Health Crisis Alert https://healthcrisisalert.com Monitoring the U.S. response to public health edpidemics Sat, 01 Aug 2020 00:35:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 https://healthcrisisalert.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/favicon-120x120.png Health Crisis Alert https://healthcrisisalert.com 32 32 Senators urge DEA to reduce opioid production quotas https://healthcrisisalert.com/news/21671-senators-urge-dea-to-reduce-opioid-production-quotas/ Mon, 03 Aug 2020 12:00:50 +0000 https://healthcrisisalert.com/?p=21671 Two years after passing legislation to limit pharmaceutical companies from flooding the market with painkillers, two Senators are now urging the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to adjust opioid quotas down to prevent diversion and abuse. U. S. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and John Kennedy (R-LA) wrote in a letter to Acting DEA Administrator Timothy Shea […]

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Two years after passing legislation to limit pharmaceutical companies from flooding the market with painkillers, two Senators are now urging the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to adjust opioid quotas down to prevent diversion and abuse.

U. S. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and John Kennedy (R-LA) wrote in a letter to Acting DEA Administrator Timothy Shea that the surge in opioid overdoses and deaths due to COVID-19 point to an ongoing opioid crisis. The two Senators urged Shea to use the authority provided by Congress to review opioid production quota increases for 2021 and ensure those levels strike a balance between preventing oversupply while ensuring the drugs’ availability for ventilator patients.

“While we appreciate the initial steps taken in recent years to reduce the aggregate production quotas for schedule II opioids, we remain concerned that they are still higher than necessary to meet legitimate medical needs,” wrote the Senators. “As powerful painkillers are aggressively marketed and prescribed at high rates, this sheer volume of available opioids heightens the risk for illicit diversion and abuse.”

The Senators also noted their concern over the DEA’s explanation of its 2019 quota was flawed in that it relied on reported theft loss and seizure when estimating diversion of opioids, instead of considering public health, opioid sales, addiction and overdose, or death data.

“While we appreciate the challenges in directly linking patient overdoses to a specific controlled substance, DEA cannot merely ignore or discard this essential information from the quota-setting process … The statute is clear that DEA must exercise its quota authority to serve as a gatekeeper and weigh the public health impact of how many opioids it allows to be sold each year in the United States,” the Senators wrote.

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VA sees reduction in prescription opioid use https://healthcrisisalert.com/news/21667-va-sees-reduction-in-prescription-opioid-use/ Mon, 03 Aug 2020 12:00:19 +0000 https://healthcrisisalert.com/?p=21667 The U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) said it has seen a 64 percent reduction in the use of prescription opioids for patients over the past eight years. According to a statement by the VA, only 247,000 veterans were prescribed opioids through the third quarter of 2020, compared to 679,000 in 2012. The department […]

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The U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) said it has seen a 64 percent reduction in the use of prescription opioids for patients over the past eight years.

According to a statement by the VA, only 247,000 veterans were prescribed opioids through the third quarter of 2020, compared to 679,000 in 2012. The department said the reduction was accomplished through “aggressively emphasizing the safe and responsible use of prescription opioids” and supplementing chronic pain treatments with alternative therapies and treatments.

“Collectively, uncontrolled pain, distress and functional impairments can reduce the quality of life for veterans and their families, increasing the risk for overdose, substance use disorders and suicide,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said. “More than one third of veterans in the VA health care system live with some form of chronic pain, and given the opioid crisis, it is our duty to do everything we can to help veterans avoid opioid overdose and provide them with alternative pain management treatment.”

The VA said its “Opioid Safety Initiative” reduced the number of patients receiving any opioid and benzodiazepine combinations, as well. In 2012, nearly 213,000 patients received the drug combination compared to 16,000 in 2020, a reduction of 87 percent.

Veterans on long-term opioids fell by 70 percent and the number of veterans on very high doses fell by 80 percent, the administration said.

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Vaping linked to cigarette use in adolescents https://healthcrisisalert.com/news/21661-vaping-linked-to-cigarette-use-in-adolescents/ Mon, 03 Aug 2020 12:00:16 +0000 https://healthcrisisalert.com/?p=21661 Adolescents who use e-cigarettes have double the risk of smoking traditional cigarettes, according to a recent European study. Between 2013 and 2018, e-cigarette use in young people spiked from 5 percent to nearly 25 percent. Only up to 5 percent of adults use e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes have been linked to several cardiovascular conditions including inhibiting the […]

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Adolescents who use e-cigarettes have double the risk of smoking traditional cigarettes, according to a recent European study.

Between 2013 and 2018, e-cigarette use in young people spiked from 5 percent to nearly 25 percent. Only up to 5 percent of adults use e-cigarettes.

E-cigarettes have been linked to several cardiovascular conditions including inhibiting the function of blood vessels, stiffening the artery walls, increased heart rate, high blood pressure and heart attacks. The devices also have been preliminarily linked to cancer, lung issues and slow fetal growth.

“Vaping is marketed towards teenagers and the tobacco industry uses celebrities to promote it as being healthier than smoking,” Professor Maja-Lisa Løchen from The Arctic University of Norway, and the study’s senior author, said. “When these studies are pooled together it does not show that e-cigarettes are more effective than conventional, well-tested stop smoking methods. In addition, people who use e-cigarettes for smoking cessation often end up being double consumers of both traditional tobacco cigarettes and e-cigarettes.”

The study was published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, the European Society of Cardiology’s journal. It was written by European Association of Preventive Cardiology, a branch of the society that focuses on the cardiovascular effects of e-cigarettes.

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New Jersey Senate passes Overdose Awareness Day bill https://healthcrisisalert.com/news/21664-new-jersey-senate-passes-overdose-awareness-day-bill/ Mon, 03 Aug 2020 12:00:06 +0000 https://healthcrisisalert.com/?p=21664 The New Jersey Senate passed a bill Thursday that would designate every Aug. 31 as Overdose Awareness Day. Under the bill, New Jersey’s governor would issue a proclamation calling on public officials and residents to observe the day with appropriate activities and programs. He or she also would order flags flown at half-staff on Aug. […]

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The New Jersey Senate passed a bill Thursday that would designate every Aug. 31 as Overdose Awareness Day.

Under the bill, New Jersey’s governor would issue a proclamation calling on public officials and residents to observe the day with appropriate activities and programs. He or she also would order flags flown at half-staff on Aug. 31

“Every day, the battle against substance abuse disorder and opioid-related death continues in this state and across the nation,” N.J. State Sen. Anthony M. Bucco (R-Morris County), who sponsored the bill, said. “Information can be empowering to those who often feel helpless against this deadly disease. Establishing this meaningful day will honor the lives of those lost to addiction for years to come and hopefully save many more from the grasp of drugs. Elected officials on both sides of the aisle must work together now more than ever to increase awareness and remove the stigma surrounding addiction.”

Overdose deaths in New Jersey have skyrocketed by more than 20 percent during the coronavirus pandemic, according to The (Bergen) Record.

The increase is a cry for help, Bucco said, and an annual awareness day will help people understand the extent of the opioid crisis and promote public awareness of overdoses.

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Wine coolers lead to greater alcohol consumption https://healthcrisisalert.com/news/21654-wine-coolers-lead-to-greater-alcohol-consumption/ Fri, 31 Jul 2020 12:00:43 +0000 https://healthcrisisalert.com/?p=21654 High-fructose corn syrup is the main ingredient in most wine coolers and this can promote harmful alcohol consumption, according to a University of Guelph study. High-fructose corn syrup is approximately one-quarter of the volume of many sweetened alcoholic beverages. Two psychology professors and a master’s degree student used rats to determine alcohol consumption. Rats won’t voluntarily […]

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High-fructose corn syrup is the main ingredient in most wine coolers and this can promote harmful alcohol consumption, according to a University of Guelph study.

High-fructose corn syrup is approximately one-quarter of the volume of many sweetened alcoholic beverages.

Two psychology professors and a master’s degree student used rats to determine alcohol consumption. Rats won’t voluntarily drink alcohol, but when corn syrup was added, consumption and palatability increased.

When given beverages containing 10 percent alcohol and 25 percent corn syrup, some rats drank the equivalent of an adult human consuming 4.5 beers in 30 minutes. This amount is considered binge drinking.

“The more sweetened drinks that an adolescent drinks, the more likely they are to drink alcohol that is not sweetened,” Francesco Leri, one of the professors, said.

Drinking sweetened coolers can cause a person to grow accustomed to the taste of alcohol, Leri said, even if they dislike the taste of alcohol.

Beverage manufacturers should avoid marketing their products to younger consumers or should switch to natural sweeteners such as regular cane sugar, Leri said.

Sucrose and glucose also elicited increased alcohol consumption in rats, previous studies had found.

Noncaloric sweetener saccharin also prompted more alcohol consumption, but not as much as corn syrup.

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Sens. introduce legislation supporting health care professionals’ mental health amid COVID-19 https://healthcrisisalert.com/news/21645-sens-introduce-legislation-supporting-health-care-professionals-mental-health-amid-covid-19/ Fri, 31 Jul 2020 12:00:42 +0000 https://healthcrisisalert.com/?p=21645 Four U. S. Senators have introduced legislation that hopes to reduce and prevent suicide, burnout and mental health/behavioral health conditions among health care professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic. U.S. Sens. Todd Young (R-IN), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Jack Reed (D-RI) and Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) introduced the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act on […]

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Four U. S. Senators have introduced legislation that hopes to reduce and prevent suicide, burnout and mental health/behavioral health conditions among health care professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

U.S. Sens. Todd Young (R-IN), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Jack Reed (D-RI) and Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) introduced the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act on Wednesday. The bill acknowledges that health care professionals have experience dealing with high levels of stress and burnout, but that COVID-19 has exacerbated problems, leaving many health care professionals coping with the trauma of losing patents and colleagues, while fearing for their own health and safety.

Named for Dr. Lorna Breen, a physician from Charlottesville, Va. who committed suicide after working on the frontlines of the pandemic in New York City, the bill looks to promote mental and behavioral health among frontline health care workers, as well as support suicide and burnout prevention training among health care professionals.

“Our frontline health care professionals face high levels of stress daily as they work to keep Hoosiers healthy, especially during this difficult time,” Young said. “The Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act will help these critical workers get the support they need to prevent suicide and promote mental and behavioral health.”

Specifically, the bill would establish grants for training health profession students, residents and established career professionals with evidence-informed strategies that would reduce and prevent suicide, burnout, mental health conditions and substance use disorders; identify and disseminate best practices for reducing and preventing suicide and burnout among health care professionals; establish a national education and awareness campaign targeting health care professionals urging them to seek help and treatment for mental and behavioral health concerns; establish grants for employee education, peer-support programming and mental and behavioral health treatment, giving priority to health care providers in current or former COVID-19 hotspots; and establish a comprehensive study on the impact of COVID-19 on the mental and behavioral health of health care professionals.

The legislation is supported by the American College of Emergency Physicians, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Osteopathic Association.

“ACEP is grateful for the introduction of the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act. This bill helps carry on Dr. Breen’s legacy and will ensure emergency physicians and other health care providers get the mental health treatment they need as they continue to serve on the front lines of the most serious public health crisis of our lifetime,” William Jaquis, MD, FACEP, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), said.

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Colorado receives more than $2 million in suicide prevention grants https://healthcrisisalert.com/news/21657-colorado-receives-more-than-2-million-in-suicide-prevention-grants/ Fri, 31 Jul 2020 12:00:16 +0000 https://healthcrisisalert.com/?p=21657 The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently awarded Colorado $2.4 million in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Service grants to be used for suicide prevention. One Coloradoan dies from suicide every seven hours. Funds are divided between three organizations. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment received $800,000, the Ute Mountain […]

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently awarded Colorado $2.4 million in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Service grants to be used for suicide prevention.

One Coloradoan dies from suicide every seven hours.

Funds are divided between three organizations. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment received $800,000, the Ute Mountain Tribe received $799,992, and Colorado State University received $797,848.

“As our country is facing an unprecedented challenge in responding to COVID-19, suicide prevention is now more important than ever, and I’m pleased to see this important funding delivered to support Coloradans,” U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) said. “Suicide does not discriminate between rural and urban areas or by income, and it causes heartbreak and loss in communities in every single one of our states. I will keep fighting to increase access to life-saving services for Coloradans facing mental health crises, including through funding, and passage of S. 2661, my bipartisan legislation to designate 9-8-8 as a three-digit suicide hotline.”

The National Suicide Hotline Designation Act, S. 2661, designates 9-8-8 as the national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline. The bill passed the Senate in May and is under consideration in the House.

The bill has bipartisan support.

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PA legislator to examine impact of COVID-19 on mental health https://healthcrisisalert.com/news/21648-pa-legislator-to-examine-impact-of-covid-19-on-mental-health/ Fri, 31 Jul 2020 12:00:09 +0000 https://healthcrisisalert.com/?p=21648 Pennsylvania Rep. Tom Murt (R-Philadelphia) is examining the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had and is having on the mental health and well-being of his state’s residents, and how the mental health community is addressing those needs. In an informal meeting on Wednesday, Murt met with representatives of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (PADHS), […]

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Pennsylvania Rep. Tom Murt (R-Philadelphia) is examining the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had and is having on the mental health and well-being of his state’s residents, and how the mental health community is addressing those needs.

In an informal meeting on Wednesday, Murt met with representatives of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (PADHS), doctors and private mental health services providers about the rising levels of financial distress, anxiety, depression, insomnia and unresolved grief throughout the past few months.

In adults, isolation caused by statewide shutdowns and stay-at-home orders has been in part responsible for an increase in substance abuse and relapse, despair, and thoughts of suicide, the experts said. In children, mental health professionals are seeing an increase in fear, nightmares, anxiety and regressive behavior, such as bed wetting.

Kristen Houser, deputy secretary of the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse in the PADHS, said admissions to psychiatric hospitals and treatment centers has decreased during the pandemic, but telehealth, that allows doctors to consult with patients virtually through phone calls, computers or cellphone video, has been helpful in treating patients who may be afraid of leaving their homes and risking being exposed to COVID-19.

However, experts said access to broadband in rural areas of the state is an issue in being able to provide that care to everyone. Other issues affect providers ability to deliver care to those in rural areas.

“In the three counties that we serve, poverty is a leading problem. A lot of the farms have gone out of business, so we see a lot of depression with the farm culture in the rural areas,” Denault said. “It is difficult to recruit and retain psychiatrists and staff in rural areas due to the lack of amenities. Finally, 50 percent of my workforce is mobile and makes home and school visits for children at risk of abuse, incest, neglect, not being fed or a drug situation — the worst of the worst. A lot of that ‘on-the-road time’ is not paid for. It’s a noble profession, but in the rural areas, we have to be a lot more creative.”

Murt said he would be working on the issues with the providers in the coming weeks.

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SAMHSA awards $1.6M to Syracuse, NY mental health and suicide prevention providers https://healthcrisisalert.com/news/21641-samhsa-awards-1-6m-to-syracuse-ny-mental-health-and-suicide-prevention-providers/ Thu, 30 Jul 2020 12:15:43 +0000 https://healthcrisisalert.com/?p=21641 The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently awarded $1.6 million to Liberty Resources Inc. and Contact Community Services Inc., two providers of mental health and suicide prevention services in Syracuse, N.Y., U.S. Rep. John Katko (R-NY) announced on Tuesday. The funding is available through SAMHSA’s COVID-19 Emergency Response for Suicide Prevention (ERSP) […]

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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently awarded $1.6 million to Liberty Resources Inc. and Contact Community Services Inc., two providers of mental health and suicide prevention services in Syracuse, N.Y., U.S. Rep. John Katko (R-NY) announced on Tuesday.

The funding is available through SAMHSA’s COVID-19 Emergency Response for Suicide Prevention (ERSP) program, which was authorized by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES Act. The ERSP program provides states and community organizations with funding to support mental health and suicide prevention services during the pandemic.

“Locally, Liberty Resources and Contact Community Services operate mental health crisis centers and provide behavioral health services. With the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating already rising rates of mental illness and suicide, these organizations have worked during this crisis to provide lifesaving treatment and counseling to Central New Yorkers in need. Now, with additional funds delivered as a result of the CARES Act, Liberty Resources and Contact Community Services will be able to expand services, including telehealth offerings, allowing them to continue delivering safe and quality care,” said Rep. Katko, co-chair of both the Mental Health Caucus and Suicide Prevention Task Force.

Both Liberty Resources and Contact Community Services will use the funds to expand their mental health and suicide prevention services, including their telehealth offerings.

This is the fourth federal award Liberty has received in recognition of its comprehensive delivery system.

“These funds will be utilized to address increased rates of suicide in our community,” Carl Coyle, CEO of Liberty Resources, said.  “With the stress of COVID, coupled with the opioid epidemic, suicide rates have increased nationwide.”

The system of care Liberty will utilize to address the need includes Crisis Call Center, 24/7 Mobile Crisis Response, Crisis Respite Facilities, Mental Health Counseling, and Substance Use Disorder Treatment. Services will be provided in person as well as via telehealth during the pandemic, according to Coyle.

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Institute hopes to improve outcomes for mothers, babies addicted to opioids https://healthcrisisalert.com/news/21637-institute-hopes-to-improve-outcomes-for-mothers-babies-addicted-to-opioids/ Thu, 30 Jul 2020 12:00:48 +0000 https://healthcrisisalert.com/?p=21637 The Task Force for Global Health’s Public Health Informatics Institute (PHII) recently launched a project that aims to improve health outcomes of mothers and babies who suffer from opioid addiction. The three-year Task Force for Global Health project will gather more than 1,200 data points to create a surveillance system that will analyze the effects […]

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The Task Force for Global Health’s Public Health Informatics Institute (PHII) recently launched a project that aims to improve health outcomes of mothers and babies who suffer from opioid addiction.

The three-year Task Force for Global Health project will gather more than 1,200 data points to create a surveillance system that will analyze the effects of opioid-use-disorder treatment during pregnancy. The system will allow public health practitioners to efficiently examine the possible effects of treatment on maternal and child health.

The project also could create the framework for future data platforms, creating a model for collecting data on opioid-related exposures during pregnancy and their related birth defects, Rachelle Jones, PHII senior business analyst and MATernaL and Infant NetworK to Understand Outcomes Associated with Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder during Pregnancy project leader, said.

“There is not a lot of systematic research out there on maternal and child health outcomes for opioid use disorder,” Jones said. “Having this data will be a major step in understanding the risks and addressing them effectively to help reduce the number of children living with birth defects and childhood developmental issues.”

Information will be collected from Boston Medical Center Corporation, Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research Northwest in Oregon, Ohio State University, and the University of Utah.

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U.S. Reps. Vega and Mooney push for evidence-based K-12 curriculum on substance abuse https://healthcrisisalert.com/news/21631-u-s-reps-vega-and-mooney-push-for-evidence-based-k-12-curriculum-on-substance-abuse/ Thu, 30 Jul 2020 12:00:42 +0000 https://healthcrisisalert.com/?p=21631 A new bill introduced by U.S. Reps. Filemon Vela (D-TX) and Alex Mooney (R-WV), the Saving America’s Future by Educating Kids (SAFE) Kids Act, proposes to allow the development and use of an evidence-based curriculum for K-12 students that addresses both substance misuse and abuse. “I am proud to introduce bipartisan legislation that uses data […]

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A new bill introduced by U.S. Reps. Filemon Vela (D-TX) and Alex Mooney (R-WV), the Saving America’s Future by Educating Kids (SAFE) Kids Act, proposes to allow the development and use of an evidence-based curriculum for K-12 students that addresses both substance misuse and abuse.

“I am proud to introduce bipartisan legislation that uses data to increase substance abuse education for our children and teens. America’s youth deserve the educational tools that have been proven to result in better health outcomes than many outdated substance abuse prevention methods,” Vela said. “Providing our nation’s adolescents with evidence-based resources to curb recent spikes in substance use will help in alleviating these harmful and deadly addictions among our young people.”

While the bill focuses on opioid abuse, it does veer into adjacent items. Dangers and harmful effects associated with vaping, e-cigarettes, tobacco and others all have a place in the education proposal. Mooney noted that the curriculum would be reached through a grant program at the U.S. Department of Education.

“This legislation will help equip our children with the knowledge and resources to combat the opioid epidemic, which took the lives of over 70,000 Americans last year,” Mooney said. “I’m glad to see Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle coming together on proactive solutions for the next generation now facing this devastating crisis.”

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 128 people died in the U.S. from opioid overdoses in 2018 every day. The Department of Health and Human Services added that some 2 million people had an opioid use disorder that same year.

A separate bill, also called the SAFE Kids Act, was introduced in the Senate in February by U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).

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Universities receive grant for assisting African-American communities https://healthcrisisalert.com/news/21634-universities-receive-grant-for-assisting-african-american-communities/ Thu, 30 Jul 2020 12:00:17 +0000 https://healthcrisisalert.com/?p=21634 The Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE), an organization working to find solutions to the opioid crisis, recently awarded a grant of more than $550,000 to Michigan State University and the University of Maryland College Park. Funds will be used to improve access to opioid-use-disorder treatment for African-American adults in Detroit and Baltimore who are […]

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The Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE), an organization working to find solutions to the opioid crisis, recently awarded a grant of more than $550,000 to Michigan State University and the University of Maryland College Park.

Funds will be used to improve access to opioid-use-disorder treatment for African-American adults in Detroit and Baltimore who are low-income and uninsured.

The universities have partnered to participate in FORE’s initiative to improve access to lifesaving treatment for opioid-use disorder.

“We are pleased to partner with FORE to examine a novel approach to engaging and retaining individuals from underserved communities who require treatment for opioid use disorder,” Dr. Julia Felton, assistant professor and clinical psychologist at Michigan State Division of Public Health, College of Human Medicine, said. “This funding supports critical research to develop a sustainable model for training peer recovery coaches to improve outcomes and promote the recovery process among this vulnerable population.”

The universities’ project uses peer recovery coaches to promote adherence to opioid use disorder treatment medications.

African-Americans have much lower rates of opioid-use disorder-treatment, according to a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration report.

Building social connections and support is a significant part of the recovery process, but maintaining a recovery routine is difficult for people with opioid use disorder.

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White House report shows progress on lowering rates of youth substance use https://healthcrisisalert.com/news/21624-white-house-report-shows-progress-on-lowering-rates-of-youth-substance-use/ Wed, 29 Jul 2020 12:00:48 +0000 https://healthcrisisalert.com/?p=21624 The Trump Administration’s Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) said Monday its latest report shows the program is continuing to reduce youth substance use. In the 2020 Drug-Free Communities (DFC) report, data from the coalitions in DFC indicates that youth use of alcohol, tobacco and marijuana are down, as is the misuse of prescription […]

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The Trump Administration’s Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) said Monday its latest report shows the program is continuing to reduce youth substance use.

In the 2020 Drug-Free Communities (DFC) report, data from the coalitions in DFC indicates that youth use of alcohol, tobacco and marijuana are down, as is the misuse of prescription drugs. ONDCP Director Jim Carroll said that 51 percent of the U.S. population has lived in a community with a DFC coalition since 2005.

The data showed a 45 percent decline in tobacco use among high school students, and a 46 percent decline in tobacco use among middle school students. Additionally, the data showed a 24 percent decline in alcohol use in high school students and a 22 percent decline in alcohol use in middle school students. The report also indicated there was a 27 percent decline in prescription drug misuse among high school students.

“Stopping substance use disorders in America starts with educating our country’s youth about their danger,” Carroll said. “Thanks to the dedication of President Trump and the proven efforts of our Drug-Free Communities grant recipients, our next generation is learning at an early age to make healthy choices, reject using illicit substances, and are being empowered by their communities to be leaders of today — youth in DFC funded communities are creating community change across the country, resulting in positive outcomes. ONDCP applauds the hundreds of coalitions committed to the safety of young Americans, and the record investments of the Trump Administration that continue to make their work possible.”

However, the data also indicated additional need it two areas – opioid use and vaping, and that the coalitions are working to address them.

“Additionally, we know that 86 percent of coalitions report there is an increased need to address issues related to opioids in their local community. At 58 percent, there’s also an increase in the number of coalitions that cite vaping as a growing concern, up 11 percentage points over the previous year. To address these concerns, DFC coalitions are developing innovative local solutions to build capacity and address these challenges, Carroll stated.

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IRISYS announces sub-cutaneous implant to treat opioid use disorder https://healthcrisisalert.com/news/21627-irisys-announces-sub-cutaneous-implant-to-treat-opioid-use-disorder/ Wed, 29 Jul 2020 12:00:23 +0000 https://healthcrisisalert.com/?p=21627 IRISYS, a San Diego pharmaceutical company, announced Monday it will be providing contract development and manufacturing services to BioCorRx pharmaceuticals for the development of a sterile naltrexone implant for treatment of opioid use disorder. The implant, called BICX102, is a sub-cutaneous implant and would help prevent relapse following opioid detoxification. It could also be used […]

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IRISYS, a San Diego pharmaceutical company, announced Monday it will be providing contract development and manufacturing services to BioCorRx pharmaceuticals for the development of a sterile naltrexone implant for treatment of opioid use disorder.

The implant, called BICX102, is a sub-cutaneous implant and would help prevent relapse following opioid detoxification. It could also be used in treating alcohol use disorder, the company said.

The two companies previously worked together to manufacture a biodegradable extended release implant that provides therapeutic naltrexone plasma levels for up to 90 days. The two companies believe that an opioid treatment implant would be a powerful tool in combating opioid use disorder as it would eliminate patients not taking their medication.

“Ending the opioid crisis is about having several options available for doctors and their patients. There is no cure, but certain treatments work better for certain patients. When it comes to BICX102, there is a void in the market for an FDA-approved naltrexone product that lasts multiple months after one administration. This is important as patient non-compliance is a huge issue with addiction treatment,” Brady Granier, CEO of BioCorRx, said.

The implant, a biodegrabable pellet, would be inserted into the fatty tissue of the patient, typically in the lower abdominal region, in a minor procedure, the companies said. Currently, IRISYS is in the formulation and scale-up phase of manufacturing.

“At IRISYS we expect to grow with BioCorRx. As BICX102 advances through the regulatory process to commercial manufacturing, we will be there to support their team in bringing BICX102 to the market,” Robert Giannini, president, and CSO/CTO of IRISYS, said.

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Purdue University designs courses for human services majors https://healthcrisisalert.com/news/21618-purdue-university-designs-courses-for-human-services-majors/ Wed, 29 Jul 2020 12:00:19 +0000 https://healthcrisisalert.com/?p=21618 Purdue University’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies, in partnership with Ivy Tech Community College’s Human Services program, recently created an optional addiction studies concentration for students majoring in human services who wish to become licensed addiction counselors. The concentration is contained within a 120-credit-hour degree. Purdue students will take seven courses, five through […]

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Purdue University’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies, in partnership with Ivy Tech Community College’s Human Services program, recently created an optional addiction studies concentration for students majoring in human services who wish to become licensed addiction counselors.

The concentration is contained within a 120-credit-hour degree. Purdue students will take seven courses, five through Ivy Tech, in addition to their human services major courses. The courses are open only to students enrolled in the major.

Each course is offered online for eight weeks. Once courses are completed, students will earn an Addiction Studies Certificate from Ivy Tech in addition to their bachelor’s degree from Purdue.

“Data shows that there are not nearly enough licensed addiction counselors in the state of Indiana to provide the services that are needed,” Tom Gilliom, Valley Oaks Health CEO, an Indiana-based community health center, said. “This unique program will produce graduates to assist in filling this significant void.”

The program meets Indiana’s bachelor-level, pre-supervision license requirements in the field of addiction counseling (LACA). It is the first program at a state public institution to do so.

Students who receive a human services degree with the addiction studies concentration will meet the LACA licensing requirements.

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August named opioid awareness month in Florida https://healthcrisisalert.com/news/21621-august-named-opioid-awareness-month-in-florida/ Wed, 29 Jul 2020 12:00:12 +0000 https://healthcrisisalert.com/?p=21621 Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady recently issued a proclamation establishing August “as a month of awareness, training, and action regarding opioids, and treatment for opioid use disorder” in the state. The Office of the State Courts Administrator will offer court staff, judges, magistrates, and partners resources throughout the month while the Florida Courts […]

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Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady recently issued a proclamation establishing August “as a month of awareness, training, and action regarding opioids, and treatment for opioid use disorder” in the state.

The Office of the State Courts Administrator will offer court staff, judges, magistrates, and partners resources throughout the month while the Florida Courts Opioid Initiative will provide resources and activities.

The initiative works to raise awareness of the opioid epidemic and determine effective ways to address it through family courts and problem-solving courts.

During August, five virtual workshops will be held on opioids and the courts; e-learning modules and an online education resource platform will be made available to the public; an outreach plan will raise awareness for opioid-related problems and solutions, and court services; and Florida’s 70 Circuit Champions will participate in training, self-study, and leadership activities.

Circuit Champions are judges and court staff who have agreed to become local experts on opioids and medication-assisted treatment.

In September, the Circuit Champions will be consulted on technical assistance needs and training. They also will be provided with resources to address these issues.

More people die from accidental opioid overdose in the United States than from traffic fatalities, according to the National Safety Council.

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Johns Hopkins University receives federal drug grant https://healthcrisisalert.com/news/21600-johns-hopkins-university-receives-federal-drug-grant/ Tue, 28 Jul 2020 12:00:58 +0000 https://healthcrisisalert.com/?p=21600 The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recently awarded Johns Hopkins University $774,845 in funding to support its drug use and addiction research The university’s research aims to discover innovative intervention treatment for opioid-use disorders. Funding will be used to allow researchers to evaluate the effectiveness of the Bridge Device, a neuromodulator that helps patients […]

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The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recently awarded Johns Hopkins University $774,845 in funding to support its drug use and addiction research

The university’s research aims to discover innovative intervention treatment for opioid-use disorders. Funding will be used to allow researchers to evaluate the effectiveness of the Bridge Device, a neuromodulator that helps patients with opioid-withdrawal symptoms.

Founded in 2009, the Johns Hopkins Drug Discovery Program is comprised of scientists studying the impacts of drugs on the human neurological system, biochemistry, drug metabolism, and toxicology.

“The opioid epidemic – exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic – continues to upend communities and destroy lives across Maryland and our nation,” U.S. Sens. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Reps. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), John Sarbanes (D-MD) and Kweisi Mfume (D-MD) said in a joint statement. “This funding will provide crucial support in evaluating a potential new tool for expanding substance use disorder treatment and recovery. We will keep fighting to increase access to recovery resources and save the lives of those who suffer from this terrible disease.”

Between 1999 and 2018, more than 450,000 Americans died from opioid overdose.

NIDA studies the consequences of opioids and addiction to inform and protect the public.

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Rep. Dean introduces legislation to eliminate cost-sharing for opioid treatment https://healthcrisisalert.com/news/21596-rep-introduces-legislation-to-eliminate-cost-sharing-for-opioid-treatment/ Tue, 28 Jul 2020 12:00:32 +0000 https://healthcrisisalert.com/?p=21596 Rep. Madeline Dean (D-PA) announced Friday that she was introducing legislation to eliminate cost-sharing for opioid treatment and recovery support. The legislation, called the MORE Savings Act, mirrors similar legislation introduced by Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) in the Senate. “Opioid treatment needs to be made more readily available,” Dean said. “Through a cost-sharing model, folks […]

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Rep. Madeline Dean (D-PA) announced Friday that she was introducing legislation to eliminate cost-sharing for opioid treatment and recovery support.

The legislation, called the MORE Savings Act, mirrors similar legislation introduced by Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) in the Senate.

“Opioid treatment needs to be made more readily available,” Dean said. “Through a cost-sharing model, folks struggling with addiction will be able to access support with a lower cost burden.”

The legislation, H.R. 7627, would eliminate the cost-sharing, including copayments, deductibles and coinsurance under private insurance plans and Medicare, while increasing funding for Medicaid programs that opioid treatment and recovery support.

Specifically, the legislation would require insurers who offer individual or group health insurance to cover behavioral health services and medications to treat opioid use disorders, as well as those that reverse overdoses, with no cost-sharing. It would also establish a 5-year-demonstration program in 15 states to eliminate cost-sharing in Medicare for those same programs and medications. Lastly, the bill would provide a Federal Medical Assistance Percentages increase for Medicaid programs to provide those same programs and medications.

Dean said that addressing the country’s opioid crisis requires a multi-faceted approach that combines prevention, treatment, law enforcement and recovery support.

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Medical organization issues strategies to treat substance use disorder patients during pandemic https://healthcrisisalert.com/news/21606-medical-organization-issues-strategies-to-treat-substance-use-disorder-patients-during-pandemic/ Tue, 28 Jul 2020 12:00:24 +0000 https://healthcrisisalert.com/?p=21606 A national medical organization’s focus group on the opioid epidemic issued a list of policies and procedures Friday to protect the health of substance use disorder patients in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Academy of Medicine’s (NAM) Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic said the COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating ongoing […]

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A national medical organization’s focus group on the opioid epidemic issued a list of policies and procedures Friday to protect the health of substance use disorder patients in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Academy of Medicine’s (NAM) Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic said the COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating ongoing public health emergencies, like the addiction crisis, in America. In an effort to address how best to support patients with substance use disorders, opioid use disorders and chronic pain, the group released a list of steps to be taken by healthcare providers, health systems, researchers, policy makers, regulators and health leaders to take.

Key elements of the plan include: planning on deliberate evaluations of implementation and response strategies and policies enacted during COVID-19; using telehealth to support the needs of patients with SUDs or chronic pain during COVID-19 and beyond; maintaining high-quality care for patients with pain; addressing research, data and surveillance needs while enhancing reporting; and monitoring and taking steps to prevent a rise in SUDs or overdoses.

The group also suggested reinforcing safety net programs that protect high-risk populations by ensuring that individuals with SUDs have access to stable housing by working with local hotels, motels, and shelters and deploying mobile medical clinics in order to get care to individuals with SUDs who may be experiencing homelessness.

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New Mexico awarded $1.9 million for mental health, drug-abuse treatment https://healthcrisisalert.com/news/21603-new-mexico-awarded-1-9-million-for-mental-health-drug-abuse-treatment/ Tue, 28 Jul 2020 12:00:01 +0000 https://healthcrisisalert.com/?p=21603 The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently awarded the New Mexico State Department of Human Services and three other organizations $1.9 million in mental health and substance-abuse prevention grants. The NM Department of Human Services received $1 million for its New Mexico Strategic Prevention Framework Partnerships for Success 2020 plan. The strategy aims […]

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently awarded the New Mexico State Department of Human Services and three other organizations $1.9 million in mental health and substance-abuse prevention grants.

The NM Department of Human Services received $1 million for its New Mexico Strategic Prevention Framework Partnerships for Success 2020 plan. The strategy aims to prevent prescription pain-killer misuse among people between 12 and 25 years old and alcohol use among people ages 12 to 20 through the Partnerships for Success program.

The plan also provides prevention services through coalitions in four counties and at five colleges.

The Carlsbad Community Anti-Drug/Gang Coalition’s Prevention in Motion Program received $300,000. The coalition’s goal is to create a drug and crime free environment through community mobilization efforts. The program helps young people make better choices.

The National Center for Frontier Communities’ Frontier and Remote Prevention Coalition of New Mexico project received $297,261. The project aims to empower law enforcement, local business owners, schools, faith organizations, and other community members to address drug and alcohol abuse in rural areas where local, state and federal funds are scarce and access to treatment is limited or nonexistent.

The National Indian Youth Leadership Development Project received $295,565 for its Project Venture. The project uses a culturally-based group development process that emphasizes positive behavior and healthy lifestyles.

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