D.C. Update – October 10, 2014

News from NASADAD

  • NASADAD releases section-by-section analysis of opioid treatment bill by Rep. Foster (D-IL)
  • NASADAD attends panel discussion on tobacco sales

Around the Agencies

  • Hospitals urge DEA to delay substance disposal requirements
  • HHS to host a webinar on quality of life for patients with chronic conditions
  • ONDCP hosts substance abuse prevention Twitter chat
  • Toxicology associations release joint statement on naloxone
  • SAMHSA publishes paper on trauma and trauma-informed care
  • CDC releases data on alcohol involvement in drug overdose

News from the States

  • New Jersey Governor signs executive order establishing task force to address addiction – Promotes battle against stigma
  • NASADAD members present at National Academy of State Health Policy (NASHP) in Atlanta, GA

In the News

  • Wall Street Journal publishes article on efforts to develop safer Zohydro formulation
  • Republicans urge against taxpayer spending on insurance risk corridor program

 

News from NASADAD

NASADAD releases section-by-section analysis of opioid treatment bill by Rep. Foster (D-IL)

NASADAD released the analysis of a bill introduced by Rep. Foster (D-IL) in August. The bill, the “Expanding Opportunities for Recovery Act of 2014,” was co-sponsored by Rep. Etsy (D-CT), Rep. Maloney (D-NY), Rep. Ryan (D-OH), and Rep. Shea-Porter (D-NH). The legislation would authorize the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to award grants to States to increase access to treatment for substance use disorders. Grants would be administered by State substance abuse agencies. Services to be expanded must be evidence-based, including medication-assisted treatment, and must be clinically appropriate. Grant-funded services would be provided to individuals without health insurance or with insurance that does not adequately cover the services. The bill also states that grant funds may not be used to pay for the cost of more than 60 consecutive days of substance use disorder treatment.

NASADAD attends panel discussion on tobacco sales

Colleen Haller, Public Policy Associate attended the round table discussion, “‘Counter’ Marketing: An In-Depth Look at Tobacco Retail Sales,” on October 7th, hosted by Legacy as part of their Warner Series. The panelists discussed the implications of tobacco sales in a retail environment, as well as practices used by tobacco companies to promote retail sales. The panelists also discussed challenges to addressing tobacco sales, such as cheap, flavored cigars marketed towards minors and young adults. The discussion featured Elizabeth Kilgore, Director of Communications for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, who provided a local perspective, and Larry Merlo, President and CEO of CVS Health which recently went tobacco-free.

Moderator:

Toni Clarke, FDA Reporter, Reuters

Panelists:

Larry Merlo, President and CEO, CVS Health

Thomas R. Kirchner, Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies

Kurt Ribisl, PhD, Professor of Health Behavior, University of North Carolina

Elizabeth Kilgore, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Around the Agencies

Hospitals urge DEA to delay substance disposal requirements

The American Health Association (AHA) and several other organizations wrote a letter, expressing their concern over upcoming Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) requirements for controlled substance disposal, set to take effect on October 9th, 2014. The letter, written on October 6th, describes how the proposed changes in requirements would leave over 5,000 hospitals and health systems unprepared to handle their communities’ drug disposal. While the AHA supports the requirements issued by the DEA, many hospitals currently lack the necessary technology such as incinerators or safe syringe disposal programs to properly implement the new requirements. The AHA concluded the letter by asking for a reasonable delay as well as a meeting with the DEA to discuss a timetable of implementation.

HHS to host a webinar on quality of life for patients with chronic conditions

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will host a webinar focused on improving the health and quality of life for individuals with multiple chronic conditions (MCC) at 2:00 pm EST on Thursday, October 16th. HHS estimates that one quarter of adult Americans – and two thirds of Medicare beneficiaries – are living with MCC. These individuals also account for two thirds of the nation’s health care costs. This webinar will discuss the health care challenges in managing MCC, HHS progress in improving the health and quality of life for persons with MCC, and well as opportunities to incorporate efforts for individuals with MCC into larger HHS programs. The webinar will feature experts from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

To join the webinar on October 16th, please use this link and dial-in information: https://www.mymeetings.com/nc/join.php?i=PW8754886&p=8423024&t=c

Toll Free Number: 800-857-0455

Participant passcode is:  8423024

ONDCP hosts substance abuse prevention Twitter chat

In recognition of National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) will be facilitating a Twitter chat at 7:00 pm EST on Tuesday, October 14th. The discussion will focus on substance abuse prevention among youth, as well as the connection between prevention and academic achievement. Members of the Science and Engineering Festival (USASEF) Youth Advisory Board and the National Youth Leadership Institute (NYLI) will be joining ONDCP for the discussion. The panelists will discuss tips on how to establish and strengthen primary youth prevention in communities.

To participate in the chat on Tuesday night, tweet your questions and replies using the hashtag: #PrevMonth, starting at 7:00pm. Additionally, please sign up for the Twitter chat.

Moderator:

David Mineta, ONDCP

Panelists:

Ritankar Das, USASEF

Jack Andraka, USASEF

Lauren Foisy, NYLI

Toxicology associations release joint statement on naloxone

The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), joined with the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology (AACT) and American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT), released a statement regarding the use of naloxone to prevent deaths from opioid overdose. The organizations expressed their support for expanded naloxone intervention training, including a “Bystander Naloxone Training” program, which would help bystanders learn to administer naloxone at the immediate moment of overdose. The organizations stated that the fear of police involvement prevents many people from calling 911 during a drug overdose, making naloxone bystander training even more important so that friends and family members can respond to an overdose regardless of their fear of calling 911.

SAMHSA publishes paper on trauma and trauma-informed care

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released the paper titled “SAMHSA’s Concept of Trauma and Guidance for a Trauma-Informed Approach,” on October 7th, 2014. The paper describes a framework for SAMHSA’s concept of trauma which can be understood and applied by researchers, practitioners, and trauma survivors alike. The paper also describes how a provider can become trauma-informed, and how this understanding can be adapted to many service sectors such as education, health care, and criminal justice. The paper also includes extensive guidelines for implementing a “Trauma-Informed Approach,” using ten implementation domains.

CDC releases data on alcohol involvement in drug overdose

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released data suggesting a correlation between alcohol use and drug overdose. The data was collected from emergency departments (ED) across 13 states, and focuses on alcohol’s connection to Opioid Pain Reliever (OPD) and Benzodiazepine abuse-related ED visits and drug-related deaths. The study revealed that alcohol was involved in 18.5% of OPR and 27.2% of Benzodiazepine abuse-related ED visits. Furthermore, the data shows that alcohol was involved in over 21% of drug-related deaths for both drug categories. The CDC suggests that education initiatives and intervention methods must be strengthened to lower this statistic.

News from the States

New Jersey Governor signs executive order establishing task force to address addiction – Promotes battle against stigma

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey signed Executive Order Number 163 creating the “Facing Addiction Task Force.” According to the announcement, the taskforce will help “…develop a strategy to destigmatize, prevent, and treat the disease of addiction with a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach.” Some specific responsibilities of the taskforce include (1) developing additional strategies to reduce the stigma associated with addiction; (2) reviewing the continuum of treatment services and developing recommendations for strengthening the treatment systems; (3) developing additional prevention strategies and efforts in New Jersey; and (4) advising the Governor on matters related to stigma, addiction, and substance abuse. This announcement comes after the launch of a campaign that urges people to share their own stories regarding addiction called #BeAFACE.

NASADAD members present at National Academy of State Health Policy (NASHP) in Atlanta, GA

Kathy Skippen, State Director from Idaho and member of the NASADAD Board of Directors and Hilary Jacobs (MA), member of the Opioid Treatment Network (OTN) participated in a panel held at the NASHP held in Atlanta, Georgia. The panel was titled “State Innovations in Preventing, Managing, and Treating Substance Abuse.” Other panelists included Jane Beyer of Washington State and Tami Mark of Truven Analytics. Ms. Jacobs discussed work moving forward in Massachusetts to address the opioid issue while Ms. Skippen discussed actions taking place in Idaho to launch recovery services. Ms. Skippen supported NASADAD’s Department of Research and Program applications to visit Idaho and record Idaho’s work to launch a Statewide recovery community organization. A document was developed that is designed to show Idaho’s experience and allow other States to have access to this information.

In the News

Wall Street Journal publishes article on efforts to develop safer Zohydro formulation

The October 1st article reports that the makers of the opioid painkiller, Zohydro ER are developing a new version of the drug they hope will prevent misuse. Zohydro ER, made by Zogenix Inc. contains a high dose of pure hydrocodone, raising concerns about its safety and potential for misuse. This new version of the drug contains a gel that makes it more difficult to use by injecting or snorting it. Zohydro ER, which is designed to provide relief for more long-lasting pain, has sparked controversy since it was approved by the FDA last fall despite objections by its advisory committee.

Republicans urge against taxpayer spending on insurance risk corridor program

A group of Senate Republicans wrote a letter urging Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to “prohibit the Obama Administration,” from spending money on, “an Obamacare taxpayer bailout.” The letter sources opinions from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which stated that additional funding authority would be necessary to facilitate payments to insurance companies under the Affordable Care Act’s risk corridor program. The law establishes a temporary risk corridor program where both gains and losses on insurance premiums are shared between the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the insurance companies in an effort to keep health insurance premiums stable during the transition to the new Marketplaces. Without additional authority, the Republicans cite fears that taxpayers will bear the burden of insurance company payments. The Senators wrote that without appropriation, any money spent to cover insurance company losses would be unlawful. The GAO states that under 2014 appropriations, the program is lawful, but would need to be included in the 2015 appropriation statement as well.