- Energy and Commerce Republicans Release Legislation to Repeal and Replace Obamacare
- How Will the Trump Administration Change the War on Opioids?
- 7 in 10 U.S. Workplaces Hit by Opioid Abuse: Survey
- POLL: More People Are Taking Opioids, Even as Their Concerns Rise
- Another Reason to Fight Opioid Addiction: Economics
- State Department: US in Worst Heroin, Opioids Crisis in 60 Years
- UPDATE: Sen. Manchin Introduces 2 Bills to Help People Recover from Substance Abuse
- Why Jeff Sessions Is Worrying Drug Policy Experts
- Surgeons Were Told to Stop Prescribing So Many Painkillers. The Results Were Remarkable.
- Few Teens Receive Effective Treatment for Opioid Addiction
Links to Additional News of Interest
- Trump expected to tap Scott Gottlieb to lead FDA – March 10, 2017
- New Resource: CDC Grand Rounds: Public Health Strategies to Prevent Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome – March 10, 2017
- A new report from the Office of the Surgeon General, “Facing Addiction in America,” suggests that an overhaul of U.S. drug policy is long overdue, according to a new issue brief from a drug policy expert at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy – March 9, 2017
- Drug dealers would face manslaughter charges for opioid overdoses under proposed Florida law – March 9, 2017
- Why We Need to Destroy the Concept of What a Drug User Looks Like – March 7, 2017
- Kratom: Is the US trying to ban a drug helping heroin addicts beat their habit? – March 3, 2017
- State Medicaid Programs Fighting to Address Opioid Crisis – March 3, 2017
- Naloxone Won’t Rescue Us From The Opioid Epidemic, But It’s A Start – March 2, 2017
On March 6th, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) released legislation as part of House Republicans effort to repeal and replace Obamacare through a budget process known as reconciliation. The legislation, part of House Republicans’ American Health Care Act, creates a new and innovative Patient and State Stability Fund to help low-income Americans afford health care and to repair the damage done to state insurance markets by Obamacare. Additionally, the legislation lays out a plan to responsibly unwind Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion while prioritizing the program’s funds to the most vulnerable through a per capita allotment.
The press release is available at: https://energycommerce.house.gov/news-center/press-releases/energy-and-commerce-republicans-release-legislation-repeal-and-replace
Source: EnergyCommerce.House.gov – March 6, 2017
VP Mike Pence: ‘The Obamacare nightmare is about to end!’
Second committee advances ObamaCare repeal legislation available at: http://thehill.com/homenews/house/323213-commerce-committee-advances-obamacare-repeal-legislation
Healthcare groups unload on GOP bill available at: http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/323083-healthcare-groups-unload-on-gop-bill
The Opioid Crisis Would Probably Get Worse Under Trumpcare available at: https://news.vice.com/story/the-opioid-crisis-would-probably-get-worse-under-trumpcare
The House’s Obamacare Repeal Bill Would Strand Drug Addicts Without Access To Care available at: http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/3/7/14841876/ahca-obamacare-repeal-opioid-epidemic
“With an historic rise in fatal drug overdoses nationwide and a new president in the White House, the future is uncertain for programs trying to combat a growing public health crisis: opioid addiction.
On the chopping block? The New York Times recently reported the White House might eliminate the Office of National Drug Control Policy. In response, advocacy groups, along with the Fraternal Order of Police, letters asking the Trump administration to keep the office intact.
White House says: “The President and his cabinet are working collaboratively to create a leaner, more efficient government that does more with less of taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars.”
Former U.S. drug czar Michael Botticelli says eliminating the office “would not save money because without a single office who’s coordinating drug policy across the federal government, it will only create a very haphazard, inefficient approach.”
Source: PBS.org – March 2, 2017
“Prescription drug abuse has seeped into the American workplace, with 70 percent of businesses saying it affects their workers, a new survey reveals.
The National Safety Council report also found that while 71 percent of employers believe that abuse of opioid prescription painkillers is a disease that requires treatment, 65 percent also consider it a justifiable reason to fire a worker.”
Source: WebMD.com – March 10, 2017
“Prescribed narcotic painkillers continue to fuel a nationwide opioid epidemic—nearly half of fatal overdoses in the United States involve opioids prescribed by a doctor.
But people don’t seem to be avoiding the medications, despite the well-documented risks. In the latest NPR-Truven Health Analytics poll, over half of people surveyed, or 57 percent, said they had been prescribed a narcotic painkiller like Percocet, Vicodin or morphine at some point. That’s an increase of 3 percent since we last asked the question in 2014 (54 percent), and of 7 percent since our 2011 poll (50 percent).
For almost three quarters of poll participants (74 percent), the prescription was for temporary acute pain, like from a broken arm or a dental procedure. Nineteen percent said they received the drugs for chronic pain.”
Source: NPR.org – March 3, 2017
“One of the worst U.S. social problems might also be one of its chief economic woes. I’m talking about the epidemic of opioid and opiate abuse.
While unemployment is low in the U.S., labor-force participation is also low. Lots of people who are of working age are choosing not to work.
Many reasons have been suggested for this — competition from foreign trade, automation, an overly generous welfare system, a decreased work ethic or the lingering economic damage of the Great Recession. But one simple, classic factor that is often overlooked is health. A less healthy population works less.”
Source: Bloomberg.com – March 3, 2017
“The United States has its worst heroin and opioid crisis in more than 60 years. In 2015, mostly due to the heroin and opioid painkiller epidemic, more than 52,000 deaths in the U.S. were related to drug overdoses, the highest number in U.S. history, according to the State Department’s International Narcotics Control Strategy Report released Thursday.
Ambassador William Brownfield briefed reporters on the release. The Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs said that the incredible demand is domestic, but that 100 percent of all heroin, and the great majority of all synthetic drugs that are used and abused in the United States, come from other countries.
He estimates that between 90 and 94 percent of all heroin consumed in the U.S. comes from Mexico and that as little as 2-4 percent of it comes from Colombia. The remainder, around 4-6 percent, comes from Asia, mainly from Afghanistan
The U.S. has more communities, more families, more regions and towns confronting an explosive drug addiction problem related to heroin, opioids and to fentanyl and other synthetic drugs now than in the immediate post World War II era.”
Source: VOANews.com – March 2, 2017
“W.Va. Democratic Senator Joe Manchin introduced 2 bills in the U.S. Senate on Friday that will help people recover from drug addiction and live reformed lives.
A new bill introduced by Senator Manchin is the Clean Start Act, which will give recovering addicts who committed nonviolent federal offenses because of their addictions a “clean start” and a chance to build a sober lifestyle, free of a criminal record, if they complete a yearlong drug treatment program.
The LifeBOAT Act would establish a permanent funding stream to provide and expand access to substance abuse treatment across the U.S.
It would establish a 1 cent stewardship fee on each milligram of active opioid ingredient in a prescription pain pill to fund efforts to provide and expand access to substance abuse treatment. The bill also includes a rebate program for cancer-related pain and hospice care, and exempts drugs used exclusively for the treatment of opioid addiction.”
Source: The Parkersburg West Virginia News Center – March 3, 2017
“U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions laid out a three-point plan to combat the opioid epidemic this week, alarming drug policy experts who emphasize the importance of treatment over punishment to address the drug crisis.
“There are three main ways to fight back against this problem: Prevention, criminal enforcement and treatment,” Sessions said at a youth summit in New Hampshire on Tuesday. “Criminal enforcement is essential to stopping the transnational criminal organizations which ship drugs into our country, and to stop the thugs and gangs who use violence and extortion to move their product.”
But the attorney general proceeded to downplay the role of treatment in addressing the drug crisis. “Treatment,” he said, “often comes too late” — and “recovery is not certain.”
“I have seen families spend all their savings and retirement money on treatment programs for their children, just to see these programs sometimes fail,” he continued.”
Source: ATTN.com – March 8, 2017
Categories: Addiction, Drug Courts & Criminal Justice, Heroin, News Updates, Opioid Abuse/Addiction, Opioids, Prescription Drugs
Tags: Addiction, Heroin, Prescription Opioids, Substance Abuse Treatment
“The head of general surgery at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center had a remarkably simple idea not long ago: What if the department suggested that surgeons limit prescriptions of narcotic pain pills to a specific number for different kinds of operations?
The results were dramatic: The number of pills prescribed by doctors for five common outpatient surgeries dropped by 53 percent, and patients didn’t consume all the pills they were given, according to a study that will be published this week in the journal Annals of Surgery.
Even veteran surgeons really had no idea how many opioids to send home with their patients, said Richard J. Barth, who is chief of general surgery at the medical center in New Hampshire and led the team that conducted the study.”
Source: WashingtonPost.com – March 7, 2017
“Just a small fraction of adolescents with opioid addiction will receive medications that can help them quit, new research shows.
To get a “baseline” sense of medication-assisted treatment in adolescents with opiate or heroin addiction, Kenneth Feder of Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore and his colleagues looked at data on 139,092 patients receiving treatment at publicly funded programs in the United States in 2013.
Among patients addicted to opiates, 12 percent of adults received medication, compared to less than 1 percent of adolescents, the researchers reported in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
“There’s more that needs to be done across the board to facilitate access to these treatments when they’re medically necessary,” Feder told Reuters Health by phone. “The best validated treatment for somebody struggling with an opiate addiction is treatment that includes some sort of medication assistance.”
Source: KFGO.com – March 10, 2017
Categories: Addiction, Heroin, Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), News Updates, Opioid Abuse/Addiction, Opioids, Prescription Drugs
Tags: Addiction, Heroin, Prescription Opioids, Substance Abuse Treatment
A new report from the Office of the Surgeon General, “Facing Addiction in America,” suggests that an overhaul of U.S. drug policy is long overdue, according to a new issue brief from a drug policy expert at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy – March 9, 2017
Categories: News Updates