- SAMHSA Finalizes Changes to Clarify Health Privacy Rules for People Who Seek Substance Use Disorder Treatment
- The Opioid Crisis Is Driving Down U.S. Life Expectancy, New Data Shows
- More Than Half Think Painkillers a Major Problem, But Not a National Emergency: Report
- Second Injectable Buprenorphine Product Shows Promise
- Q&A: SAMHSA’s New Chief, Elinore McCance-Katz
- Experimental Heroin Vaccine Could Help Combat Opioid Crisis
- Beware These 7 Myths of Opioid Addiction | Opinion
- Watchdog Warns Congress to Be on Lookout for Fraud In $50 Billion Psychiatric-Behavioral Market
- Slow-Release Oral Morphine Could Expand Options for Treating Opioid Abuse
- Novel Treatment Reduces Opioid Abuse
- Viewpoint: The Opioid Crisis in Correctional Facilities – How Connected Treatment Can Help
- Drug Users Are Forming Unions to Protect Their Rights and Safety
Links to Additional News of Interest
- Trump Said the Drug Epidemic Is Unlike Anything in American History. Is He Right? – 1/4/18
- ‘Farm Town Strong’ Spotlights Opioid Crisis’ Impact on Farm Communities – 1/4/18
- Inside the Story of America’s 19th-Century Opiate Addiction – 1/4/18
- We Mobilized Against Flu, Cancer and Heart Attacks. Where’s the Urgency on Opioids? – 1/4/18
- LA County Substance Abuse Medical Director Says Diversity is Strength in the Fight against the Opioid Epidemic – 1/3/18
- Federal Tax Cut Is Tiny Compared To Impact Of Opioid Crisis – 1/2/18
- What We Don’t Know About Drugs Is Killing Us – 12/29/17
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announces the finalization of proposed changes to the Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records regulation, 42 CFR Part 2. The rule will be published in the Federal Register and currently can be viewed at http://www.samhsa.gov/42CFRPart2Final.
Major provisions in today’s rule:
- The final rule permits additional disclosures of patient identifying information, with patient consent, to facilitate payment and healthcare operations such as claims management, quality assessment, and patient safety activities.
- The final rule permits additional disclosures of patient identifying information to certain contractors, subcontractors, and legal representatives for the purpose of conducting a Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP audit or evaluation.
- The final rule will assist users of electronic health records (EHRs) by permitting use of an abbreviated notice of prohibition on re-disclosure more easily accommodated in EHR text fields.
Source: SAMHSA.gov – January 2, 2018
“In 2016, the average American’s life expectancy dropped to 78.6 years, the second time in two years the U.S has seen a dip in how long people are expected to live.
Drug overdose deaths, propelled by the nation’s ongoing opioid crisis, were the most influential factor behind the decline in American life expectancy, said Robert Anderson, who oversees the mortality statistics branch of the National Center for Health Statistics for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which produced the new data released Thursday. These fatal drug overdoses have also killed younger Americans more than any other age group.”
Source: PBS.org – December 21, 2017
See related article: Opioid Abuse Epidemic is Top Health Story of 2017 – 12/28/17 available at: https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2017/12/28/Opioid-abuse-epidemic-is-top-health-story-of-2017/9961514486165/
See related article: The opioid epidemic has now reached black America – 12/22/17 available at: https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/12/22/16808490/opioid-epidemic-black-white
See related article: America On Opioids: The Many Faces of The Country’s Addiction Crisis – 1/1/18 available at: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/america-on-opioids-dispatches_us_59dbe9d9e4b0208970cf222a
See related article: Five Addiction Experts Weigh in On Future of Opioid Crisis. Their Forecast: Grim – 12/31/17 available at: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-12-addiction-experts-future-opioid-crisis.html
“A little over half the country considers prescription painkiller addiction a major problem for the nation, but say it doesn’t rise to the level of national emergency, a new report in the New England Journal of Medicine notes.
The journal article examined data from seven national polls from 2016 and 2017 to paint a portrait of how the public believes the opioid epidemic should be addressed.
“Many of the findings may surprise people who have been following this issue in professional journals and the media,” Robert Blendon and John Benson, from Harvard’s public health school, wrote in the article.
About 53 percent of respondents surveyed said addiction to prescription painkillers was a major problem in the U.S., but not a national emergency, while 28 percent believe the crisis is a national emergency, according to the report, which cites a Politico/Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health poll from November.
Most of the public — about 41 percent — see Trump’s proposed program on the opioid epidemic as about right, whereas 27 percent believe it does too little and 10 percent think it does too much, according to that same poll.”
Source: TheHill.com – January 4, 2018
See related article: Who’s Responsible for Ending the $500 Billion Opioid Crisis? – 1/4/17 available at: http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2018/01/04/Should-Government-Do-More-Address-500-Billion-Opioid-Crisis
“An injectable, subcutaneous form of buprenorphine (CAM2038, Braeburn Pharmaceuticals) demonstrated noninferiority to sublingual buprenorphine tablets for opioid use disorder (OUD) in new research findings.
Results of a randomized phase 3 efficacy and safety trial show that the drug, which can be administered weekly or monthly, may be a second injectable option for improving adherence and reducing misuse of the drug.
“The advantage of this is you get a nice sustained blood level of buprenorphine over the duration of its intended exposure, either weekly or monthly. This potentially eliminates the need for the transmucosal buprenorphine, which a lot of practitioners are always concerned about in terms of diversion potential,” said coauthor Michelle Lofwall, MD, of the University of Kentucky in Lexington.
The results were presented at the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP) 28th Annual Meeting.”
Read more at: https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/890463
Source: Medscape.com (login required) – December 21, 2017
“Elinore McCance-Katz, MD, PhD, is the first Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use in the Department of Health and Human Services, which puts her in charge of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
In this exclusive interview with MedPage Today, McCance-Katz shared her views of medication-assisted treatment, safe injection facilities, and the balance between medical and psychosocial approaches to mental health treatment.
“My belief is that psychiatric medicine is absolutely key, that people who have serious mental illness do not get to what has been called ‘recovery’ without getting that treatment piece,” she said.
She added that recovery supports are equally important to living a full life.
McCance-Katz is the first psychiatrist to lead SAMHSA. Her new position was established under the 21st Century Cures Act by Congress, because some members felt the agency needed stronger leadership and greater accountability.”
Source: MedPageToday.com – December 22, 2017
“Researchers have developed a new vaccine that can block the effects of heroin in mice and rats, according to a paper published this month in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.
Though the preclinical vaccine works against drugs like hydrocodone and oxycodone, it doesn’t conflict with existing medications to treat addiction.
The experimental treatment co-developed with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) works by spurring the production of antibodies that block heroin and certain painkillers from crossing the blood-brain barrier in test mice.”
Source: TheFix.com – December 26, 2017
Think you know everything you need to know about opioid addiction? Consider these seven myths first.
Myth #1: People with opioid use disorders (addictions) fit a certain profile.
Myth #2: If you can hold down a job, then you’re not addicted.
Myth #3: If you only use prescribed medication, you won’t develop an addiction.
Myth #4: Addiction is the result of personal weakness.
Myth #5: Treatment and recovery support groups don’t work. Drug addicts and alcoholics are a hopeless cause.
Myth #6: If a person relapses, their chances of reaching sustained recovery are slim.
Myth #7: Medication-assisted treatment isn’t true recovery.
Source: PennLive.com – January 4, 2018
“A citizens watchdog group and two U.S. Congressmen are cautioning about the potential for fraud, abuse and wasteful spending in behavioral healthcare.
Thousands of U.S. state legislators have been put on notice about potential patient abuse and fraud in the for-profit behavioral system that is costing taxpayers an estimated $50 billion a year.
Another lucrative field is substance abuse treatment, which has escalated with the opioid addiction problem in the U.S. Addiction psychiatry usually treats substance abusers with prescription drugs. For opioid addiction, buprenorphine or a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone is often prescribed. Abuse of this prescription drug has now become an epidemic.
The mental health sector provides for clinics to dispense buprenorphine in much the same way methadone clinics were established, CCHR said, but it is more lucrative as there are fewer costs. Many doctors charge $200 to $300 monthly, per patient, for a five-to-10 minute checkup to renew the prescription. There is a financial windfall in this market, as buprenorphine and its maintenance creates a disincentive to taper patients off the drug due to its potential to generate income.”
Source: HealthcareFinanceNews.com – December 28, 2017