Category Archives: News

News

NASADAD releases detailed chart summarizing Administration’s FY 2019 budget proposal

On February 12, 2018, the Administration released “Efficient, Effective, Accountable: An American Budget,” its budget proposal for fiscal year (FY) 2019 (October 1, 2018-September 30, 2019). NASADAD has released a budget chart summarizing the Administration’s proposed funding levels for the Association’s priority programs within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), as well as select programs within the Department of Justice (DOJ). The chart compares the President’s FY 2019 proposal to the final FY 2018 funding levels that were included in the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill in March 2018.

Access the chart here.

NASADAD releases Section-by-Section Summary of CARA 2.0

On February 27, 2018, Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced “CARA 2.0,” a bill that aims to build upon the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) of 2016. CARA 2.0 increases the funding authorization levels of several CARA 2016 programs, and proposes  policy changes to address the opioid crisis.

Access NASADAD’s summary of CARA 2.0 here.

NASADAD updates fact sheet on opioids

NASADAD has updated its fact sheet on opioids to include the latest data on the topic, such as the recently released overdose death figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and results from the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). The fact sheet reviews prescription opioids, heroin, and fentanyl, and provides an epidemiological overview of the problem. Additionally, this iteration of the fact sheet highlights the continuum of care—prevention, treatment, and recovery—as it relates to opioids. Access the fact sheet here.

NASADAD releases FY 2018 appropriations update for priority programs within HHS

The update provides an overview of the status of the FY 2018 appropriations process. Individual program allocations are included in the detailed charts – with information about the FY 2017 budget allotment, as well as President’s FY 2018 request and the House and Senate Appropriations Committees’ recommendations.

Continue reading here.

Texas Releases Final Evaluation Report of Recovery Support Services Project

The University of Texas’ Addiction Research Institute released a report that provides an overview of the State’s Recover Support Services Initiative, which began in 2014. It contains over one year of collected data on participants that shows encouraging results in a variety of life domains (including housing and employment) and a significant reduction in healthcare costs.

The report can be found here.

 

New peer-reviewed article highlights State alcohol and drug agencies’ efforts to address opioid crisis

A study recently released in Public Health Reports—the official journal of the U.S. Surgeon General—used data from NASADAD’s 2015 inquiry on States’ efforts to address prescription drug misuse and heroin use to describe how States are combatting the opioid epidemic. The article, titled How States Are Tackling the Opioid Crisis, is the first of its kind to quantify and summarize State-level efforts to combat prescription drug and opioid addiction. As federal initiatives by Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) aim to improve substance use disorder prevention and treatment, this article outlines the critical role that States—in particular the State alcohol and drug agencies—have in addressing the opioid crisis. The initiatives undertaken by States that are highlighted in the article include:

  • Educating the general public, prescribers, patients and families, and pharmacists about the risks of opioids;
  • Increasing funding for medication-assisted treatment;
  • Expanding the availability of naloxone;
  • Establishing guidelines for safe opioid prescribing;
  • Requiring prescriber use of prescription monitoring programs;
  • Enacting Good Samaritan laws to protect those helping treat overdoses; and
  • Enacting legislation to regulate pain clinics.

 

Authors offer a review of the literature, noting that State alcohol and drug agencies’ efforts to address opioid misuse and addiction align with intervention models that have been previously evaluated. The article recognizes that State alcohol and drug agencies have demonstrated a robust response to the opioid crisis, and concludes that future efforts should “focus on maintenance and further expansion of the high-quality, evidence-based practices, policies, and programs” that States are already implementing.

Effects of intravenous opioids on eye movements in humans: possible mechanisms

 

Oculomotor symptoms such as downbeat nystagmus can be due to side effects of drugs. We investigated the clinical effects as well as the eye movement symptoms after intravenous administration of opiates (pethidine and fentanyl). Eye movements were recorded with the magnetic search coil technique. All four normal subjects showed a transient disturbance of eye fixation with downbeat nystagmus, a range of saccadic intrusions and oscillations, including square wave jerks and saccadic pulses, lasting from 10 to 15 minutes. The gain of sinusoidal VOR and smooth pursuit was moderately decreased; in particular the vertical pursuit showed an upward velocity offset. On the basis of the clinical findings and of recent diprenorphine PET findings in humans, which detected opiod binding sites in the cerebellum and the known inhibitory action of opiates, we hypothesized that a cerebellar dysfunction occurs after opiate administration which could possibly be mediated by inhibition of the parallel fiber activation of the Purkinje cells. Furthermore, opiate binding sites in the vestibular nuclei could be responsible for the vertical vestibular tonus imbalance involved in the pathophysiolgy of downbeat nystagmus. More information

 

Eye Changes Related to Specific Drugs

Nearly every substance of abuse can cause changes in the eyes. Below are specific changes in pupils, eye motion, or vision that can indicate intoxication or overdose from specific substances.

  • AlcoholIntoxication can cause double vision or blurry vision.
  • AmphetaminesEcstasy, Molly, MDMA, and similar drugs can cause blurred vision and changes in pupil size. The drugs can also cause rapid quivering of the pupils (nystagmus).
  • BenzodiazepinesLike alcohol, at recreational doses, these medications can cause altered, double or blurry vision. Dilated pupils are a sign of an overdose.
  • CigarettesSmoking in general, and smoking cigarettes in particular, can lead to cataracts of the crystalline lens – an area of the eye that produces one-third of the image the brain processes by focusing light onto the retina.
  • Cocaine and crack cocaineAs the drug stimulates the brain and releases endorphins and adrenaline, the body will react by dilating the pupils. Symptoms of overdose include hallucinations, including visual hallucinations.
  • DextromethorphanA common cough-suppressing ingredient in cold and flu medicines, this substance can cause intoxication. A symptom of DXM abuse is rapid, involuntary eye movements called nystagmus.
  • GHBA depressant sometimes called liquid ecstasy, GHB can be abused by putting the drug in eyes using eye drops. It is, however, more commonly mixed into a drink and consumed orally. The drug also causes hallucinations.
  • HallucinogensMescaline, LSD, and other, similar drugs cause the pupils to dilate. The user experiences hallucinations, which may be visual.
  • HeroinThis narcotic can cause drooping eyelids due to sleepiness. The drug will also cause the pupils to constrict, leading to pinpoint pupils.
  • InhalantsAbusing substances like paint thinner or nitrous in canisters can lead to watering and red eyes as a sign of intoxication.

 

Read the full article here.

NASADAD releases section-by-section summary of 21st Century Cures Act

NASADAD has released a section-by-section summary of the 21st Century Cures Act, which was signed into law by President Obama in December 2016. The Cures Act was originally designed to promote innovations in medical research, but the Act, as signed into law, contains numerous other initiatives, including several provisions related to substance use disorders.

Access the section-by-section summary here.