News from NASADAD
- NASADAD releases updated summary of FY 2017 appropriations for NASADAD’s priority programs
- NASADAD Annual Meeting slides now available on website
News from the States
- Ohio Governor John Kasich signs Good Samaritan law protecting those seeking medical help for overdoses
Around the Agencies
- SAMHSA reintroduces the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive
- FDA approves buprenorphine implant for treatment of opioid use disorders
- HHS releases fact sheet on the opioid epidemic
- HHS details objectives of its Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force
- NIH study reveals the role of endocannabinoids in habit forming behavior
- CDC releases results from the 2015 National Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System Survey
- NIH study finds rates of nonmedical prescription opioid use and opioid use disorders have doubled in the past decade
In the News
- Senate names Conferees for Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA)
- Vera Institute of Justice releases report summarizing State trends in sentencing and corrections from 2014-2015
- Pew Charitable Trusts report discusses growing prevalence of “sober dorms” in universities
- New report on strategies for utilizing MAT within drug courts
- Ramstad-Kennedy Award Nominations Due July 8th
News from NASADAD
NASADAD releases updated summary of FY 2017 appropriations for NASADAD’s priority programs
NASADAD has updated its summary of FY 2017 appropriations for NASADAD’s priority programs within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ). The updated summary now contains language from the Senate Appropriations Committee’s report, as well as both Senate and House report language for programs housed within DOJ. For FY 2017, the Senate Appropriations Committee recommends level funding of $1.8 billion for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT) Block Grant, a $14 million increase for the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), and an increase of $2.6 million for the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT).
Read the full summary here.
NASADAD 2016 Annual Meeting slides now available on website
NASADAD has uploaded slides from the presentations at the 2016 Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah onto our website. Plenary session topics included: Federal Initiatives on the Opioid Epidemic, SAMHSA/State Efforts to Prevent Opioid Misuse and Overdose, Substance Use Disorder Services for Women and the Family, SSAs in Criminal Justice Reform, Pathways to Recovery Housing, SAMHSA Key Initiatives, Role of the SAPT Block Grant in non-Medicaid Expansion States, and Role of the SAPT Block Grant in Medicaid Expansion States.
Access the slides here.
News from the States
Ohio Governor John Kasich signs Good Samaritan law protecting those seeking medical help for overdoses
Ohio Governor John Kasich has signed a Good Samaritan law, which will provide immunity from arrest, prosecution, or conviction to individuals seeking medical help as a result of a drug overdose. The bill (HB 110) also requires emergency medical services to “report the administration of naloxone on request of a law enforcement agency in specified circumstances and for specified purposes.”
Read more about the legislation here.
Around the Agencies
SAMHSA reintroduces the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reintroduced the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive (SAMHDA) late last month. The enhanced SAMHDA website provides centralized access to several public use databases related to substance use disorders, including the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) and the Treatment Episodic Data Set – Admissions (TEDS-A). SAMHSA plans to continue updating the archive throughout this year by adding an online analysis tool in late summer 2016 and providing approved researchers access to restricted-use data in early winter 2016.
Access the SAMHDA website here.
FDA approves buprenorphine implant for treatment of opioid use disorders
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first buprenorphine implant for the treatment of opioid use disorders. The implants, named Probuphine, “provide constant, low-level doses of buprenorphine to patients who are already stable on low-to-moderate doses of other forms of buprenorphine, as part of a complete treatment program.” Probuphine is administered through the surgical implantation of four, one-inch rods under the skin of the patient’s inside upper arm. The unique nature of the implants requires specific training through the Probuphine Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) program administered by the FDA. Clinical trials examining the effects of Probuphine demonstrated the implants’ success, with 63 percent of Probuphine-treatment patients exhibiting no signs of illicit opioid use throughout the six month treatment period.
Read the full story here.
HHS releases fact sheet on the opioid epidemic
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released a fact sheet on the opioid crisis. The fact sheet features several maps displaying drug overdose and opioid misuse rates throughout the United States, stating that the opioid epidemic has a $55 billion impact on health and social costs each year. The fact sheet goes on to evaluate and discuss next steps for HHS’s opioid initiative. While HHS successfully designed several grant programs to aid States most acutely affected by the opioid epidemic, the fact sheet notes that more work remains.
Read the full fact sheet here.
HHS details objectives of its Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) detailed the objectives of its Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force on its webpage earlier this month. The Task Force was created in March 2016 via a memorandum signed by President Obama. The Task Force’s objectives include increasing the awareness of protections provided by federal mental health and substance use disorder parity laws, improving the understanding of parity among health plans, insurers, and State regulators, and increasing the transparency around compliance with parity. The White House Domestic Policy Council, the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice, the Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Office of Personnel Management, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy comprise the Task Force. The Task Force will submit its findings in a report to the White House by October 31, 2016.
Read more about the Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force here.
NIH study reveals the role of endocannabinoids in habit forming behavior
A study published by the National Institutes of Health earlier this month reveals the relationship between endocannabinoids and habit forming behavior. The study was conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) in an effort to understand previously unknown brain functions that regulate habitual behaviors. The NIAAA’s study used mice to demonstrate that endocannabinoid receptors in the brain influence the prevalence of habit forming behavior. Mice with endocannabinoid receptors used habitual responses to obtain food rewards, while those with the endocannabinoid receptors removed used “goal-directed” responses instead. The authors of the study assert that it demonstrates “the existence of parallel brain circuits that mediate goal-directed and habitual behaviors,” and could explain how marijuana affects memory and decision making.
Read the full study here.
CDC releases results from the 2015 National Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System Survey
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released results from the 2015 National Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) survey last week. The YRBSS monitors a range of health risk behaviors among high school students at the national, State, and local levels by conducting surveys among representative samples every two years, with students in 37 different State and 19 large urban school districts participating in the 2015 survey. The results indicate that while current cigarette use has decreased from 28 percent in 1991 to 11 percent in 2015, e-cigarette use among high school students is on the rise, with 24 percent reporting use in the past 30 days. The survey further finds that high school students reporting past-month alcohol consumption has decreased from 50.8 percent in 1991 to 32.8 percent in 2015.
Read the full results here.
NIH study finds rates of nonmedical prescription opioid use and opioid use disorders have doubled in the past decade
A National Institutes of Health (NIH) study examining the rates of nonmedical prescription opioid use and opioid use disorders in the United States has found that both have nearly doubled in the past decade. The study, conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), found that “10 million Americans, or 4.1 percent of the adult population, used opioid medications in 2013-2013 without a prescription or not as prescribed in the past year.” The study notes that this is an increase from the 1.8 percent reporting nonmedical use in 2001-2002. Over 2 million adults, or 0.9 percent of the adult population, reported symptoms of nonmedical opioid use disorder in 2012-2013.
Read more about the study here.
In the News
Senate names Conferees for Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA)
On June 16th the Senate voted 95-1 in favor of going to conference on the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA; S. 524). The Senate conferees will work with the House conferees to send the final version of the opioids bill to the President. Senate conferees include chairmen and ranking members from the Judiciary Committee [Sen. Grassley (R-IA) and Sen. Leahy (D-VT)]; the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee [Sen. Alexander (R-TN) and Sen. Murray (D-WA)]; and the Finance Committee [Sen. Hatch (R-UT) and Sen. Wyden (D-OR)]; as well as Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX), and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL). The House conferees include: Reps. Goodlatte (R-VA), Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Smith (R-TX), Marino (R-PA), Collins (R-GA), Trott (R-MI), Bishop (R-MI), Upton (R-MI), Pitts (R-PA), Lance (R-NJ), Guthrie (R-KY), Kinzinger (R-IL), Bucshon (R-IN), Brooks (R-IN), Barletta (R-PA), Carter (R-GA), Bilirakis (R-FL), Walorski (R-IN), Pallone (D-NJ) , Conyers (D-MI), Scott (D-VA) , McDermott (D-WA), Green (D-TX), Jackson Lee (D-TX), Courtney (D-CT), Cohen (D-TN), Sarbanes (D-MD), Luján (D-NM), Chu (D-CA), Esty (D-CT) , Kuster (D-NH), and Ruiz (D-CA).
During the vote, the Senate also approved a measure by Sen. Shaheen (D-NH) that instructs the conferees to insist that the final conference report include funding for the opioid crisis. There is no guarantee that the final report will include language related to funding, but Sen. Shaheen’s motion—which passed with a vote of 66-29—conveyed a message that funding is crucial for State and local prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts.
Vera Institute of Justice releases report summarizing State trends in sentencing and corrections from 2014-2015
The Vera Institute of Justice has released a report summarizing State trends in sentencing and corrections policy during 2014 and 2015. The report finds that 46 States made at least 201 changes to sentencing and corrections laws during this time, an increase over the 85 bills passed in 35 States in 2013. The Vera Institute reports that most of these 201 changes can be placed into three main categories: “1)creating or expanding opportunities to divert people away from entering the system; 2) reducing prison populations by making certain offenses eligible for community-based sentences, reducing the length and severity of custodial sentences, adding early release options, and reducing the number of people re-admitted for violating probations or parole; and 3) supporting reentry into the community for those leaving prison.”
View a summary of Vera’s report here.
Read Vera’s full report here.
Pew Charitable Trusts report discusses growing prevalence of “sober dorms” in universities
The Pew Charitable Trusts issued a report earlier this month discussing the growing prevalence of “sober dorms” in universities throughout the country. The article discusses the difficulties many college students face in maintaining recovery while attending college. More than 35 percent of American college students report having more than five drinks in one sitting in the past two weeks, compared to 29 percent of their non-college peers. In addition, “daily marijuana use among full-time college students has more than tripled in the past 20 years.” In response to this growing problem, States have begun passing legislation and creating programs facilitating the ability of students to live in “sober dorms” during their time at school. In 2014, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed a law requiring that all State colleges in New Jersey offer sober housing if at least one quarter of students reside on campus. The University of Vermont launched a similar program in 2010 through its Catamount Recovery Program for students in recovery. Other universities, while not creating sober housing, have begun investing in recovery initiatives to aid students in need.
Read the full report here.
New report on strategies for utilizing MAT within drug courts
The Center for Court Information, the Legal Action Center, and the New York State Unified Court System’s Office of Policy and Planning have released a new report discussing recommended strategies for the utilization of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) within drug courts. The report contains profiles of three New York State drug courts (each in a different region of the State), as well as nine components of successful MAT programs. These components include the provision of counseling and other services, strong relationships and regular communication with treatment programs, monitoring for the illicit use and diversion of MAT medication, and ensuring judges and court staff fully understand and rely on the clinical judgment of treatment providers. The report additionally highlights problems unique to drug courts located in rural areas.
Read the full report here.
Ramstad-Kennedy Award Nominations due July 8th
The Ramstad-Kennedy Award was established in 2008 to recognize a Single State Authority (SSA) Director who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in support of recovery and National Recovery Month, and to acknowledge Congressmen Ramstad and Kennedy for their commitment to recovery and recovery-oriented policies. This year’s Ramstad-Kennedy award will be presented on August 10th, 2016 at the 2016 SAMHSA National Block Grant Conference. Selection is based on the following criteria: a State Director who as provided outstanding leadership and innovation in promoting the goals of National Recovery Month in their State; strengthened and expanded Recovery Month activities within their agency and throughout other State agencies; provided support to strengthen and expand Recovery Month activities throughout their State; expanded the number and impact of National Recovery Month activities in their local communities; and encouraged and expanded recovery organizations in their State.
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.