News from NASADAD
- NASADAD attends Capitol Hill briefing on opioid use among college students
- NASADAD releases section-by-section analysis of the Treatment and Recovery Investment Act
Around the Agencies
- SAMHSA releases report examining impact of Medicaid in providing and increasing access to mental health and substance use disorder services
- CDC releases new treatment guidelines for those with or at-risk for sexually transmitted diseases
- GAO issues report on electronic cigarette import volume and tariff revenue
- CDC issues report on adverse health effects associated with synthetic cannabinoid use
In the News
- New study examines methadone treatment for incarcerated individuals
- American Society of Addiction Medicine releases new guidelines for treatment of opioid use disorders
- Parity Implementation Coalition and Kennedy Forum release new guide on mental health and substance use disorder parity
- Collaborative for Effective Prescription Opioid Policies publishes USA Today column discussing opioid epidemic
- Alliance for Health Reform releases recap of King v. Burwell briefing
- ONDCP Director Michael Botticelli appears on Diane Rehm Show
News from NASADAD
NASADAD attends Capitol Hill briefing on opioid use among college students
Rob Morrison, Executive Director, and Colleen Haller, Public Policy Associate, attended the briefing, “Prevention Opioid Deaths among Young People,” hosted by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation Institute for Recovery Advocacy on June 10th. The briefing was well attended and included appearances by several members of Congress: Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Sen. Klobuchar (D-MN), and Co-Chair of the Prescription Drug Abuse Caucus, Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA). The panelists discussed results from a recent survey of college students on their attitudes to drug use, and particularly the misuse of prescription pain relievers. Panelists also shared their personal stories of recovery, as well as their efforts to establish collegiate recovery programs. Greg Williams, Director of the Anonymous People, also highlighted an upcoming national recovery event on the National Mall: UNITE to Face Addiction scheduled for October 4, 2015.
- William Moyers, Vice President of Public Affairs and Community Relations, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation
- Amelia Arria, Director, Center on Young Adult Health and Development at Univ. of MD School of Public Health
- Sarah Nerad, Director of Recovery, Ohio State University
- Joseph Lee, Medical Director, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s Youth Continuum
- Greg Williams, Director of the Anonymous People and Campaign Director for UNITE to Face Addiction
- Ivana Grahovac, Executive Director, Transforming Youth Recovery
NASADAD releases section-by-section analysis of the Treatment and Recovery Investment Act
NASADAD released a section-by-section analysis of the Treatment and Recovery Investment Act this past week. The bill, sponsored by Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), would amend the Public Health Service Act to authorize the Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) to award grants to State substance abuse agencies, units of local government, and Indian tribes or tribal organizations to create or expand substance use disorder services. The legislation would also create separate grant programs for opioid use disorder treatment, treatment for pregnant and parenting women with opioid use disorders, and treatment plans for adolescents with substance use disorders. An additional grant program aimed at expanding and enhancing recovery support services, including education and peer-mentoring networks, is also authorized in the bill. The legislation contains language that would increase the budget authorization for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant.
Around the Agencies
SAMHSA releases report examining impact of Medicaid in providing and increasing access to mental health and substance use disorder services
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released a new report examining the impact of Medicaid in providing and increasing access to mental health and substance use disorder services. The report was compiled by SAMHSA’s Center for Financing Reform and Innovation, and discusses information on Medicaid fee-for-service spending on prescription drugs. The report further compares spending for dually-eligible Medicare-Medicaid enrollees versus spending for enrollees without dual eligibility. SAMHSA aims to help inform policy makers, program staff, and providers with better knowledge on the spending and utilization of mental health and substance use disorder services.
CDC releases updated treatment guidelines for those with or at-risk for sexually transmitted diseases
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new treatment guidelines for those with or at-risk for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The guidelines were compiled following a Spring 2013 conference in Atlanta. The new guidelines discuss alternative treatment options for gonorrhea, alternative treatment options for genital warts, best practices for HPV vaccine recommendations and counseling, transgender treatment, and annual testing for hepatitis C for at-risk individuals, among several other topics.
GAO issues report on electronic cigarette import volume and tariff revenue
The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a new report on import volume and tariff revenue for electronic cigarettes. The report notes that electronic cigarette import volume and tariff revenue is currently unknown due to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS) not tracking data specific to electronic cigarettes or any associated accessories. The GAO does not make any recommendations in its report.
CDC issues report on adverse health effects associated with synthetic cannabinoid use
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a report on the adverse health effects associated with synthetic cannabinoid use this past week. United States poison centers have reported a substantial increase in calls related to synthetic cannabinoid usage in the past year. Calls increased 330% from 349 in January 2015 to 1,501 in April 2015. The most frequently reported adverse health effects include agitation (35.3%), tachycardia or faster than normal heart beat (29.0%), drowsiness (26.3%) and vomiting (16.4%). Most users reported consuming synthetic cannabinoids by inhalation (80.3%) or ingestion (19.5%). The CDC suggests that increasing rates of synthetic cannabinoid usage pose an emerging public health threat.
In the News
New study examines methadone treatment for incarcerated individuals
A new Brown University study has found that individuals taken off of methadone treatment while in custody are “two times less likely than those staying on the medication to return to methadone treatment in the community within a month after release.” The study, led by Josiah Rich, MD, MPH, was performed from 2011-2013 within the Rhode Island Department of Corrections. Researchers randomly assigned inmates to either continue methadone treatment or begin a tapered withdrawal in accordance with existing correctional guidelines. Nearly all of the inmates who continued treatment while incarcerated returned to community clinics within a month after release, while only 20 percent of inmates forced to undergo withdrawal returned to methadone treatment after release. Rhode Island has responded to the findings by adjusting methadone tapering protocols, extending the tapering period from one to six weeks.
American Society of Addiction Medicine releases new guidelines for treatment of opioid use disorders
The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) released new guidelines for the usage of medication when treating opioid use disorders this past week. The guide aims to educate clinicians and providers about the benefits of using treatment medications for patients in recovery. Despite the medications’ benefits, less than 30% of treatment programs currently offer any medication options in their treatment regimens. ASAM President Jeffrey Goldsmith notes that these guidelines are the first to address all the available FDA-approved medications used to treat opioid use disorders.
Parity Implementation Coalition and Kennedy Forum release new guide on mental health and substance use disorder parity
The Parity Implementation Coalition (PIC) and Kennedy Forum have released a new guide discussing the mental health and substance use disorder parity law. The guide was primarily created to educate individuals seeking mental health or substance use disorder services on their rights and benefits under current parity law. The PIC and Kennedy Forum believe the guide will promote increased communication with insurance plans, in addition to helping resolve disputes with health plans over coverage and reimbursement for mental health and substance use disorder services. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) was passed in 2008, with final regulations published in 2013. The PIC and Kennedy Forum continue to strive for better consumer and advocate understanding of the full parity regulations.
Collaborative for Effective Prescription Opioid Policies publishes USA Today column discussing opioid epidemic
The Collaborative for Effective Prescription Opioid Policies (CEPOP) published a USA Today column discussing ongoing efforts to address the opioid epidemic this past week. CEPOP identifies the complexity of the crisis in the column, stating the challenges associated with ensuring access to adequate pain management while balancing the serious risks of addiction associated with these medications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that the number of prescribed opioid painkillers has increased substantially in the past several decades, representing a need for robust patient and provider education. CEPOP concludes the column with a call for stakeholders to work together to develop a comprehensive plan to address the epidemic through effective government and private sector solutions.
Alliance for Health Reform releases recap of King v. Burwell briefing
The Alliance for Health Reform has released a recap of last week’s briefing on potential implications of the King v. Burwell ruling. A Supreme Court ruling for the King petitioners would likely eliminate the ability for individuals to receive subsidies to purchase health insurance through federal marketplaces. As of February 2015, 87% of people selecting a marketplace plan receive premium subsidies. According to the briefing, a ruling for the King petitioners would make these subsidies no longer available in States with federally-run marketplaces, and would essentially render any affected health insurance exchanges inoperable. Several speakers noted that affected States may be able to create new State-based exchanges by using other States’ infrastructure or by leasing federal IT services. Republicans are expected to prepare a legislative response to the ruling in the event the King petitioners are successful.
ONDCP Director Michael Botticelli appears on Diane Rehm Show
Michael Botticelli, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), appeared on the radio show on June 11th. Director Botticelli shared his personal recovery story, as well as information on ONDCP’s work to expand prevention, treatment, and recovery. Director Botticelli highlighted the supports that assisted his journey to sustained recovery and commented on how the federal government can expand access to those supports. Director Botticelli also discussed the science of addiction, the role of criminal justice reform, and the ways that federal drug policy can make positive changes in the lives of individuals with substance use disorders and their families.
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.