News from NASADAD
- NASADAD releases section-by-section analyses of Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act and Mental Health Reform Act
- Steve Brazill announced as new NTN in Kansas
- Sarah Mariana announced as new Washington State NPN; Michael Langer remains as NTN
- NASADAD attends Congressional briefing on the decriminalization of individuals with mental illness
- NASADAD attends Friends of NIAAA briefing on College AIM
News from the States
- New report finds more Alaska teenagers using e-cigarettes than regular cigarettes
- S. District Court ruling highlights State and federal disagreement over medical marijuana
- Ohio announces investment of up to $1.5 million a year into Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System
In the News
- NAATP releases statement on MAT for substance use disorders
- NCADD announces launch of new website
- CSH and National Council announce webinar discussing long-term substance use disorder recovery and integrated housing and service solutions
News from NASADAD
NASADAD releases section-by-section analyses of Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act and Mental Health Reform Act
Today NASADAD released section-by-section analyses of Rep. Tim Murphy’s (R-PA) Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 2646), and Sens. Cassidy (R-LA) and Murphy’s (D-CT) Mental Health Reform Act (S. 1945). The bills both propose a restructuring of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) by creating a new Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders. Rep. Murphy’s proposed H.R. 2646 will be marked up on November 3rd and 4th by the Subcommittee on Health in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Steve Brazill announced as new NTN in Kansas
Last week, Steve Brazill was announced as the new NTN representative in Kansas, as previous NTN, Charles Bartlett, announced that he is moving on to a new position. In his new role, Mr. Bartlett’s new duties will include oversight of Consumer Affairs, where he will remain committed to the development of peer support services. Mr. Bartlett will additionally work as the coordinator for forensic services and diversion from the criminal justice system, and as the liaison to the Governor’s Behavioral Health Service Planning Council for coordination and logistics. NASADAD thanks Mr. Bartlett for his contributions to the NTN, and welcomes Mr. Brazill.
Sarah Mariana announced as new Washington State NPN; Michael Langer remains as NTN
Earlier this week, Sarah Mariana was announced as Washington State’s new NPN delegate, effective December 1st. Ms. Mariana previously led Washington’s Research Conference Program Committee, and has participated in many NPN-related meetings over the past several years. Washington’s previous NPN, Michael Langer, will maintain his role as Washington’s NTN delegate and will work with Ms. Mariana on relevant NPN issues.
NASADAD attends Congressional briefing on the decriminalization of individuals with mental illness
Brian Denten, Public Policy Intern, attended the briefing on Thursday, October 29th. The briefing heard from a range of mental health and criminal justice professionals on the need for moving mental health treatment out of the criminal justice system and into communities. Once incarcerated, individuals with mental illness spend longer in the criminal justice system than those without mental illness due to safety and health concerns, further exacerbating already existing mental health and substance use disorders. Speakers highlighted the large financial and human costs associated with mental illness in the criminal justice system, as many jails spend up to three times on individuals with mental illness compared to the average prisoner. The briefing concluded with an affirmation of the need for a full continuum of mental healthcare to improve on disjointed mental healthcare delivery and produce better health and societal outcomes.
- Renee Binder, M.D.; Professor and Director of Psychiatry and Law Program, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at UCSF School of Medicine; President, American Psychiatric Association
- Paton Blough; Mental Health Advocate, NAMI South Carolina State Board Member
- Commissioner Mary Ann Borgeson; Chair, National Association of Counties (NACo) Health Steering Committee
- Sheriff Rich Stanek; Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office
- Robert L. Trestman, M.D. PhD; Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry, and Nursing UConn Health; Executive Director, Correctional Managed Health Care, Interim Director, Center for Public Health and Health Policy
NASADAD attends Friends of NIAAA briefing on College AIM
Robert Morrison and Shalini Wickramatilake attended a Congressional briefing hosted by Friends of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) on the College Alcohol Intervention Matrix, or College AIM. The matrix is a comprehensive and easy-to-use tool to help college staff make informed decisions about evidence-based alcohol interventions. With College AIM, college officials can learn how their current strategies compare to other evidence-based alternatives; find new strategies to consider; and select a combination of approaches that best meets the particular needs of their students and campus. College officials are in a unique position to improve the health and safety of their students – and they must choose alcohol interventions wisely.
- George F. Koob, Ph.D., Director, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, NIH
- Mary Larimer, Ph.D., Director, Center for the Study of Health and Risk Behaviors, University of Washington
- Jonathan Gibralter, Ph.D., President, Wells College, Aurora, NY
News from the States
New report finds more Alaskan teenagers using e-cigarettes than regular cigarettes
A new report released by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services has found that Alaskan teenagers are using e-cigarettes at higher rates than regular cigarettes. The report was released by Valerie Davidson, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, at the annual Alaska School Health and Wellness Institute earlier this week. A Spring 2015 survey conducted as part of the report found that 11 percent of Alaskan high school students reported smoking cigarettes once in the past 30 days compared to 18 percent reporting e-cigarette use in the same time period. Ms. Davidson warned that the variety of e-cigarette flavors appeals to teenagers despite growing evidence that e-cigarettes are as or more harmful than traditional tobacco use. Following the report’s release, a number of advocacy groups – including the AARP, American Lung Association, and the American Heart Association – issued a press release in support of a statewide smoke-free workplace law.
U.S. District Court ruling highlights State and federal disagreement over medical marijuana
A U.S. District Court ruling, issued by Judge Charles R. Breyer in San Francisco, removed a federal injunction against the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana this week. Judge Breyer stated that the Justice Department was “defying the will of Congress and improperly intruding on California’s medical marijuana laws” in his decision. The ruling follows four years of legal battles after federal officials closed down the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana in 2011. Judge Breyer’s decision is seen as a test of a federal appropriations bill amendment signed by President Obama in 2014 that banned “any expenditure of Justice Department funds to prevent States from implementing laws ‘that authorize the use, distribution and possession of medical marijuana.’”
Ohio announces investment of up to $1.5 million per year into Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System
Ohio’s Governor John Kasich announced an investment of up to $1.5 million per year into Ohio’s prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) database this past week. The investment aims to integrate the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System (OARRS) with electronic medical records and pharmacy information systems throughout the State in an effort to reduce the prevalence of prescription drug diversion and misuse. The investment marks Ohio as the first State to integrate its prescription drug monitoring database Statewide.
In the News
NAATP releases statement on MAT for substance use disorders
The National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP) released a statement regarding the use of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for substance use disorders this week. The statement highlights NAATP’s belief in the importance of evidence-based treatment methods such as MAT in developing a robust continuum of care for individuals with substance use disorders. The NAATP supports “bio-psycho-social-care, including 12-step care and peer driven support” in conjunction with MAT to provide a full spectrum of treatment options.
NCADD announces launch of new website
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) announced the launch of its new website this week. The new website compiles a broad array of information about alcoholism and its associated disorders, and connects individuals seeking help with healthcare providers in their local communities. The website further provides a number of recovery stories that highlight successful treatment of alcohol use disorders.
CSH and National Council announce webinar discussing long-term substance use disorder recovery and integrated housing and service solutions
CSH: The Source for Housing Solutions and the National Council for Behavioral Health have announced a new webinar discussing long-term substance use disorder recovery and integrated housing and service solutions, to be held on Friday, November 6th from 1:30 to 2:45 PM EST. The webinar will include presentations from several field experts about innovative ways communities are integrating housing with treatment and recovery support to aid in the long term recovery of individuals with substance use disorders. CSH and the National Council recently released a summary report of their 2014 convening on housing and substance use disorders. The report highlights potential opportunities and challenges surrounding the integration of housing and substance use disorder treatment, and underlines the evidence supporting better access to housing in treating 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.