D.C. Update – January 30, 2015

News from NASADAD

  • NASADAD attends 1st Public Meeting of Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections
  • NASADAD attends NDD town hall meeting on the FY 2016 federal budget

Around the Agencies

  • SAMHSA accepting applications for FY 2015 Grants to Expand Substance Abuse Treatment Capacity in Adult and Family Drug Courts
  • SAMHSA accepting applications for FY 2015 SBIRT Student Training grants
  • CMS releases bulletin regarding benefits that meet the needs of youth with substance abuse disorders and Medicaid requirements
  • HHS announces January 2015 open enrollment numbers
  • CDC releases new phase of hepatitis public information campaign
  • APIS releases annual update of State-by State alcohol policies
  • CMS releases brief on considerations for health homes for opioid addiction treatment

In the News

  • Rising number of heroin overdoses spurs Maryland and Virginia to take action
  • American Academy of Pediatrics updates policy statement on the impact of marijuana legalization on youth
  • Delaware Governor seeks additional funding for opioid treatment facilities
  • ONDCP Acting Director outlines 2015 policy efforts at AMA State Legislative Strategy Conference
  • New York Times reports on cost-saving naloxone technology

 

Upcoming Events

  • NSC announces workplace substance abuse webinar to be held February 19th

 

News from NASADAD

NASADAD attends 1st Public Meeting of Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections
The meeting was attended by Brian Denten, Public Policy Intern, on Tuesday, January 27th. The Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections was established this year to identify possible reforms for the federal corrections system and to help make the system safer, less costly, and more humane. The bipartisan Task Force will meet 5 times this year and hear from U.S. Attorneys, U.S. District Judges, Directors associated with various State agencies, and formerly incarcerated federal inmates. The first meeting identified several goals of the Task Force: reducing recidivism, promoting public safety, learning from criminal justice successes in the States, and reevaluating current drug sentencing practices. In subsequent meetings the Task Force will continue to expound on these areas.

Task Force Members:

  • C. Watts, Jr.; Task Force Chairman; J.C. Watts Companies; Congressman (R-OK) (1995-2003)
  • Allan B. Mollohan; Task Force Vice Chairman; Congressman (D-WV) (1983-2011)
  • David C. Iglesias; Director of J. Dennis Hastert Center for Economics, Government, and Public Policy; Wheaton College; United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico (2001-2007)
  • Jim Liske; President and CEO of Prison Fellowship Ministries
  • Jay Neal; Executive Director of Georgia Governor’s Office of Transition; Support and Reentry Representative of the Georgia General Assembly (R-Lafayette) (2005-2013)
  • Laurie O. Robinson; Clarence J. Robinson Professor of Criminology, Law and Society at George Mason University; Assistant Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs (1993-2000, 2009-2012)
  • Cynthia W. Roseberry; Project Manager, Clemency Project 2014; Executive Director, Federal Defenders of the Middle District of Georgia (2009-2014)
  • Judge Ricardo M. Urbina; Arbitrator and Mediator, JAMS; Judge, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (1994-2012)
  • John E. Wetzel; Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections

Presenters:

  • Richard S. Hartunian; U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of New York
  • Charles E. Samuels; Director, Federal Bureau of Prisons
  • Judge Irene M. Keeley; Chair, Criminal Law Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States
  • Kenneth P. Cohen; Staff Director, U.S. Sentencing Commission

 For more information, click here.

NASADAD attends NDD town hall meeting on the FY 2016 federal budget
The meeting was attended by Colleen Haller, Public Policy Associate, and Brian Denten, Public Policy Intern, on Thursday, January 29th. The meeting was hosted at the National Education Association (NEA) and featured speakers from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). NDD United seeks to protect non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs from further cuts by engaging organizations benefiting from NDD funding to promote their work and educate Congress about the importance of their work. This week’s meeting discussed several possible timelines for budget resolutions in 2015, and warned against strategies Congress may pursue to continue cutting NDD programs in the future.

Presenters:

  • Robert Greenstein; President & Founder, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
  • Joel Friedman; Vice President for Federal Fiscal Policy, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Around the Agencies

SAMHSA accepting applications for FY 2015 Grants to Expand Substance Abuse Treatment Capacity in Adult and Family Drug Courts
SAMHSA is now accepting applications for FY 2015 Grants to Expand Substance Abuse Treatment Capacity in Adult and Family Drug Courts. This program aims to expand and enhance substance abuse treatment services in current adult and family drug courts. Funds must be used to address treatment gaps for individuals suffering from substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. Applications are due by Friday, March 27, 2015. Grantees will be awarded an anticipated amount of up to $325,000.

CMS releases bulletin regarding benefits that meet the needs of youth with substance use disorders and Medicaid requirements
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the bulletin this week. The bulletin outlines problems facing youth dealing with substance use disorders and details possible treatment plans. Outpatient, medication, and case management treatment are each discussed as treatment options. The bulletin concludes with a discussion of which treatment plans are covered under Medicaid, and how best to utilize Medicaid for youth struggling with substance abuse.

HHS releases January 2015 open enrollment numbers
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the open enrollment numbers for January 2015 this week. 9.5 million people enrolled or were automatically enrolled in health insurance coverage from the Health Insurance Marketplace. Of this number, more than 7.1 million were in States using HealthCare.gov. The remaining 2.4 million consumers used Marketplace platforms unique to their State.

Read the full report here.

CDC releases new phase of hepatitis public information campaign
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the next phase of the national “Know More Hepatitis” campaign this week. The CDC estimates that nearly 50% of people with hepatitis C do not know they are infected, and recommend everyone born from 1945-1965 get tested. The new campaign features print, radio, and TV PSAs, as well as public transit advertisements. Materials supporting local educational efforts including posters and fact sheets are also available.

APIS releases annual update of State-by State alcohol policies
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has released its annual update of State-by-State alcohol policies through its Alcohol Policy Information System (APIS) project. The update reports on State changes to alcohol policy statutes and regulations. Among the changes include a new blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for boaters in Georgia, new pregnancy and alcohol regulations, and adjustments to the tax rates affecting alcohol purchases in several States.

CMS releases brief on considerations for health homes for opioid addiction treatment
The Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a brief on some considerations for using the health home model for opioid treatment. The brief compares different health home models seen in different States, and takes a close look at Maryland, Rhode Island, and Vermont.  Many individuals struggling with opioid abuse also suffer from mental health conditions. Health homes provide an integrated care structure for people dealing with both substance abuse and mental illnesses.

In the News

Rising number of heroin overdoses spurs Maryland and Virginia to take action
Increasing amounts of heroin overdoses in Maryland and Virginia have forced lawmakers to take action. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) has announced reducing heroin use a new priority, and is actively exploring solutions. Virginia Governor Terry McAullife (D) recently introduced new legislation that increases criminal penalties for drug dealers supplying lethal doses, and reduces penalties for drug users seeking help for friends who have overdosed. These efforts are in response to growing heroin usage rates and in the wake of new regulations on prescription opioids.

American Academy of Pediatrics updates policy statement on the impact of marijuana legalization on youth
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) updated its 2004 policy statement “Legalization of Marijuana: Potential Impact on Youth” this past week. The statement reviews new information about youth and adolescent marijuana usage. AAP opposes the legalization of marijuana because of the potential harm posed to children, but supports researching the impact of marijuana legalization on youth in States that have voted to legalize. Additionally, AAP supports the development of pharmaceutical cannabinoids and efforts to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana.

Delaware Governor seeks additional funding for opioid treatment facilities
Delaware Governor Jack Markell plans to seek $4 million to fight rising drug abuse in Delaware. The Governor announced the plan this past Monday at an event in Newark. The plan was formulated by Delaware’s health department, and will be further detailed in the proposed budget. The new program plans to double the capacity of State treatment facilities, in addition to coordinating with Delaware’s Attorney General to help incarcerated individuals struggling with addiction.

ONDCP Acting Director outlines 2015 policy efforts at AMA State Legislative Strategy Conference
Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Acting Director Michael Botticelli outlined 2015 policy efforts at an American Medical Association (AMA) conference earlier this month. The director warned of growing prescription drug and heroin overdoses, and noted three key policy areas to focus on in 2015. ONDCP recommends improving prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) to increase usability in medical practices, expanding access to naloxone, and reducing the stigma surrounding substance use disorders. The AMA recommends that all States pass laws increasing the availability of naloxone by the end of 2015

New York Times reports on cost-saving naloxone technology
The New York Times reported on a new naloxone initiative undertaken by The Clinton Foundation this past week. The Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Health Matters Initiative has negotiated a low price for a new device called Evzio that administers a single dose of naloxone. The low price will be available for any institution that can broadly distribute the medicine, such as police departments and universities. Making naloxone more affordable is essential in the battle to reduce the number of opioid overdose deaths.

Upcoming Events

NSC announces workplace substance abuse webinar to be held February 19th
The National Safety Council (NSC) announced an upcoming webinar on workplace substance abuse to be held Thursday, February 19th. Titled “The Rapidly Changing Face of Substance Abuse – A Defining Moment for Employers,” the webinar will discuss the financial and safety risk prescription drug use poses to the workplace. Proper policy procedures for dealing with employees struggling with prescription drug abuse including avoiding litigation and the laws surrounding drug testing will be examined. The webinar will be hosted by Christine Clearwater, President of Drug-Free Solutions Group, LLC.

Should you have any questions, or require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact Robert Morrison, Executive Director, (202) 293-0090 or Colleen Haller, Public Policy Associate, at (202) 293-0090.