D.C. Update – March 30, 2017


Around the Agencies

In the News

News from the States

Stakeholder Spotlight


Around the Agencies

NIDA announces teen, teacher, and parent advisory groups to provide feedback on “NIDA for Teens” resources

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is forming teacher, teen, and parent advisory groups to get input on the “NIDA for Teens” resources and initiatives. The three advisory groups will provide feedback on existing and new NIDA materials and discuss how NIDA can expand its reach to those who would benefit most from the NIDA for Teens resources. Applicants for the teen advisory group must be students currently enrolled in grades 6 to 10. The teacher advisory group applicants must be teachers or school counselors who currently teach or work directly with students in grades 6 to 11. The parents advisory group applicants must be parents and guardians of at least one student who is enrolled in grades 6 to 11. NIDA advisory groups will meet virtually a maximum of three times between April and December of 2017. Each online meeting will last about 1 hour.

Those who are interested in applying to participate in an advisory group should send an email to NIDAadvisorygroups@iqsolutions.com to request an application. Applications are due April 7, 2017.

Access the existing NIDA for Teens resources here.

In the News

Richard Baum named as new Acting Director of ONDCP

On Tuesday, the Administration announced that Richard Baum will replace Kemp Chester as the Acting Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) until a permanent director is appointed and confirmed by the Senate. Acting Director Baum has worked at ONDCP for almost twenty years, most recently as Chief of the International Division. In a White House press release on the announcement, Mr. Baum stated, “In my two decades of service at ONDCP, I’ve seen the heart-breaking suffering caused by illegal drugs, as well as the incredible work of dedicated individuals working to address drug abuse and its consequences. I look forward to continuing that work.”

The AIDS Institute commends National Academies of Sciences’ strategy to eliminate HBV and HCV

Earlier this week, the AIDS Institute issued a press release commending the recently released National Strategy for the Elimination of Hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV) report, which was authored by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report identifies barriers to eliminating HBV and HCV, and outlines actions necessary for reducing rates of the viruses. The AIDS Institute highlights that the top recommendation in the report is for the federal government to oversee a coordinated effort to manage hepatitis elimination.

Read the full press release here.

Governing magazine highlights bill on unemployment drug testing that President is expected to sign

Earlier this week, Governing magazine featured an article titled, “What the Unemployment Drug-Testing Bill on Trump’s Desk Means for States.” The article describes that although States were historically forbidden from drug testing unemployment insurance applicants, last year the Obama Administration finalized rules passed by Congress that allowed States to conduct such drug testing under certain circumstances. Last week, a joint resolution was presented to President Trump that would allow for the previous Administration’s rules to be rewritten to broaden the circumstances under which drug testing would be permissible. The article outlines the potential impact that the revision of rules could have by allowing States to require drug testing for unemployment insurance programs.

Read the full Governing article here.

APGSA encourages gambling prevention and treatment as Problem Gambling Awareness Month comes to an end

The Association of Problem Gambling Services Administrators (APGSA) published a document earlier this week titled, “Problem Gambling Awareness Month Ends with March Madness.” In the midst of March Madness, the APGSA offers a reminder that sports-related gambling events are a time for “States and communities to raise awareness of gambling as a health issue and a potentially dangerous past-time for some.” The document describes the correlation between problem gambling and mental health and substance use disorders. APGSA also offers tips on how safely and responsibly gamble.

The APGSA document is attached to this email.

News from the States

Maryland legislature works to pass opioid bills before legislative session ends

The Maryland State legislature is working quickly to pass a package of bills aimed at addressing the opioid crisis before the legislative session ends. Lawmakers have introduced over 30 bills to address the crisis, in response to the 317 prescription opioid overdose deaths last year. The proposals, many of which have been consolidated in recent weeks, focus on prevention, treatment, law enforcement, insurance coverage, and public awareness.

One of the proposals, the HOPE Act, would establish new crisis-treatment centers throughout Maryland; require the State to increase its reimbursement rates for substance use disorder clinics every year; request a funding increase in the governor’s next budget to expand drug-court programs; and allow individuals to administer naloxone without training. Another bill would require public schools to keep naloxone on school premises; authorize school nurses and other health personnel to administer naloxone; mandate that colleges educate incoming students about addiction; and require that degrees for many health occupations include instruction about addiction treatment and safe pain management.

Read more about the Maryland legislature’s efforts here.

Montgomery Co., MD considering establishment of a recovery school for students who have struggled with addiction

Last week the Washington Post featured an article on the potential comeback of a recovery school in Maryland’s Montgomery County. In 1979, possibly the first-ever recovery school in the U.S.—the Phoenix school—opened in Montgomery County, but four years ago the Phoenix school closed its doors. However, the Post article notes that as the opioid crisis continues, the idea of a recovery school in the Washington, DC suburb is being reconsidered. In addition to academic classes, the Phoenix school offered group counseling, random drug testing, 12-step programs, peer support, and outdoor experiential learning. There are currently 38 recovery schools across the country, with several more expected to open within the next year.

Read the full Washington Post article here.

Stakeholder Spotlight

The D.C. Update from the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD) is now featuring a “Stakeholder Spotlight” to highlight the work of a stakeholder group with which NASADAD works closely. The Spotlight will include background on an organization that impacts the substance use disorder field and describe NASADAD’s collaborative efforts with them. This week we’re catching up with the Society for Prevention Research (SPR).

Catching Up with the Society for Prevention Research (SPR)

The Society for Prevention Research (SPR), which was established in 1991, is an international membership organization dedicated to “advancing scientific investigation on the etiology and prevention of social, physical and mental health, and academic problems and on the translation of that information to promote health and wellbeing.” The members of SPR include scientists, practitioners, advocates, administrators, and policy makers who conduct and disseminate of prevention science.

SPR has six overarching goals as part of its mission: 1) Promote etiological and program development research and research on existing and emerging public health and well‐being problems; 2) Promote High‐Quality Prevention Science as integral to health care, social services, and education and toward national level system of EBP based prevention; 3) Influence Prevention Policy; 4) Promote prevention research to reduce disparities and inequality; 5) Communication with members, prevention researchers, policy makers, and the public; and 6) Increase the diversity of its membership.

NASADAD is appreciative of SPR’s commitment to science-based prevention strategies, as well as the leadership of SPR’s President, Dr. Richard Catalano of the University of Washington, and Executive Director, Jennifer Lewis. In particular, we are grateful for their presentation at the NASADAD Board of Directors meeting held in Washington, DC earlier this month. We will continue to coordinate with SPR on issues related to substance use disorder prevention.

Learn more about SPR here.

Should you have any questions, or require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact Robert Morrison, Executive Director, or Shalini Wickramatilake-Templeman, Federal Affairs Manager, at (202) 293-0090.