News from NASADAD
- NASADAD delivers President’s Award to Bob Glover, Executive Director of National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD)
- NASADAD attends Capitol Hill briefing on benefits of prevention
- NASADAD attends Capitol Hill briefing on hepatitis prevention and treatment
- NASADAD attends Capitol Hill briefing on criminal justice reform
Around the Agencies
- New GAO study finds 17 percent of low-income, uninsured adults have mental health or substance use disorders
- Carlos Blanco appointed to lead NIDA’s Division of Epidemiology, Services, and Prevention Research
In the News
- NAMSDL releases new reports on medicinal and legal marijuana legislation
- Washington, D.C. plans new campaign to fight underage drinking
- Faces & Voices of Recovery announce the addition of H. Westley Clark, Jan Brown, Stacia Murphy, and Sis Wenger to Board of Directors
- House Energy and Commerce Committee approves PDMP authorization bill with language to help promote collaboration with State substance abuse agencies
- House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee Committee considers and approves H.R. 1462, the Protecting Our Infants Act
News from NASADAD
NASADAD delivers President’s Award to Bob Glover, Executive Director of National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD)
On Friday, July 17, NASADAD Executive Director Robert Morrison (pictured on the right) presented Bob Glover (left) with an award for his decades of service to State Mental Health Authorities in particular, and the public mental health service system in general, as Executive Director of NASMHPD. Dr. Glover has served NASMHPD as Executive Director since 1993. In addition, Dr. Glover led State mental health service delivery systems in States such as Maine, Colorado, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Mark Stringer, State Director of Missouri and past-President of NASADAD, chose to honor Glover before stepping aside as Board Chair in June 2015. The award was announced during NASADAD’s Annual Meeting held in Charleston, South Carolina. After presenting the award, Robert Morrison then met with Dr. Glover and Brian Hepburn, MD, the new Executive Director of NASMHPD, to share priorities and talk about continued collaboration of the two Associations.
NASADAD attends Capitol Hill briefing on benefits of prevention
On Thursday, July 16, Robert Morrison, Executive Director attended a Capitol Hill briefing sponsored by the National Coalition on Health Care (NCHC) titled “Bending the Health Care Cost Curve: The Role of Investments in Prevention.” The speakers included David Dobbins, Chief Operating Officer, the Legacy Institute; Rich Hamburg, Deputy Director, Trust for America’s Health (TFAH); and Chris Hansen, President, American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network. The speakers outlined issues from their organizations’ particular perspectives with an emphasis on prevention and cancer in particular. Rich Hamburg of TFAH discussed recent actions taken by his organization, including an initiative that examines obesity in the United States. As many NASADAD members recall, TFAH has dedicated many resources to addressing the opioid issue as well. For example, in 2013, TFAH issued Prescription Drug Abuse: Strategies to Stop the Epidemic that included a number of NASADAD-supported recommendations – including the benefits of investing in substance use disorder treatment, prevention, and recovery services.
To learn more about the Legacy Institute, click here.
To learn more about the Cancer Action Network, click here.
To learn more about the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), click here.
To learn more about the National Coalition on Health Care (NCHC), click here.
NASADAD attends Capitol Hill briefing on hepatitis prevention and treatment
On Tuesday, July 21, Brian Denten, Public Policy Intern, attended a Congressional briefing on hepatitis prevention and treatment hosted by the Hepatitis Foundation International. The briefing focused on the prevalence of hepatitis throughout the United States and the disparities in diagnosis and treatment within minority populations. Hepatitis currently affects more than 5.3 million Americans, yet 3 in 4 with viral hepatitis do not know they are infected. Viral hepatitis and its variations disproportionately affect African-American, Latino, and Asian-American communities compared to the general population; with 3 percent of African-Americans and 2.6 percent of Latinos having hepatitis C compared to the national average of 1.5 percent, and Asian-Americans accounting for more than half of the country’s chronic hepatitis B population despite making up less than 5 percent of the total U.S. population.
The briefing heard from several advocates representing each minority group, reinforcing the need for a comprehensive strategy for reducing the spread of hepatitis among minority populations. From 2010-2013, diagnoses of acute hepatitis C rose over 150% as a result of injection drug use among white and adolescent populations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is currently developing two projects to address the rise of hepatitis C among this group. Pending legislation such as The Viral Hepatitis Testing Act would authorize more than $80 million over three years to “create the first comprehensive national system to combat viral hepatitis, in addition to enhancing and strengthening surveillance, education, testing, and linkage to care for at-risk Americans.”
- Representative Brett Guthrie (R-KY)
- Ivonne Fuller Cameron; CEO, Hepatitis Foundation International
- John Ward; Director of Hepatitis, CDC
- J. Nadine Garcia; Director of Minority Health, HHS
- Nicole Smith; Associate Director, Division of Viral Hepatitis, CDC
- Rui Grabowski; HFI North Carolina Patient Ambassador
- Mollie B. Jackson-Woodson; HFI Maryland Patient Ambassador
To learn more about activities moving forward on Hep C by our sister Association, the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors, visit here.
NASADAD attends Capitol Hill briefing on criminal justice reform
The briefing, held on Thursday, July 23, was attended by Brian Denten, Public Policy Intern. The briefing was hosted by the American Conservative Foundation, the American Coalition for Criminal Justice Reform, and Families Against Mandatory Minimums. Several speakers and formerly incarcerated individuals spoke about the need for broad structural reform of mandatory minimum sentencing laws and the creation of programs within prisons to reduce recidivism. Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) opened the briefing with a discussion of how the federal prison population has risen substantially in recent decades despite an overall decrease in crime rates. Rep. Sensenbrenner stated that the current criminal justice system lacks the ability to rehabilitate non-violent offenders, leading to high rates of recidivism throughout the country.
- Representative F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr.
- David Keene; Opinion Editor, Washington Times
- Pat Nolan; Director, Center for Criminal Justice Reform, American Conservative Union Foundation
- Bernard Kerik; Director and Founder, American Coalition for Criminal Justice Reform
- Kevin Ring; Director of Strategic Initiatives, Families Against Mandatory Minimums
- Moderator: Molly Gill; Government Affairs Counsel, Families Against Mandatory Minimums
Around the Agencies
New GAO study finds 17 percent of low-income, uninsured adults have mental health or substance use disorders
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a new report this week examining the prevalence of mental health and substance use disorders among low-income and uninsured adults. Using data from 2008-2013, the study found that “approximately 17 percent of low-income, uninsured adults (3 million) had a behavioral health condition, defined as a serious mental illness, a substance use condition, or both.” The GAO notes that the frequency of each respective condition varies substantially at the State level – with Indiana, Wisconsin, Idaho, Ohio, and North Dakota having the highest rates of serious mental illness, and Rhode Island, Alaska, Ohio, Indiana, and North Dakota having the highest rates of substance use disorders among the low-income, uninsured adult population.
Carlos Blanco appointed to lead NIDA’s Division of Epidemiology, Services, and Prevention Research
Carlos Blanco, M.D., Ph.D., has been appointed to lead the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NIDA) Division of Epidemiology, Services, and Prevention Research. This division concentrates on improving public health through the support of research investigating the patterns and effects of substance use disorders, in addition to advocating for evidence-based treatment practices. Dr. Blanco currently works as a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center, and is nationally recognized as an expert in treating co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders. His past notable research accomplishments include an extensive examination of the different stages of substance use disorders, the development of research methods to improve clinical trials, and the testing of various evidence-based treatment theories. Dr. Blanco’s research recently found that individuals in recovery from a substance use disorder are not at increased risk of developing a new substance use disorder for a different drug.
In the News
NAMSDL releases new reports on medicinal and legal marijuana legislation
The National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws (NAMSDL) released a series of new reports on medicinal, legal, and illegal marijuana legislation. The reports summarize ongoing and future efforts to regulate both the medical marijuana and legal marijuana industries at the State level. Four reports are available, summarizing legislation dealing with: medicinal use of marijuana (including low-THC / high cannabinoid products), “follow-up” legislation in States that have legalized the personal usage of marijuana (Alaska, Colorado, D.C., Oregon, and Washington), the usage of marijuana in States with ongoing legalization efforts, and legislative efforts to decriminalize or lower penalties for illicit, personal non-medical use.
Washington, D.C. plans new campaign to fight underage drinking
Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a new campaign to fight underage drinking this past week. The campaign, titled “There’s a Reason,” will be coordinated by the D.C. Department of Behavioral Health using federally provided funding. A 2012 D.C. Department of Health study examining underage drinking found that nearly a quarter of D.C. youth consume alcohol before age 13, and that 6 percent of boys 11 or younger have tried alcohol. The survey also found that alcohol is more commonly used within D.C.’s middle schools than marijuana and other illicit substances; with approximately 31 percent of adolescents entering high school stating they drank an alcoholic beverage in the past month. The campaign plans to target parents through educational pamphlets and additional outreach activities, and will primarily focus on people under the age of 18 rather than D.C.’s large college student population.
Faces & Voices of Recovery announce the addition of H. Westley Clark, Jan Brown, Stacia Murphy, and Sis Wenger to Board of Directors
Faces & Voices of Recovery (FAVOR) has announced the addition of four new members to the foundation’s Board of Directors: H. Westley Clark, Jan Brown, Stacia Murphy, and Sis Wenger.
- Westley Clark, M.D., J.D., M.P.H., CAS, FASAM: Dr. Clark currently serves as the Dean’s Executive Professor of Public Health at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California. Dr. Clark formerly served as the Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) where he focused on expanding access to treatment for Americans with substance use disorders. Dr. Clark has also served as the former chief of the Associated Substance Abuse Programs at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in San Francisco, California; as senior program consultant to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Substance Abuse Policy Program; and as co-investigator on several National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) research grants.
- Jan Brown: Jan Brown currently works as the Founding/Executive Director of Spiritworks Foundation Center for Recovery of the Soul located in Williamsburg, Virginia. Ms. Brown is in long-term recovery from her own substance use disorder, and is certified as a Recovery Support Specialist in addition to being one of four people in the country certified as a Master Recovery Life Coach. Ms. Brown was recently appointed to the Governor of Virginia’s Task Force on Prescription Drug and Heroin Abuse.
- Stacia Murphy: Stacia Murphy previously served as the appointed President of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) from September 1999 to January 2006. Prior to working with NCADD, Ms. Murphy gained considerable experience working as a community organizer with young adults and adolescents in East and West Harlem and Brooklyn, New York. Additionally, Ms. Murphy worked as a member of the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse from 2000 to 2006 and as a member of the steering community work group at SAMSHA.
- Sis Wenger: Sis Wenger has worked as the President and CEO of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACoA) for the last 21 years. At NACoA, Ms. Wenger has worked as an advocate and researcher for policy issues related to alcohol use disorders. Ms. Wenger previously served as the lead developer of SAMHSA’s Children’s Program Kit – a tool created for school prevention and treatment programs for children with parents struggling with substance use disorders.
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.
Coordination with NASADAD members: The NASPER Reauthorization Act of 2015, under Section (h), the “Education and Access to the Monitoring Section,” requires States receiving NASPER funding to “…facilitate linkage to the State substance abuse agency and substance use disorder services.” Additional language regarding State substance abuse agencies is included in a section requiring the release of a federal report not later than three years after federal funds are first appropriated under NASPER. This report, among other issues, must include an analysis of the “…extent to which the operation of controlled substance monitoring programs have reduced inappropriate use, abuse, or diversion of controlled substances, established or strengthened initiatives to ensure linkages to substance use disorder services,” and other matters.
Opening statements note importance of addressing opioid issue: In opening statements, a number of Subcommittee members commented on the impact of the opioid issue in their districts. Rep. Whitfield, for example, noted how work to reauthorize NASPER has been moving forward for a number of years. He also noted that other programs that help support PDMPs are housed in the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He expressed his hope that work could be done to help coordinate these efforts. Representatives Upton, Pallone, and Pitts echoed their own concerns with the opioid issue and the need for action. Rep. Kennedy dedicated his time to telling a story that seems representative of thousands of others across the country where the use of opioid pain relievers leads to addiction, overdose, and ultimately death.
House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee Committee considers and approves H.R. 1462, the Protecting Our Infants Act
On Thursday, July 23, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health considered and approved H.R. 1426, the Protecting Our Infants Act authored by Representatives Katherine Clark (D-MA) and Steve Stivers (R-OH). The author in the Senate is Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). The bill would authorize the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to conduct a study and develop recommendations for preventing and treating prenatal opioid abuse and NAS. The bill would also authorize the Secretary of HHS to lead a review of planning and coordination efforts across HHS. Finally, the legislation would require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to offer technical assistance to States to improve the availability and quality of data related to NAS.
View a NASADAD two pager on the Protecting Our Infants act here.
View a NASADAD two pager on NAS here.
View NASADAD’s statement on the Use of Medications for substance use disorders here.
Next Steps for Both Bills
The full Energy and Commerce Committee is expected to consider both bills. This could take place as early as next week. The Chairman of the Full Energy and Commerce Committee is Fred Upton (R-MI) and the Ranking Member is Frank Pallone (D-N.J.).
To see the Committee’s background memo on the bills, please visit here.
To see the opening statement by Rep. Pitts, please visit here.
To see the opening statement by Rep. Upton, please visit here.
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.