News from the States
- Ohio releases acute pain opioid prescribing guidelines
Around the Agencies
- SAMHSA report confirms importance of Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant in wake of Medicaid expansion
- CMS offers technical assistance for State agencies working to improve home and community-based services
- SAMHSA releases updated version of opioid overdose prevention toolkit
In the News
- Chuck Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections releases final report on criminal justice reform
- Legal Action Center survey finds majority of Americans support expansion of substance use disorder treatment
- High schools across the country move to offer opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone for free
- White House names Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to lead new interagency effort on opioid epidemic
News from NASADAD
- NASADAD releases FY 2016 Omnibus Appropriations Summary
- NASADAD releases results of 2016 Public Policy Survey
News from the States
Ohio releases acute pain opioid prescribing guidelines
The Ohio Governor’s Cabinet Opiate Action Team, which includes Tracy Plouck, Director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, has released new opioid prescribing guidelines for acute pain. The guidelines highlight non-opioid treatment alternatives for acute and chronic pain conditions. They recommend that opioid pharmacologic treatment be reserved for severe medical conditions and used in conjunction with other types of therapy. The Governor’s Cabinet Opiate Action Team developed the new guidelines with the input of clinical professionals and healthcare providers as part of Ohio’s plan to reduce the misuse and overprescribing of opioid pain relievers.
View the new guidelines here.
Around the Agencies
SAMHSA report confirms importance of Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant in wake of Medicaid expansion
A Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) report released last week confirmed the importance of Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT) Block Grant funding in the wake of State Medicaid expansions. The report used Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) 2012 data to examine the insurance rates of individuals treated in State substance use disorder treatment facilities prior to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). SAMHSA found that “58.3 percent did not have health insurance, 25.6 percent had Medicaid coverage, and 16.0 percent had some other type of health insurance.” SAMHSA’s report asserts that it is unlikely that the State Medicaid expansions facilitated by the ACA will be able to cover all of the individuals without health insurance as of 2012. The report states that vulnerable populations, including the homeless and individuals within the criminal justice system, will continue to rely on public funding such as the SAPT Block Grant in order to receive substance use disorder treatment.
Read the full report here.
CMS offers technical assistance for State agencies working to improve home and community-based services
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a flyer describing the technical assistance available for State agencies working to improve home and community-based services (HCBS) last week. CMS has partnered with New Editions Consulting, Inc. to offer a wide variety of services to State agencies, including strategic planning, community integration, population targeting, and program implementation. CMS plans for the new technical services to help guide program development by clarifying CMS’s requirements for HCBS and related services.
View the services available here.
SAMHSA releases updated version of opioid overdose prevention toolkit
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released an updated version of their opioid overdose prevention toolkit last week. The toolkit aims to educate first responders, physicians, patients, and family members on the best methods for facilitating opioid overdose prevention. The updated toolkit includes information on the intranasal spray version of naloxone, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration last year.
Download the toolkit here.
In the News
Chuck Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections releases final report on criminal justice reform
The Chuck Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections released its final report on criminal justice reform last week. The report concluded over a year of analysis and stakeholder engagement conducted by a nine-person, bipartisan panel created by Congress to investigate the criminal justice system. The report asserts that the current federal and State criminal justice systems fail to adequately rehabilitate incarcerated individuals, leading to a cycle of criminality that fails to adequately maintain public safety. The Task Force highlights the large cost saving potential of criminal justice reform in the report, stating that over $5 billion in savings can be achieved if the full recommendations are approved. The recommendations include broad sentencing reform, more judicious use of incarceration, and greater emphasis on evidence-based reintegration programs for incarcerated individuals reentering society.
Read the full report here.
Legal Action Center survey finds majority of Americans support expansion of substance use disorder treatment
The Legal Action Center (LAC) released the results of a survey measuring American attitudes towards substance use disorders last week, finding that a majority of Americans support policies expanding the prevention and treatment of substance use disorders. The survey found that “57 percent of Americans support a presidential candidate who says additional investment is needed for more education, prevention, and treatment of drug and alcohol addiction; 63 percent of Americans believe ‘we put too many non-violent drug offenders in prison instead of treating their addiction’; and 78 percent of Americans believe ‘we need to treat drug and alcohol addiction more as a health problem and less as a criminal problem.’” The LAC released a new report discussing national drug and alcohol policy in conjunction with the survey findings.
Read the full survey results here.
Read the LAC report “The Roadmap for Promoting Health and Justice: A Smarter, More Effective National Drug and Alcohol Policy” here.
High schools across the country move to offer opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone for free
Many States across the country have moved to offer naloxone for free in high schools, according to a Partnership for Drug-Free Kids article released last week. New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Delaware now allow school nurses to carry naloxone in their inventory of medications. The National Association of School Nurses (NASN) stated in June that “the incorporation of naloxone into school emergency preparedness and response plans is a school nurse role.” Despite the evidence of naloxone’s success in reversing opioid overdoses, many States continue to not stock naloxone in high schools.
Read the full article here.
White House appoints Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to lead new interagency effort on opioid use disorders
Earlier this month, the White House announced that Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will lead a new interagency effort addressing the opioid crisis. The announcement is part of a larger effort to centralize federal decision-making on substance use disorders as opioid overdose rates have continued to rise across the country. Secretary Vilsack stated that while a long-term solution to the opioid crisis will be implemented by the next President, the Obama Administration intends to “develop a comprehensive strategy and elevate the issue in the American consciousness.” NASADAD sent a letter to Secretary Vilsack last week thanking him for his leadership and underlining the importance of the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT) Block Grant in establishing State treatment and prevention programs. The letter requests that the Secretary coordinate with State substance abuse agencies and leverage State expertise while developing new federal policies. The letter is attached to this email.
Read the full story here.
News from NASADAD
NASADAD releases FY 2016 Omnibus Appropriations Summary
NASADAD released a summary of the FY 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act last week. The summary includes a series of charts outlining the final FY 2016 appropriations for the programs and agencies involved with substance use disorders. The Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT) Block Grant received a $38.2 million increase compared to FY 2015, the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) received a $26.6 million decrease compared to FY 2015, and the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) received a $36.0 million increase compared to FY 2016. The Obama Administration plans to release the proposed FY 2017 budget on February 9th.
Read NASADAD’s FY 2016 appropriations summary here.
NASADAD releases results of 2016 Public Policy Survey
NASADAD has compiled and released results of its annual Public Policy Survey. The survey is intended to determine the federal funding and legislative priorities of State Directors and component group leadership. The survey is also designed to acquire feedback on the services and products provided by NASADAD’ Public Policy Department. Policy staff use the survey results as a guide for prioritizing work throughout 2016.
View the 2016 Survey results here.
Should you have any questions, or require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact Robert Morrison, Executive Director, (202) 293-0090 or Shalini Wickramatilake-Templeman, Public Policy Associate, at (202) 293-0090.