News from NASADAD
- Kasharena Horton joins NASADAD as new CSAP fellow
- NASADAD attends 50-State Convening to Prevent Opioid Overdose and Addiction
- NASADAD signs on to NDD United letter requesting raise of sequestration spending caps
- NASADAD attends congressional briefing on SAFE Justice Act
Around the Agencies
- CDC releases draft Opioid Prescriber Guidelines
- NIDA renames National Drug Facts Week
In the News
- Study finds association between marijuana dispensary density and marijuana hospitalizations
- Michael Botticelli featured in Politico 50 list
- House of Representatives passes PDMP reauthorization bill
- House of Representatives passes Protecting Our Infants Act
- Upcoming webinar on Alternatives to Opioids for Post-Surgery Pain Management
News from NASADAD
Kasharena Horton joins NASADAD as new CSAP fellow
NASADAD is pleased to announce that Kasharena Horton has joined NASADAD as the new CSAP fellow. Kasharena L. Horton, better known as Kasha, began working with NASADAD as the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) Fellow in September 2015. She is responsible for providing support to the National Prevention Network (NPN) and substance abuse prevention efforts within NASADAD. Prior to her current position, Kasha served as a Policy Intern at Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. She is awaiting publication within the Journal of Nutrition, Education, and Behavior on a manuscript she has co-authored focusing on low-income adults’ perceptions of farmers’ markets and community-supported agriculture programs within D.C. Kasha is originally from Massachusetts and received her Bachelor’s of Science in Public Health from American University in May of 2015.
NASADAD attends 50-State Convening to Prevent Opioid Overdose and Addiction
On September 17th and 18th, Robert Morrison and Shalini Wickramatilake attended the 50-State Convening to Prevent Opioid Overdose and Addiction, hosted by Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Burwell. The meeting focused three topics: prescribing practices, medication-assisted treatment, and naloxone. All fifty States were represented at the meeting, with presentations from State Directors from GA, NY, OK, RI, and WV. State delegates participated in regional breakout sessions to develop regional goals for the coming year. Robert Morrison introduced the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Michael Botticelli.
NASADAD signs on to NDD United letter requesting raise of sequestration spending caps
NASADAD has signed on to a Non-Defense Discretionary (NDD) United letter requesting changes to impending sequestration spending caps taking effect in FY 2016. The 2013 Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) negotiated by Senator Patty Murphy and Representative Paul Ryan provided two years of relief from full sequestration before implementing the full spending caps in FY 2016. Appropriations bills for FY 2016 are currently being written adhering to the sequestration spending caps. NDD United is circulating a letter requesting that these sequestration spending caps be raised to higher amounts, and that cuts be balanced between “non-defense discretionary” programs and defense programs.
NDD United represents “non-defense discretionary” programs, such as education, housing, health, and natural resources. The original terms of the BBA set a precedent for parity between these non-defense discretionary programs and defense programs, aiming to balance cuts between the two program categories. NDD United is committed to ensuring that this precedent remains in effect.
NASADAD attends congressional briefing on SAFE Justice Act
Brian Denten, Public Policy Intern, attended the briefing held on Thursday, September 10th. The briefing featured discussion from Reps. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Bobby Scott (D-VA) about the provisions within their proposed SAFE Justice Act. The SAFE Justice Act aims to reform the criminal justice system by refocusing federal mandatory minimum drug sentences to only apply to high-level offenders, rather than broadly applying mandatory minimum sentences to low-level noncriminal offenders. The bill does not eliminate any federal mandatory minimum sentences, but seeks to change their application in an effort to reduce prison populations and costs. The SAFE Justice Act states that any savings gained from smarter sentencing will be reinvested into evidence-based criminal justice policies. The briefing was hosted by Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM), and included commentary from several other speakers currently or formerly involved with the criminal justice system.
- Vann Jones; CNN Contributor
- Mark Holden; Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Koch Industries, Inc.
- Tim Heaphy; former U.S. Attorney from the Western District of Virginia
- Bernie Kerik; former NYPD Police Commissioner
- Dionne Wilson; Victim’s Rights Advocate and Survivor Outreach Coordinator for Californians for Safety and Justice
Around the Agencies
CDC releases draft Opioid Prescriber Guidelines
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released draft Opioid Prescriber Guidelines that will provide recommendations for the prescribing of opioid pain medication for patients 18 and older in primary care settings. Recommendations focus on the use of opioids in treating chronic pain (i.e., pain lasting longer than 3 months or past the time of normal tissue healing) outside end-of-life care.
According to the CDC, in drafting the Guidelines they aim to meet scientific standards, consult with experts in the field, and allow stakeholders to provide input. The Guidelines are intended to address three overarching clinical practices: determining when to initiate or continue opioids for chronic pain outside end-of-life care; opioid selection, dosage, duration, follow-up, and discontinuation; and assessing risk and addressing harms of opioid use.
NIDA renames National Drug Facts Week
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) announced plans to change the name of the National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week to the National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week, highlighting a new collaborative relationship with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). The initiative, which will be held January 25-31, 2016, seeks to eliminate myths about teen substance use and provide a venue for teens to converse with scientific experts about drugs and alcohol. Many communities across the country are planning events in observance of the week. NIDA and NIAAA encourage local events to register on their website.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week.
In the News
Study finds association between marijuana dispensary density and marijuana hospitalizations
A recent study published in the Drug and Alcohol Dependence Journal has discovered an association between marijuana dispensaries and marijuana hospitalizations. The study was conducted from 2001 to 2012 within California, and sought to investigate the relationship between proximity of marijuana dispensaries and marijuana abuse within a neighborhood. The authors state that “an additional one dispensary per square mile in a ZIP code was cross-sectionally associated with a 6.8 percent increase in the number of marijuana hospitalizations.” Median household incomes and racial distributions were also associated with marijuana hospitalizations. The study recommends that communities consider additional prevention and intervention programs targeting marijuana users, along with regulations limiting marijuana dispensary density.
Michael Botticelli featured on Politico’s list of “Thinkers, Doers, and Visionaries Transforming American Politics”
Michael Botticelli, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and former NASADAD Board Member from Massachusetts, was featured on Politico Magazine’s list of top 50 “Thinkers, Doers, and Visionaries Transforming American Politics.” The profile highlights Director Botticelli’s personal story of recovery, and his determination to emphasize recovery instead of punishment for drug users within the criminal justice system. Politico notes that while the Director of ONDCP traditionally works with the State Department and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to target drug trafficking, Director Botticelli has also focused on increasing access to naloxone among police departments and educating prescription providers on signs of substance use disorders. The profile concludes with a description of ONDCP’s new $2.5 million heroin response strategy program that aims to expand and enhance treatment and recovery programs.
House of Representatives passes PDMP reauthorization bill with language to help promote collaboration with State substance abuse agencies
On Tuesday, September 8th, the House of Representatives 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), Bucshon (R-IN), and Pallone (D-NJ). Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Representative Upton (R-MI) submitted a report to accompany the bill, which includes a summary of the bill and an overview of changes the bill would make to existing law.
Passed by voice vote, 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 information technology systems such as e-prescribing systems, health information exchanges, and electronic health record systems. Read the report accompanying the bill here.
House of Representatives passes Protecting Our Infants Act
On Tuesday, September 8th, the House of Representatives approved by voice vote H.R. 1462, 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 Health and Human Services, through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to conduct a study and develop recommendations for preventing and treating prenatal opioid abuse and neonatal abstinence syndrome (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 in Treatment of Substance Use Disorders here.
Upcoming webinar on Alternatives to Opioids for Post-Surgery Pain Management
On Thursday October 1st, Faces and Voices of Recovery (FAVOR) will host a webinar on alternatives to opioids in the management of pain after surgery. The webinar will inform individuals who are facing surgery and have concerns for risk of opioid addiction about non-opioid pain management strategies. Dr. Scott A. Sigman, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon, will explain the drivers of the prescription opioid crisis, and describe alternatives to opioids post-surgery, especially for patients with prior history of substance use disorders.
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.