- There’s A Highly Successful Treatment for Opioid Addiction. But Stigma Is Holding It Back
- Guidelines on Opioid Use in Pregnancy Released by ACOG
- Vaccine Being Tested to Prevent Heroin Abuse, HIV
- Neuroscience Offers Insights into the Opioid Epidemic
- Key to Opioid Progress: Make Insurers Comply on Treatment Access
- How Job Loss Can Lead to Drug Use
- Sessions Announces Takedown of a Top Dark Web Drug Market
- Fentanyl Analogues Not Resistant to Narcan® (Naloxone)
- U.S. to Crack Down on Opioid Treatment Programs: Bloomberg
- Rapid Growth in Medicaid Spending on Medications to Treat Opioid Use Disorder and Overdose
- Tricare Expands Mental Health, Substance Abuse, Opioid Treatment Options
- FDA Panel: Not Enough Data to OK “Abuse-Deterrent” Opioid
- Prescription Opioid Involvement In Fatal Car Crashes Climbs Sevenfold In Last Two Decades
Links to Additional News of Interest
- Trump’s Opioid Commission Calls for a State of Emergency – 7/31/17
- Prioritize Injection Drug Users for Hepatitis C Treatment – 7/27/17
- Number of US Counties with Drug Poisoning Deaths Involving Heroin Increases Nearly Five-Fold from 2000 to 2014 – 7/21/17
- Is Vivitrol More Effective Than Suboxone And Methadone? – 7/21/17
- State And Substate Estimates Of Nonmedical Use Of Prescription Pain Relievers – 7/13/17
Medication-assisted treatment is often called the gold standard of addiction care. But much of the country has resisted it.
“If you ask Jordan Hansen why he changed his mind on medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction, this is the bottom line.
Several years ago, Hansen was against the form of treatment. If you asked him back then what he thought about it, he would have told you that it’s ineffective — and even harmful — for drug users. Like other critics, to Hansen, medication-assisted treatment was nothing more than substituting one drug (say, heroin) with another (methadone).
Today, not only does Hansen think this form of treatment is effective, but he readily argues — as the scientific evidence overwhelmingly shows — that it’s the best form of treatment for opioid addiction.”
Source: Vox.com – July 20, 2017
Categories: Addiction, Buprenorphine, Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), Methadone, News Updates, Opioid Abuse/Addiction
Tags: Addiction, Buprenorphine, Medication-Assisted Treatment, Opioid Treatment Programs
“Revised guidelines on treatment of opioid use during pregnancy have been released by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Medication-assisted treatment remains the recommended treatment, but medically supervised withdrawal can be considered in certain clinical situations, according to the guidelines.
The guidelines provide an updated review of pharmacologic treatment options, including methadone, buprenorphine, naltrexone, and naloxone.
“Concern about medication-assisted treatment must be weighed against the negative effects of ongoing misuse of opioids, which can be much more detrimental to mom and baby. Medication-assisted treatment improves adherence to prenatal care and addiction treatment programs and has been shown to reduce the risk of pregnancy complications,” lead author, Maria Mascola, MD, from the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin, said in a news release.”
Read more at: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/883367
Source: Medscape.com – July 25, 2017
See related article There’s Hope for the Increasing Number of Babies Born Opioid Dependent available at: http://www.northcarolinahealthnews.org/2017/07/31/hope-increasing-number-of-babies-born-opioid-dependent/
“A team of Maryland scientists are on the cutting edge of helping fight opioid addiction. Their work might soon yield a vaccine that can help heroin users stay off the drug and save lives.
Inside the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, chemist Gary Matyas and his team of scientists are doing groundbreaking work that could one day be a game changer in the opioid epidemic. They’ve come up with a vaccine that would prevent heroin abuse, and they hope to combine it one day with a vaccine against HIV.
Matyas said animal testing is nearly complete, and he hopes to soon have a vaccine suitable for humans.”
Source: WBALTV.com – July 19, 2017
Addiction changes the brain in lasting ways, and some brains are more vulnerable than others.
“Brain research can help inform policy on how to help the 2 million Americans who are currently addicted to prescription opioids, as well as the 1 million addicted to heroin. Neuroscience “definitely has things to offer helping us understand the reality of the addicted brain,” said Keith Humphreys, a professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at Stanford University. He and several colleagues urged a greater role for neuroscience in shaping policy in a commentary that ran last month in the journal Science.
Neuroscience research has shown, for example, that addictive drugs can alter the brain circuitry that controls motivation and reward, and they can wreak havoc on the brain’s decision-making center, the prefrontal cortex.
Other treatment programs require people to prove they’re motivated by abstaining for some period of weeks, he said, but it’s the motivational circuitry that’s damaged in the brains of addicts. “It’s not that it’s hopeless,” he said, but treatment might save more lives if designed for dealing with addiction as a long-term brain disease.”
Source: Bloomberg.com – July 21, 2017
“Barriers to insurance coverage for substance-use disorder treatment remain, in part because they are hard to identify—for both consumers and regulators, according to a recent analysis of seven major health plans offered in 2015 and 2016 in New York and Maryland.
As the name implies, the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 requires comprehensive public and private insurance coverage of treatment for substance-use disorders and mental health ailments that is equitable with other medical/surgical benefits. It took effect in 2010.
Enforcement of the Parity Act, however, is driven by consumer complaints. But consumers are not sufficiently informed by insurance plans about what treatment benefits are available and what barriers they may face trying to use those benefits, say researchers from three organizations—the National Center of Addiction and Substance Abuse, the Legal Action Center, and the Treatment Research Institute—who produced the study.”
Source: American Medical Association – July 19, 2017
Several studies suggest the opioid crisis might be at least partly the result of widespread unemployment.
“In 2013, Kentucky, Rhode Island, and Nevada had some of the highest rates of death from opioid overdoses, and they also had some of the country’s highest unemployment rates. A series of studies suggests that this joblessness might have been—at least in part—contributing to the high rates of drug addiction.
A National Bureau of Economic Research paper I wrote about a few months ago found that as the unemployment rate increases by 1 percentage point in a given county, the opioid-death rate rises by 3.6 percent, and emergency-room visits rise by 7 percent. Now, a new meta-analysis lends further evidence to the idea that when people lose their jobs, they are more likely to turn to illegal drug use.”
Source: TheAtlantic.com – July 19, 2017
See related article – Opioids in the workplace: A bitter pill for business available at: http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20170723/news/634636/opioids-in-the-workplace-a-bitter-pill-for-business
“At a press conference today, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the takedown of one of the Dark Web’s largest illegal drug vendors: AlphaBay. According to a staff member, AlphaBay claimed to service more than 40,000 illegal vendors and 200,000 customers.
The Dark Web is a collection of hidden websites that masks users identities and locations. It is the source of many black market activities, including the traffic of opioid drugs.
According to the Justice Department, AlphaBay contained more than 250,000 listings for illegal drugs and toxic chemicals at the time of the takedown. The same report shows that 122 vendors advertised fentanyl and 238 advertised heroin.”
Source: YellowHammerNews.com – July 20, 2017
“U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will unveil this week a major crackdown on healthcare fraud involving opioid treatment programs, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday, citing two people familiar with the matter.
The Justice Department enforcement action will target hundreds of people nationwide who run drug addiction treatment centers and who have filed bogus claims, as well as those who have filed reimbursement claims for drugs they sold illegally, Bloomberg cited one of the people as saying. (https://bloom.bg/2udyR3v)
Source: USNews.com – July 12, 2017
Categories: Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), Methadone, News Updates, Opioid Abuse/Addiction, Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs), Opioids
Tags: Medication-Assisted Treatment, Methadone Treatment, Opioid Treatment Programs
New Tricare mental health benefits, including expanded treatment for opioid and other substance-use issues, went live July 13, according to Kevin Dwyer, spokesman for the Defense Health Agency.
Benefits now in effect include:
- Emergency and nonemergency inpatient hospitalization.
- Psychiatric residential treatment care for children.
- Inpatient/residential substance-use disorder care.
- Partial hospitalization.
- Outpatient and office-based mental health and substance-use treatment.
Source: MilitaryTimes.com – July 23, 2017
“A panel of Food and Drug Administration advisers voted against approving a new opioid painkiller with a unique feature for deterring abuse: It releases a deep-blue dye if someone tries to get high by crushing, chewing or snorting pills.
Panelists voted overwhelmingly against approving Intellipharmaceutics International’s generic version of extended-release Oxycontin, a key drug in the U.S. opioid addiction epidemic. The FDA usually follows its advisers’ advice.
Doctors and scientists raised many concerns about the dye’s safety for intended patients, and its effectiveness in deterring opioid abusers. Most said the company hadn’t done enough studies of the drug.”
Source: WSBT.com – July 26, 2017
“The percentage of fatally injured drivers who tested positive for prescription opioids rose sevenfold from 1 percent in 1995 to over 7 percent in 2015, according to a new study conducted by Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and released this month.
“Prescription opioids as potent pain medications can cause drowsiness and impair cognitive functions,” Guohua Li, professor of Epidemiology at Mailman and principal investigator of the study, said in a statement. “The 700 percent rise in the prevalence of prescription opioids detected in fatally injured drivers is cause for great concern.”
The study’ findings, published in the American Journal of Public Health, indicated that annual prescriptions of opioids like as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone, quadrupled from 76 million in 1991 to nearly 300 million in 2014 and that an estimated 3,900 people initiate nonmedical prescription opioid use daily. As a result, opioid abuse and overdose has become a national public health crisis, the report said.”
Source: Forbes.com – July 28, 2017
Categories: News Updates