said Leo Beletsky, a Northeastern University law professor.
     
  • Make treatment more affordable: Experts called for tough enforcement of state and federal laws demanding parity between physical and mental health coverage, and said the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion is also a big help. Medicaid pays for more addiction treatment than all private insurance combined.
To read this full story as reported by Axios, click here.
August 23, 2018
New Study Suggests Comprehensive Approach is Needed to Combat Opioid Crisis
 

A new study, published in the American Journal of Public Health on Thursday by Stanford researchers Allison Pitt, Keith Humphreys, and Margaret Brandeau, tries to parse out how America can reduce the death toll. Using a mathematical model, the study brings together research and expert opinions to calculate the epidemic’s death toll and how different policy ideas can stem the toll.

To read this full story as reported by Vox, click here.

August 16, 2018
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2017: The Worst Year for
Drug Overdoses
 

According to preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 72,000 people in the US are predicted to have died from drug overdoses in 2017 — nearly 200 a day. That’s up from 2016, which was already a record year in which roughly 64,000 people in the US died from overdoses. At least two-thirds of drug overdose deaths in 2016 and 2017 were linked to opioids.

The rise in overdose deaths appears to be linked to fentanyl, a class of synthetic opioids. Over the past several years, fentanyl has supplanted the less potent heroin in illicit drug markets — where it’s misleadingly sold as heroin, laced into heroin to give the drug more kick, or sold on its own for people seeking an even stronger high. But because fentanyl and its analogs are more potent than heroin, the risk of overdose is significantly higher.

To read this full story as reported by Vox, click here.

July 2, 2018
Federal Legislation Related to Medicaid and Opioids: What to Watch

Both the U.S. House and Senate are advancing legislation to address the crisis. A new issue brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation summarizes current federal legislative proposals related to Medicaid’s role in the opioid epidemic and identifies issues to watch as final legislation takes shape.

The House has passed several bills culminating in the Substance Use Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act. The Senate Finance Committee has approved the Helping to End Addiction and Lessen (HEAL) Substance Use Disorders Act, which is expected to be considered by the full Senate later this year.

Any final legislation could affect state Medicaid programs, SUD treatment providers, health plans, beneficiaries and other stakeholders.

To see more of KFF’s work related to the opioid epidemic visit their special resource page on this topic.

June 16, 2018
SAMHSA Updates Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has updated its Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit, which contains resources about opioid overdose prevention.

The beginning outlines the opioid crisis and strategies that can be implemented to minimize overdose deaths. Such strategies include encouraging people to learn how to prevent/manage an opioid overdose, making sure there is access to treatment, having naloxone be easily accessible, encouraging the public to call 911, and encouraging those prescribing medications to utilize state prescription drug monitoring programs. 

The guide also has sections geared toward first responders, prescribers, patients, family members, and those in recovery.

Click here to view the guide.
 

June 14, 2018
FDA Approves First Generic Versions of
Suboxone Sublingual Film
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first generic versions of Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone) sublingual film (applied under the tongue) for the treatment of opioid dependence., which may increase access to treatment for opioid dependence. The agency is taking additional steps to advance the development of new FDA-approved treatments for opioid dependence and encourage their more widespread use. Read the press release here.
 
June 7, 2018
White House Releases Youth Opioid Prevention Ad Campaign
The White House has unveiled the first set of public awareness ads to combat the opioid crisis. This first set of ads is focused on preventing young adults, ages 18-24, from misusing or abusing opioids. 
 
This campaign was created in partnership with the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the Ad Council, and the Truth Initiative.  The Ad Council has a 75-year history of effective and iconic public awareness campaigns, and the Truth Initiative has a proven track record of changing youth health behaviors.
To view the ads and learn more about the campaign to combat the opioid epidemic, visit opioids.thetruth.com.
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