News from NASADAD
- NASADAD releases fact sheet on marijuana
- NASADAD presents at National Conference of State Legislatures on marijuana
- NASADAD attends Capitol Hill briefing on reducing the number of people with mental health and co-occurring disorders in jails
- NASADAD attends release of America’s Health Rankings
Around the Agencies
- HHS releases updates to federal plan for health information technology (IT)
- CDC releases data on State laws prohibiting sales to minors and indoor use of e-cigarettes
In the News
- The Network for Public Health Law releases two issue briefs on naloxone access
- Pediatrics article releases new prevalence data on fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD)
- December 18th: SAMHSA to host webinar on health reform outreach and education
News from NASADAD
NASADAD releases fact sheet on marijuana
NASADAD announced the release of the fact sheet on Friday, December 12th. The fact sheet provides information on national trends in marijuana use and admissions to treatment, as well as the public health impacts of marijuana use, particularly on youth and adolescents. The fact sheet also provides information about State substance abuse agencies and their efforts to fund evidence-based prevention, treatment, and recovery initiatives on marijuana use and substance abuse generally. NASADAD utilized data and research findings from a variety of sources including the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), the Monitoring the Future survey, the Treatment Episode Dataset (TEDS), and a variety of resources from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
NASADAD presents at National Conference of State Legislatures on marijuana
Rob Morrison, Executive Director presented at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Forum on Friday, December 12th as part of a panel called “The Cannabis Conundrum.” The panel featured presentations on State experiences with legalizing marijuana for both medical and recreational uses, as well as tax schemes for regulating the production and sale of marijuana products. Mr. Morrison provided an overview of addiction issues generally, as well as information on marijuana use from the lens of a State substance abuse agency. Mr. Morrison also announced the release of a NASADAD fact sheet on marijuana. The other panelists included: John Hudak (Brookings Institution), Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles (Washington State), and Pat Oglesby (The Center for New Revenue, NC).
NASADAD attends Capitol Hill briefing on reducing the number of people with mental health and co-occurring disorders in jails
Colleen Haller, Public Policy Associate attended the briefing, “Reducing the Number of People with Mental Illness in Jails,” hosted by the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center and the National Association of Counties (NACo) on Tuesday, December 9th. The briefing launched a new initiative by CSG Justice Center and NACo to reduce the number of adults with mental and co-occurring substance use disorders in jails. The initiative centers on engaging partner organizations such as sheriffs, jail administrators, judges, community corrections professionals, and treatment providers, consumers, advocates, mental health agencies, substance abuse agencies, and other stakeholders and sharing innovative and evidence-based practices being implemented in States and localities. Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) and Rep. Rich Nugent (R-FL) spoke at the event, along with Franklin County Commissioner Marilyn Brown (Columbus, OH), Bexar County Sheriff Susan Parmerleau (San Antonio, TX), 2 individuals in recovery from mental health disorders, and many others.
NASADAD attends release of America’s Health Rankings
Colleen Haller, Public Policy Associate attended the 25th Anniversary event, hosted by the United Health Foundation, on Wednesday, December 10th. This marks the 25th year that these health rankings by State have been released. The rankings provide information on various health indicators including tobacco use, binge drinking, and drug overdose deaths. There is also an interactive website where States can adjust different health indicators to see how their health ranking would change. The event was moderated by Dr. Reed Tuckson of Tuckson health Connections and featured five panelists: Dr. George Benjamin (Executive Director, American Public Health Association), Chris Hansen (President, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network), Anna Schenck (Associate Dean for Public Health Practice, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health), Dr. Scott Berns (Senior Vice President of Chapter Programs and Deputy Medical Officer, March of Dimes), and Janice Nolen (Assistant Vice President, American Lung Association).
Around the Agencies
HHS releases updates to federal plan for health information technology (IT)
The Department of Health and Human Services’s (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology released the updated plan for health information technology this week. In a letter introducing the five-year strategic plan, Dr. Karen DeSalvo, National Coordinator for Health IT and Acting Assistant Secretary for Health, writes, “The first two goals of this plan prioritize increasing the electronic collection and sharing of health information while protecting individual privacy. The final three goals focus on federal efforts to create an environment where interoperable information is used by health care providers, public health entities, researchers and individuals to improve health, health care, and reduce costs.” Public comments on the draft plan will be accepted through Feb. 6th. (AHA News)
CDC releases data on State laws prohibiting sales to minors and indoor use of e-cigarettes
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the information as part of its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). The data covers all electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), including e-cigarettes. CDC finds that youth and young adult use of these devices has sharply increased. 40 States prohibit sales of these devices to minors (36 States ban sales to individuals under age 18 and four States ban sales to individuals under age 19). While 27 States and the District of Columbia have comprehensive smoke-free laws that prohibit smoking in worksites, restaurants, and bars, only three limit indoor use of ENDS. The brief report also provides information on policy options and efforts at the federal level to regulate these devices, specifically through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
In the News
The Network for Public Health Law releases two issue briefs on naloxone access
The first brief, “Legal Interventions to Reduce Overdose Mortality: Emergency Medical Services Naloxone Access,” was released on December 10th and provides information on how emergency medical service (EMS) providers can use naloxone to reverse opioid overdoses. The brief describes the difference levels of EMS providers and describes the different legal climates and barriers to different providers using naloxone. Finally, the brief reviews laws and regulations from all 50 States, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico and provides a State-by-State overview of the legal landscape governing various EMS providers and naloxone.
The second brief, “Using Law to Support Pharmacy Naloxone Distribution,” was released on December 5th and provides information about how different States have used legal interventions to expand pharmacy distribution of naloxone. The brief describes various interventions such as collaborative practice agreements, pharmacist-as-prescriber, and standing orders and offers State examples for each. The brief also describes the challenges that States have faced and provides recommendations on future action.
Pediatrics article releases new prevalence data on fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD)
The data was released in the November issue of Pediatrics and illustrates that school children have much higher rates of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) than previously estimated. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) FASD Center for Excellence drafted a summary of the article that is freely available on their website. The summary outlines the range of opinions surrounding FASD and questions of whether low doses of alcohol during pregnancy will cause FASD. This study finds that FASD prevalence is likely much higher than previously believed, providing additional evidence of the dangers of alcohol use during pregnancy.
December 18th: SAMHSA to host webinar on health reform outreach and education
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will host the webinar, “Peers in Health Reform Outreach and Education,” on Tuesday, December 18th from 1:00-2:30 pm EST. “The webinar will highlight the efforts of the 2014 Peer Awards for Health Reform Education projects, focusing on what the projects learned about effective education, outreach, enrollment, and treatment access activities. Other topics will include the need to build health reform-specific organizational capacity and the potential long-term impact of health reform on access to peer recovery support services” (SAMHSA).