Kathy Stone (IA) receives Ramstad-Kennedy Award

Rob Morrison, Executive Director of NASADAD, with Kathy Stone (IA), recipient of the 2016 Ramstad-Kennedy Award.

Earlier this month Kathy Stone, Director of Addiction in the Iowa Department of Public Health and NASADAD member, received the ninth Annual Ramstad-Kennedy Award for Outstanding Leadership by a Single State Authority (SSA). In particular, Ms. Stone was honored for her leadership in recovery support programs across Iowa and across the country.

The Ramstad-Kennedy Award was established in 2008 to recognize an SSA Director who has demonstrated exceptional leadership in support of recovery and National Recovery Month, and to acknowledge Congressmen Jim Ramstad (R-MN) and Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) for their commitment to recovery and recovery-oriented policies. This year’s Ramstad-Kennedy award was presented on August 10th at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Block Grant Conference. Ms. Stone received the award because of her leadership and innovation in promoting the goals of National Recovery Month in her State; expansion of Recovery Month activities within her agency and throughout local communities; and support for recovery organizations in their State.

In a statement, Congressman Kennedy said that “… all of the recipients, including Kathy Stone, have been champions of recovery for not just those suffering from a substance use disorder but also for all their family members who themselves are affected by the family disease of addiction.” The award was presented in advance of the 2016 National Recovery Month, which will be observed in September with the theme Join the Voices of Recovery: Our Families, Our Stories, Our Recovery.

NASADAD Releases Section-by-Section Summary of CARA

NASADAD has released an updated section-by-section analysis of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA; S. 524), as passed by the President. CARA includes various provisions to address opioid use disorders, including those related to prevention and education, treatment, recovery, law enforcement, and services for women, families, and veterans. After passing the House with a vote of 407-5 on July 8th and the Senate with a vote of 92-2 on July 13th, the bill was signed into law by President Obama on July 22nd.

Access NASADAD’s section-by-section analysis of the bill here.

President Obama Speaks at the 2016 National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit

President Obama plans to deliver a speech at the 2016 National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit on 3/29 at 2:15 PM EST. The President’s remarks will discuss the actions currently being taken to prevent the spread of opioid use disorders and will examine future policies for expanding access to treatment.

The speech is the latest in a series of announcements demonstrating President Obama’s commitment to addressing the opioid crisis. The President’s proposed FY 2017 budget requests $1.1 billion in new spending to expand State access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Michael Botticelli, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, writes that the Administration is also:

  • “Expanding access to treatment through doctors, community health centers, and state programs.
  • Investing in partnerships between law enforcement and communities.
  • Working to save more lives by making the overdose reversal drug naloxone more readily available to first responders.
  • Ensuring those on Medicaid and CHIP can access mental health and substance use services as readily as medical services.
  • Pulling together medical schools to train students on the newest CDC guidelines for prescribing opioid painkillers.”


View the Administration’s new series of proposals to address the opioid epidemic here.

Watch President Obama’s speech here.

Overview of State Legislation to Increase Access to Treatment for Opioid Overdose

Originally published in December 2013, NASADAD has updated the Overview of State Legislation to Increase Access to Treatment for Opioid Overdose to reflect the many changes in State legislation between 2013 and July 2015. The document discusses laws that States have enacted to increase access to treatment for opioid overdose, and in turn, to reduce fatal opioid overdose.

Continue reading

House Energy and Commerce Committee Approves PDMP Authorization Bill, Protecting Our Infants Act

House Energy and Commerce Committee approves PDMP authorization bill with language to help promote collaboration with State substance abuse agencies

On Thursday July 23, the House Energy and Commerce Committee considered and approved H.R. 1725, the National All Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting (NASPER) Reauthorization Act of 2015.  The author of the bill is Representative Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and co-sponsors include Representatives Kennedy (D-MA), Buscon (R-IN), and Pallone (D-N.J.).  The Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health is Joe Pitts (R-PA) and the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee is Gene Green (D-TX).  The bill seeks to continue the momentum gained by States on issues related to data interoperability by requiring applicants for NASPER funds to include certain information in their application.  For example, H.R. 1725 requires applicants to report the extent to which the PDMP program is able to share information with other health IT systems such as e-prescribing systems, health information exchanges and electronic health records systems.

Continue reading