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D.C. Update – January 30, 2015

News from NASADAD

  • NASADAD attends 1st Public Meeting of Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections
  • NASADAD attends NDD town hall meeting on the FY 2016 federal budget

Around the Agencies

  • SAMHSA accepting applications for FY 2015 Grants to Expand Substance Abuse Treatment Capacity in Adult and Family Drug Courts
  • SAMHSA accepting applications for FY 2015 SBIRT Student Training grants
  • CMS releases bulletin regarding benefits that meet the needs of youth with substance abuse disorders and Medicaid requirements
  • HHS announces January 2015 open enrollment numbers
  • CDC releases new phase of hepatitis public information campaign
  • APIS releases annual update of State-by State alcohol policies
  • CMS releases brief on considerations for health homes for opioid addiction treatment

In the News

  • Rising number of heroin overdoses spurs Maryland and Virginia to take action
  • American Academy of Pediatrics updates policy statement on the impact of marijuana legalization on youth
  • Delaware Governor seeks additional funding for opioid treatment facilities
  • ONDCP Acting Director outlines 2015 policy efforts at AMA State Legislative Strategy Conference
  • New York Times reports on cost-saving naloxone technology

 

Upcoming Events

  • NSC announces workplace substance abuse webinar to be held February 19th

 

News from NASADAD

NASADAD attends 1st Public Meeting of Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections
The meeting was attended by Brian Denten, Public Policy Intern, on Tuesday, January 27th. The Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections was established this year to identify possible reforms for the federal corrections system and to help make the system safer, less costly, and more humane. The bipartisan Task Force will meet 5 times this year and hear from U.S. Attorneys, U.S. District Judges, Directors associated with various State agencies, and formerly incarcerated federal inmates. The first meeting identified several goals of the Task Force: reducing recidivism, promoting public safety, learning from criminal justice successes in the States, and reevaluating current drug sentencing practices. In subsequent meetings the Task Force will continue to expound on these areas.

Task Force Members:

  • C. Watts, Jr.; Task Force Chairman; J.C. Watts Companies; Congressman (R-OK) (1995-2003)
  • Allan B. Mollohan; Task Force Vice Chairman; Congressman (D-WV) (1983-2011)
  • David C. Iglesias; Director of J. Dennis Hastert Center for Economics, Government, and Public Policy; Wheaton College; United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico (2001-2007)
  • Jim Liske; President and CEO of Prison Fellowship Ministries
  • Jay Neal; Executive Director of Georgia Governor’s Office of Transition; Support and Reentry Representative of the Georgia General Assembly (R-Lafayette) (2005-2013)
  • Laurie O. Robinson; Clarence J. Robinson Professor of Criminology, Law and Society at George Mason University; Assistant Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs (1993-2000, 2009-2012)
  • Cynthia W. Roseberry; Project Manager, Clemency Project 2014; Executive Director, Federal Defenders of the Middle District of Georgia (2009-2014)
  • Judge Ricardo M. Urbina; Arbitrator and Mediator, JAMS; Judge, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (1994-2012)
  • John E. Wetzel; Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections

Presenters:

  • Richard S. Hartunian; U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of New York
  • Charles E. Samuels; Director, Federal Bureau of Prisons
  • Judge Irene M. Keeley; Chair, Criminal Law Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States
  • Kenneth P. Cohen; Staff Director, U.S. Sentencing Commission

 For more information, click here.

NASADAD attends NDD town hall meeting on the FY 2016 federal budget
The meeting was attended by Colleen Haller, Public Policy Associate, and Brian Denten, Public Policy Intern, on Thursday, January 29th. The meeting was hosted at the National Education Association (NEA) and featured speakers from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). NDD United seeks to protect non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs from further cuts by engaging organizations benefiting from NDD funding to promote their work and educate Congress about the importance of their work. This week’s meeting discussed several possible timelines for budget resolutions in 2015, and warned against strategies Congress may pursue to continue cutting NDD programs in the future.

Presenters:

  • Robert Greenstein; President & Founder, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
  • Joel Friedman; Vice President for Federal Fiscal Policy, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Around the Agencies

SAMHSA accepting applications for FY 2015 Grants to Expand Substance Abuse Treatment Capacity in Adult and Family Drug Courts
SAMHSA is now accepting applications for FY 2015 Grants to Expand Substance Abuse Treatment Capacity in Adult and Family Drug Courts. This program aims to expand and enhance substance abuse treatment services in current adult and family drug courts. Funds must be used to address treatment gaps for individuals suffering from substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. Applications are due by Friday, March 27, 2015. Grantees will be awarded an anticipated amount of up to $325,000.

CMS releases bulletin regarding benefits that meet the needs of youth with substance use disorders and Medicaid requirements
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the bulletin this week. The bulletin outlines problems facing youth dealing with substance use disorders and details possible treatment plans. Outpatient, medication, and case management treatment are each discussed as treatment options. The bulletin concludes with a discussion of which treatment plans are covered under Medicaid, and how best to utilize Medicaid for youth struggling with substance abuse.

HHS releases January 2015 open enrollment numbers
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the open enrollment numbers for January 2015 this week. 9.5 million people enrolled or were automatically enrolled in health insurance coverage from the Health Insurance Marketplace. Of this number, more than 7.1 million were in States using HealthCare.gov. The remaining 2.4 million consumers used Marketplace platforms unique to their State.

Read the full report here.

CDC releases new phase of hepatitis public information campaign
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the next phase of the national “Know More Hepatitis” campaign this week. The CDC estimates that nearly 50% of people with hepatitis C do not know they are infected, and recommend everyone born from 1945-1965 get tested. The new campaign features print, radio, and TV PSAs, as well as public transit advertisements. Materials supporting local educational efforts including posters and fact sheets are also available.

APIS releases annual update of State-by State alcohol policies
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has released its annual update of State-by-State alcohol policies through its Alcohol Policy Information System (APIS) project. The update reports on State changes to alcohol policy statutes and regulations. Among the changes include a new blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for boaters in Georgia, new pregnancy and alcohol regulations, and adjustments to the tax rates affecting alcohol purchases in several States.

CMS releases brief on considerations for health homes for opioid addiction treatment
The Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a brief on some considerations for using the health home model for opioid treatment. The brief compares different health home models seen in different States, and takes a close look at Maryland, Rhode Island, and Vermont.  Many individuals struggling with opioid abuse also suffer from mental health conditions. Health homes provide an integrated care structure for people dealing with both substance abuse and mental illnesses.

In the News

Rising number of heroin overdoses spurs Maryland and Virginia to take action
Increasing amounts of heroin overdoses in Maryland and Virginia have forced lawmakers to take action. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) has announced reducing heroin use a new priority, and is actively exploring solutions. Virginia Governor Terry McAullife (D) recently introduced new legislation that increases criminal penalties for drug dealers supplying lethal doses, and reduces penalties for drug users seeking help for friends who have overdosed. These efforts are in response to growing heroin usage rates and in the wake of new regulations on prescription opioids.

American Academy of Pediatrics updates policy statement on the impact of marijuana legalization on youth
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) updated its 2004 policy statement “Legalization of Marijuana: Potential Impact on Youth” this past week. The statement reviews new information about youth and adolescent marijuana usage. AAP opposes the legalization of marijuana because of the potential harm posed to children, but supports researching the impact of marijuana legalization on youth in States that have voted to legalize. Additionally, AAP supports the development of pharmaceutical cannabinoids and efforts to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. You can find more info here.

Delaware Governor seeks additional funding for opioid treatment facilities
Delaware Governor Jack Markell plans to seek $4 million to fight rising drug abuse in Delaware. The Governor announced the plan this past Monday at an event in Newark. The plan was formulated by Delaware’s health department, and will be further detailed in the proposed budget. The new program plans to double the capacity of State treatment facilities, in addition to coordinating with Delaware’s Attorney General to help incarcerated individuals struggling with addiction.

ONDCP Acting Director outlines 2015 policy efforts at AMA State Legislative Strategy Conference
Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Acting Director Michael Botticelli outlined 2015 policy efforts at an American Medical Association (AMA) conference earlier this month. The director warned of growing prescription drug and heroin overdoses, and noted three key policy areas to focus on in 2015. ONDCP recommends improving prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) to increase usability in medical practices, expanding access to naloxone, and reducing the stigma surrounding substance use disorders. The AMA recommends that all States pass laws increasing the availability of naloxone by the end of 2015

New York Times reports on cost-saving naloxone technology
The New York Times reported on a new naloxone initiative undertaken by The Clinton Foundation this past week. The Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Health Matters Initiative has negotiated a low price for a new device called Evzio that administers a single dose of naloxone. The low price will be available for any institution that can broadly distribute the medicine, such as police departments and universities. Making naloxone more affordable is essential in the battle to reduce the number of opioid overdose deaths.

Upcoming Events

NSC announces workplace substance abuse webinar to be held February 19th
The National Safety Council (NSC) announced an upcoming webinar on workplace substance abuse to be held Thursday, February 19th. Titled “The Rapidly Changing Face of Substance Abuse – A Defining Moment for Employers,” the webinar will discuss the financial and safety risk prescription drug use poses to the workplace. Proper policy procedures for dealing with employees struggling with prescription drug abuse including avoiding litigation and the laws surrounding drug testing will be examined. The webinar will be hosted by Christine Clearwater, President of Drug-Free Solutions Group, LLC.

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.

D.C. Update – January 23, 2015

News from NASADAD

  • NASADAD considering comments on SAPT Block Grant Application – Input accepted from membership through January 30
  • NIDA requests public input on 2016-2020 strategic plan – NASADAD extends deadline to Jan 26
  • NASADAD attends Capitol Hill briefing on marijuana legalization
  • NASADAD attends Capitol Hill briefing on opioid use during pregnancy
  • NASADAD attends health reform event sponsored by ONDCP and SAMHSA
  • NASADAAD attends Capitol Hill briefing on criminal justice reform

Around the Agencies

  • HHS releases new tool for determining healthcare tax liability
  • NIH reveals statistics on Americans at risk for alcohol-medication interactions
  • CMS releases brief highlighting key features of health-home treatment for individuals with opioid dependency
  • DOJ releases Law Enforcement Naloxone Toolkit
  • CDC releases findings on opioid prescription claims among women of reproductive age
  • NIH panel finds evidence lacking for efficacy of opioid prescriptions treating chronic pain

In the News

  • American Psychiatric Foundation updates employer guide for compliance with parity
  • Alliance for Health Reform releases toolkit addressing American health insurance literacy
  • Congressional Access to Recovery Caucus seeks input for 114th Congress
  • NIDA-funded study finds that gender-sensitive treatment for women leads to better employment outcomes

 

News from NASADAD

NASADAD considering comments on SAPT Block Grant application – Input accepted from membership through January 30
On January 8, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released  a draft version of the FY 2016/2017 application for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT) Block Grant. NASADAD is considering drafting a letter to provide input. If States would like to submit comments for NASADAD to consider, please email Colleen Haller at challer@nasadad.org by January 30, COB. NASADAD will then work with leadership on recommendations. NASADAD facilitated a conference call on Friday, January 16 where SAMHSA reviewed the proposed draft with the membership and fielded questions. View the Federal Register Notice announcing the proposed changes here. View all relevant materials associated with the draft application here.

NIDA requests public input on 2016-2020 strategic plan – NASADAD extends deadline to Jan 26
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) released a request for information to seek public input for a revised strategic plan that to provide a research framework for the next 5 years. NIDA welcomes input from researchers, health care professionals, patient advocates, advocacy organizations, scientific or professional organizations, federal agencies, and any other interested members of the public. Responses are due by January 30, 2015 and should be emailed to NIDAOSPCPlanning@mail.nih.gov. States that would like to submit comments for NASADAD to consider as part of the Association’s response may submit comments to Colleen Haller at challer@nasadad.org by Monday, January 26th.

NASADAD attends Capitol Hill briefing on marijuana legalization
Rob Morrison, Executive Director and Colleen Haller, Public Policy Associate attended the briefing, “Insights about Marijuana Legalization in the United States,” on Wednesday, January 21st. The briefing reviewed a report commissioned by the State of Vermont and published by the Rand Corporation called “Marijuana Legalization: Insights for Vermont and Other Jurisdictions.” Vermont commissioned the report to learn more about the policy and health implications for various marijuana policies. The presenters provided an overview of current marijuana policies in the U.S. and abroad; the various policy options available to jurisdictions considering alternatives to prohibition; the effect of one State’s policy change on surrounding States; and how differences at the federal and State levels can influence policy decisions.

Presenters:

  • Beau Kilmer, RAND Senior Policy Researcher
  • Jonathan Caulkins, Professor at Carnegie Mellon University and RAND consultant
  • Rosalie Pacula, RAND Senior Economist

 

NASADAD attends briefing on Capitol Hill on opioid use during pregnancy
Colleen Haller, Public Policy Associate attended the event on Wednesday, January 21st, titled “Opioid Use: Protecting the Most Vulnerable, Addressing Drug Exposure in Mothers and Newborns.” The briefing was hosted by the March of Dimes, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The presenters provided background research on opioid use and neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) and offered options for federal action to better understand and treat NAS, as well as promote effective treatments for mothers such as medication-assisted treatment. The briefing was moderated by Cynthia Pellegrini, Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Government Affairs, March of Dimes.

Presenters:

  • Jonathan Davis, Chief, Division of Newborn Medicine; Neonatologist; Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
  • Nathaniel DeNicola, Clinical Instructor, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
  • Cecelia Spitznas, PhD, Senior Science Policy Analyst, Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)

 

NASADAD attends health reform event sponsored by ONDCP and SAMHSA
On Wednesday, January 21, NASADAD Executive Director Robert Morrison attended a White House event jointly sponsored by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to discuss issues related to health reform and addiction services. Dave Mineta, ONDCP’s Deputy Director for Demand Reduction shared the emcee duties with Tom Coderre, Senior Advisor to the SAMHSA Administrator, throughout the event. The meeting featured people in recovery talking about their experiences accessing services made available through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In addition, the meeting included a panel of experts discussing various aspects of health reform. The panel, moderated by Chris Carroll, SAMHSA, then answered written questions from the audience. Panelists included Becky Vaughn, National Council for Behavioral Health; Pam Rodriguez, Illinois TASC; Paolo del Vecchio, Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS); and others.

NASADAD attends Capitol Hill briefing on criminal justice reform
Colleen Haller, Public Policy Associate, and Brian Denten, Public Policy Intern, attended the briefing, “A Conversation about Federal Criminal Justice Reform,” hosted by the #cut50 initiative on Thursday, January 22nd. Presenters at the briefing discussed the growing fiscal and human cost of incarceration in the United States. The bipartisan #cut50 initiative, led by Van Jones and Newt Gingrich, aims to significantly reduce the number of incarcerated individuals in the United States over the next 10 years through smarter approaches to nonviolent offenders. #cut50 seeks common ground between the two parties that will hopefully lead to federal reform in the prison system. The presenters discussed ongoing State efforts to reduce the incarcerated population and ways the federal government can learn from them.

Presenters:

  • Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ)
  • Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
  • Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich
  • Van Jones, CNN Contributor and Founder of #cut50
  • Vikrant Reddy, Senior Policy Analyst at Texas Public Policy Foundation

 

NASADAD attends Capitol Hill briefing on HIT in 2015
Brian Denten, Public Policy Intern, attended the briefing, “2015 Outlook for Health Information Technology,” hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center on Friday, January 23rd. The briefing discussed the Congressional outlook for health information technology (HIT) legislation in 2015, especially regarding the interoperability and cybersecurity of patient records. Clarifying current regulations and advancing an oversight framework for HIT that promotes innovation was stressed as a key issue for the future. Removing barriers and providing incentive for health services to improve patient access were also mentioned as priorities. Topics pertaining specifically to substance abuse and 42 CFR Part 2 did not come up during discussion.

 Presenters:

  • Karen Fisher, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) staff
  • Colin Goldfinch, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) staff
  • Alicia Hennie, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) staff
  • Robert Horne, Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) staff
  • Rohini Kosoglu, Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) staff
  • Jane Lucas, Senator John Thune  (R-SD) staff
  • Kristen O’Neill, Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) staff
  • Karen Summar, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) staff
  • Kristin Welsh, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) staff

 

Around the Agencies

HHS releases new tools for determining healthcare tax liability
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released new tools for helping consumers for the 2015 tax season. 2015 is the first year that individuals and families will be required to submit basic information about their health insurance for their tax returns. HHS has created tools for IRS Forms 8962 (2014 Premium Tax Credit) and 8965 (qualification for exemption for coverage being unaffordable). View more HHS information about health coverage & federal income taxes here.

NIH reveals statistics on Americans at risk for alcohol-medication interactions
The National Institute of Health revealed the new statistics on January 16th. The study shows that almost 42 percent of alcohol-consuming U.S. adults also take medications that interact with alcohol. 78% of people 65 years of age or older report using alcohol-interactive medication. Side effects of mixing prescription drugs with medication include nausea and headaches, or more severe effects of internal bleeding, heart problems, and difficulty breathing. Older adults are particularly at risk due to slow metabolisms creating a larger window for interactions. The main medications reported in the survey were blood pressure medications, sleeping pills, pain medications, muscle relaxers, diabetes and cholesterol medications, and antidepressants. Learn more about alcohol-medication interactions here.

CMS releases brief highlighting key features of health-home treatment for individuals with opioid dependency
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released an issue brief highlighting features of approved health home models designed for individuals with opioid dependency. The brief highlights home models in Rhode Island, Maryland, and Vermont. Key points in the brief include leveraging opioid treatment requirements, collaboration and information sharing across State agencies, and helping providers in the process of becoming health homes. Read more information about Medicaid Health Homes here.

DOJ releases Law Enforcement Naloxone Toolkit
The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) within the Department of Justice (DOJ) released the Law Enforcement Naloxone Toolkit this week. The toolkit provides a “one-stop-shop” for all State, municipal, and tribal law enforcement agencies looking to begin naloxone programs. Naloxone reverses the effect of opioid overdoses by helping to restore breathing to victims. NASADAD collaborated with the BJA to construct the toolkit, including providing a membership list so that interested agencies can contact their State substance abuse agency.

CDC releases findings on opioid prescription claims for women of reproductive age
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the findings this week. Using Truven Health’s MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters and Medicaid data, the study found that from 2008-2012 an average of 27.7% of privately insured and 39.4% of Medicaid-enrolled reproductive age women (15-44 years) filed a prescription for an opioid. According to the study, the most commonly prescribed opioids were hydrocodone, codeine, and oxycodone.  Opioid usage among reproductive age women presents a difficult issue for public health officials, as women can unknowingly use opioids while pregnant. Treatments other than opioid prescriptions among this population are preferred if safer options exist.

NIH panel finds evidence lacking for opioid prescriptions treating chronic pain
A National Institute of Health (NIH) panel found that not enough research exists to support the wide prescription of opioid treatments for chronic pain conditions. The panel also found that the health care system has not strongly pursued alternatives to opioid prescriptions that could improve outcomes for those suffering from chronic pain. The NIH recommends that agencies sponsor studies to help discover which conditions are most likely to benefit or be harmed by opioids. These studies should include cost-benefit analyses and review current opioid treatment risk prevention strategies such as drug screening and patient agreements. Until more is known, current guidelines about opioid treatment should be followed.

In the News

American Psychiatric Foundation updates the employer guide for compliance with parity
The American Psychiatric Foundation (APF) and its Partnership for Workplace Mental Health updated its Employer Guide for Compliance with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Act was passed in 2008 to expand coverage for mental health and substance abuse disorders. Approximately 113 million people are affected by the law. The APF’s employer guide helps employers navigate the complex regulations that accompany the law. The updated version also includes new regulations put into place by the Affordable Care Act.

Alliance for Health Reform releases toolkit addressing American health insurance literacy
The Alliance for Health Reform released a toolkit addressing the ability of Americans to interpret their healthcare plan. The toolkit finds that nearly nine out of ten adults have difficulty making informed decisions about their health, and that almost half of Americans do not understand basic health insurance phrases such as “premium” and “deductible.” The toolkit includes an overview of this issue accompanied by articles supporting and analyzing the topic.

Congressional Access to Recovery Caucus seeks input for 114th Congress
The Congressional Addiction, Treatment, And Recovery (ATR) Caucus circulated a Dear Colleague letter to invite Members of Congress to participate and to seek new ideas and input for the upcoming Congressional session. The ATR Caucus seeks to educate lawmakers about addiction prevention, treatment, and substance abuse. The draft letter is attached to this email.

NIDA-funded study finds that gender-sensitive treatment for women leads to better employment outcomes
A study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found that gender-sensitive substance abuse treatment services for women lead to better employment outcomes upon recovery. The study found this result even in programs where vocational training is not a defined component of the recovery plan. Researchers discovered that women receiving treatment in more gender-sensitive programs were more likely to be employed after 12 months. However, this effect disappeared during the second post-treatment year. Most women’s treatment services are currently mixed-gender rather than gender-specific.

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.

D.C. Update – January 16, 2015

News from the States

  • Ohio announces initiative to combat substance abuse and addiction in the workplace

Around the Agencies

  • CDC releases 2013 mortality data showing increase in heroin deaths
  • BJA announces FY 2015 guidelines for the Second Chance Act Statewide Recidivism Reduction Strategic Planning Program
  • SAMHSA’s HIT team announces plan to develop new data sharing technologies for patients in OTPs
  • SAMHSA awards grant to NAADAC for new minority fellowship program for addiction counselors
  • SAMHSA announces release of Drug-Free Communities Support Program grant

In the News

  • RAND releases report on State insights on marijuana legalization

Upcoming Events

  • 5th annual National Drug Facts Week to be held January 26 – February 1

News from NASADAD

  • NASADAD welcomes new Public Policy Intern Brian Denten

 

News from the States

Ohio announces initiative to combat substance abuse and addiction in the workplace
Ohio announced the initiative to combat substance abuse and addiction in the workplace as a new branch of its “Start Talking!” program. Titled “Start Talking! BIZ (Business Impact Zone),” the new program provides a collection of tools designed for Ohio businesses struggling with problems related to substance abuse – including videos, PowerPoint presentations, and biweekly tips. The initiative seeks to stimulate employee discussion about addiction and encourage struggling employees to seek help. Studies estimate that substance abuse creates a significant drag on the economy, with approximately $81 billion lost annually attributed to decreases in employee productivity stemming from addiction.

Around the Agencies

CDC releases 2013 mortality data showing increase in heroin deaths
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the data on January 12th. Deaths attributed to prescription painkillers have remained stable since 2012, yet deaths associated with heroin use continue to increase. Heroin-related deaths increased 39% since 2012, maintaining a three year trend. The FY 2015 Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) budget provides $12 million to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to broaden treatment programs for opioid addiction (with medication-assisted treatment as an allowable use) and $20 million through the CDC to continue prevention of prescription drug abuse. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has released a toolkit for law enforcement describing the use of naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal drug as part of its response to the growing opioid problem. SAMHSA has also released an opioid overdose toolkit.

BJA announces FY 2015 guidelines for the Second Chance Act Statewide Recidivism Reduction Strategic Planning Program
The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) announced the guidelines for Statewide Recidivism Reduction (SRR) grants in FY 2015. Grants will provide up to $100,000 in funding for State correctional agencies developing Statewide recidivism reduction plans. Grantees will need to identify the causes of recidivism in their respective States, and develop reduction goals that review current programs and involve evidence-based practices. Select grantees that complete the SRR may be invited by BJA to submit applications for grants of up to $1 million for implementation. The deadline for applications is March 10th, 2015. The BJA is also hosting a webinar on this topic January 20th, 2015.

SAMHSA’s HIT team announces plan to develop new data sharing technologies for patients in OTPs
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMSHA) Health Information Technology Team (HIT) is partnering with SAMHSA’s Division of Pharmacologic Therapies to develop new data sharing technology for patients in opioid treatment programs (OTP). Success in OTPs is largely oriented around continued access to care – these new technologies will help patients during service interruptions. Patient dignity and privacy will be prioritized in these new systems. Request for Contracts (RFC) will be issued on February 15, 2015.

SAMHSA awards grant to NAADAC for new minority fellowship program for addiction counselors
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) awarded a $3.2 million grant ($800,000 per year for four years) to The Association of Addiction Professionals (NAADAC) at the end of November 2014. The grant creates a fellowship called “Now is the Time: Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counselors (NITT-MFP-AC)” that seeks to increase the number of Master’s level addiction counselors available to minority populations. The grant will provide tuition stipends, training, and professional guidance to graduate students in their final year of study with a proven interest in working with underserved groups. The NMFP-AC desires to reduce health disparities by realigning the training of addiction professionals to better focus on the unique needs of minority populations.

SAMHSA announces release of Drug-Free Communities Support Program grant
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced the release of the grant on January 16th. The Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program has two primary goals: to establish and strengthen collaboration among communities and nonprofit agencies; and to enable State, local, and tribal governments to support community coalitions’ efforts to prevent and reduce youth substance abuse. Applications are due by March 18th and grantees will receive up to $125,000 per year.

In the News

RAND releases report on State insights on marijuana legalization
Vermont commissioned the report, “Considering Marijuana Legalization: Insights for Vermont and Other Jurisdictions,” to learn about the various consequences of legalizing marijuana. The report does not provide an opinion on legalization, but rather provides a factual basis to discuss the effects of various changes to State marijuana laws. The report provides an overview of marijuana policy generally, marijuana policy in Vermont, consequences of marijuana use on health and the criminal justice system, taxation and regulatory schemes, and much more. Using lessons from other States, the report provides insight into how States have dealt with the complexities of marijuana policies. NASADAD recently released a new fact sheet on the effects of marijuana.

Upcoming Events

5th Annual National Drug Facts Week to be held January 26 – February 1
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) announced that the 5th annual National Drugs Facts Week will be held from January 26th to February 1st, and invites all interested parties to host an event for teens. The week provides an opportunity for youth to learn the facts about drug addiction and engage with area experts. Registered events will receive support from NIDA staff, including science-based materials, activity ideas, and national recognition on the official 2015 map for the National Drug Facts Week. Register an event here.

News from NASADAD

NASADAD welcomes new Public Policy Intern Brian Denten
We are very pleased to announce the addition of Brian Denten to the NASADAD Public Policy team! Brian will be joining us as an intern this semester and will work on a variety of public policy projects, including writing the D.C. Update. Brian is a first-year graduate student at American University, studying for a Master’s degree in Public Administration. Prior to joining NASADAD, Brian interned for the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, tracking legislation and collecting data on youth sentencing issues. We are very excited to have him on board!

If you’d like to get in touch with Brian, he can be reached at bdenten@nasadad.org or 202-293-0090 ext. 4877.

 

 

 

 

D.C. Update – January 9, 2015

Around the Agencies

  • NIDA releases 2014 Monitoring the Future data on youth substance use trends
  • NIDA requests public input on 2016-2020 strategic plan – NASADAD to consider a response
  • SAMHSA announces prevention grant opportunity for States and tribes
  • SAMHSA releases clinical guide on injectable naltrexone for opioid treatment
  • SAMHSA releases report on Medicaid coverage and financing of medications to treat substance use disorders
  • SAMHSA releases brief on co-occurring borderline personality disorders and substance use disorders
  • CDC releases data on alcohol poisoning deaths from 2010-2012

In the News

  • Studies estimate impact of ending subsidies in federal insurance marketplaces

Upcoming Events

  • January: CMS announces series of webinars on the Affordable Care Act

 

Around the Agencies

NIDA releases 2014 Monitoring the Future data on youth substance use trends
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) released the data on December 16th. The 2014 data shows no major increases in drug use between 2013 and 2014 – namely use of alcohol, cigarettes, prescription drugs, and illicit drugs either held steady or declined among U.S. adolescents. Marijuana use has not increased during the past two years with 21.2% of high school seniors, 16.6% of sophomores, and 6.5% of 8th graders using marijuana during the past month. These rates are consistent with 2013. Cigarette and alcohol use continue to decline, as well as the use of prescription opioid pain relievers. Rates of e-cigarettes use, however, are higher than expected with 17.1% of seniors, 16.2% of sophomores, and 8.7% of 8th graders reporting past month use.

NIDA requests public input on 2016-2020 strategic plan – NASADAD to consider a response
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) released a request for information to seek public input for a revised strategic plan that to provide a research framework for the next 5 years. NIDA welcomes input from researchers, health care professionals, patient advocates, advocacy organizations, scientific or professional organizations, federal agencies, and any other interested members of the public. Responses are due by January 30, 2015 and should be emailed to NIDAOSPCPlanning@mail.nih.gov. NASADAD will work with staff to consider developing a response from the Association.

SAMHSA announces prevention grant opportunity for States and tribes
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is accepting applications for the Strategic Prevention Framework Partnerships for Success (SPF-PFS) State and Tribal Initiative through Monday, March 16, 2015. The program is designed to address two of the nation’s top substance abuse prevention priorities: underage drinking among persons 12-20 and prescription drug misuse and abuse among persons 12-25. Grant recipients will receive an estimated $318,543 to $2,472,608 per grant year.

SAMHSA releases clinical guide on injectable naltrexone for opioid treatment
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released the guide, “Clinical Use of Extended-Release Injectable Naltrexone in the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorders: A Brief Guide,” this week. The guide offers information on assessment, developing treatment plans, integrating medication and non-medication therapies, initiating medication-assisted treatment, monitoring patient progress, and much more. The guide also provides general information on methadone and buprenorphine and the various clinical indications that should be considered when discussing various treatment medications.

SAMHSA releases report on Medicaid coverage and financing of medications to treat substance use disorders
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released the report, “Medicaid Coverage and Financing of Medications to Treat Alcohol and Opioid Use Disorders,” in November. The brief offers considerations for covering treatment medications, including the efficacy of the medications, cost offsets and cost effectiveness, and State and federal regulations that affect prescribing and dispensing practices. The report also reviews State Medicaid coverage for these medications, as well as examples of innovative coverage and financing models from Maryland, Vermont, and Massachusetts.

SAMHSA releases brief on co-occurring borderline personality disorders and substance use disorders
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released the brief report, “An Introduction to Co-Occurring Borderline Personality Disorder and Substance Use Disorders,” in November. The brief offers information for various health and human services professionals including social workers, vocational counselors, case managers, providers, and probation officers. It provides an introduction to borderline personality disorder (BPD), a mental health condition with high rates of suicide and self-harm that often co-occurs with substance use disorders. The brief also details the signs and symptoms of BPD, available treatments, and tips for professionals working with clients with co-occurring BPD and substance use disorder.

CDC releases data on alcohol poisoning deaths from 2010-2012
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the data on January 6th. More than 2,200 Americans ages 15 and older died due to alcohol poisoning annually from 2010-2012. Of those, approximately 76% were among adults aged 35-64. Whites accounted for the majority of deaths, however, the highest age-adjusted death rate was found among American Indians/Alaska Natives at 49.1 deaths per 1 million. A recent study found that this population is seven times more likely to die from alcohol poisoning than Whites. This reflects both the higher intensity of binge drinkers in this population, geographic isolation, lack of access to medical care, and other factors. An average of 44 underage persons died annually between 2010 and 2012 from alcohol poisoning.

In the News

Studies estimate impact of ending subsidies in federal insurance marketplaces
Two studies, released from the Urban Institute and RAND Corporation, show how eliminating insurance subsidies for low- and moderate-income Americans who purchase insurance in federally-facilitated marketplaces would dramatically increase costs and reduce enrollment. The RAND study found that ending subsidies would reduce enrollment by 9.6 million and premiums would rise by 47%. The Urban study estimates that 8.2 million more Americans would be uninsured in 2016 and that premiums would increase by 35% in States with federally-facilitated exchanges. These studies were commissioned in light of the Supreme Court agreeing to hear a case that could eliminate subsidies in these States. (American Hospital Association, AHA News)

Upcoming Events

January: CMS announces series of webinars on the Affordable Care Act
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Partnership Center and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a series of updated webinars on the Affordable Care Act for community organizers. Two webinars will be held, one in English and one in Spanish, that provide a basic overview of the law, including how to enroll in coverage. Another will be held specifically on how to enroll in Marketplace coverage. Any technical difficulties can be reported to ACA101@hhs.gov.

Saturday, January 10, 2015l; 2 pm EST: “Affordable Care Act 101 in English”
Join by Phone Only at 1-415-655-0069, or toll-free at 1-877-309-2074; Access Code: 246-792-172 — The PIN is the # key. Register here.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015; 2 pm EST: “How to Enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace”
Join by Phone Only at 1-914-339-0033; Access Code: 432-745-342 — The PIN is the # key. Register here.

Saturday, January 17, 2015; 2 pm EST: “Affordable Care Act 101 in Spanish”
Join by Phone Only at 1-415-655-0069, or toll-free at 1-877-309-2074; Access Code: 703-463-817 — The PIN is the # key. Register here.