AT Forum April 13, 2012 Weekly News Update

Wisconsin Association of Perinatal Care (WAPC) Newborn Withdrawal Project Educational Toolkit Now Available Online

This Toolkit is a compendium of educational materials intended for both parents and health care providers of newborns experiencing neonatal abstinence syndrome and pregnant women undergoing methadone maintenance treatment or other treatments for opioid addiction.

Resources include:

Source: Wisconsin Association of Perinatal Care – March 29, 2012


Buprenorphine Now More Likely than Methadone to Be Found in U.S. Law Enforcement Drug Seizures

Buprenorphine is now more likely than methadone to be found in law enforcement drug seizures that are submitted to and analyzed by forensic laboratories across the country, according to data from the National Forensic Laboratory Information System (NFLIS). NFLIS monitors illicit drug abuse and trafficking, including the diversion of legally manufactured pharmaceuticals into illegal markets. From 2003 to 2009, the number of methadone reports increased gradually, reaching a peak of 10,016 in 2009, and then decreased slightly to 9,477 in 2010. In contrast, the number of buprenorphine reports has increased dramatically, from 90 in 2003, to 10,537 in 2010.

Regardless of whether diverted buprenorphine is being used nonmedically to self-treat opiate addiction or to get high, unsupervised use of diverted buprenorphine places users at serious risk for potential adverse health effects, especially when taken in combination with other opioids or with depressants such as sedatives, tranquilizers, or alcohol.

Estimated # of Total Methadone and Buprenorphine Reports U.S. Law Enforcement-Seized Drug Exhibits Analyzed by Forensic Laboratories,2003-2010 

Notes: Estimates are calculated using the National Estimates Based on All Reports (NEAR) methodology (see Annual data are based on drugs submitted to laboratories during the calendar year and analyzed within three months of the end of the calendar year. Up to three drugs can be reported for each drug item or exhibit analyzed by a laboratory. State and local policies related to the enforcement and prosecution of specific drugs may affect drug evidence submissions to laboratories for analysis. Laboratory policies and procedures for handling drug evidence may also vary. For example, some analyze all evidence submitted, while others analyze only selected items.

Sources: Cesar Fax – April 2, 2012. Adapted by CESAR from data provided by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Office of Diversion Control, Drug and Chemical Evaluation Section, Data Analysis Unit on 3/21/2012.

Painkiller Sales Soar Around U.S., Fuel Addiction

Sales of the nation’s two most popular prescription painkillers (oxycodone and hydrocodone) have exploded in new parts of the country, an Associated Press analysis shows, worrying experts who say the push to relieve patients’ suffering is spawning an addiction epidemic.

From New York’s Staten Island to Santa Fe, N.M., Drug Enforcement Administration figures show dramatic rises between 2000 and 2010 in the distribution of oxycodone, the key ingredient in OxyContin, Percocet and Percodan. Some places saw sales increase sixteenfold.

Source: Wall Street Journal – April 5, 2012

Why Xanax is the Most Popular Anti-Anxiety Drug in America

So reliably relaxing are the effects of benzodiazepines that ­SAMHSA’s director of substance-abuse treatment, H. Westley Clark, says they’ve gained a reputation as “alcohol in a pill.” And their consumption can be equally informal. Just as friends pour wine for friends in times of crisis, so too do doctors, moved by the angst of their patients, “have sympathy and prescribe more,” says Clark. There are a lot more benzos circulating these days, and a lot more sharing.

Source: New York Magazine – March 18, 2012

Study: Benzodiazepine Update: Alprazolam and Other Benzodiazepine Use Among People Who Inject Drugs

The use of benzodiazepines among people who use illicit drugs is complex as reasons for use are not always straightforward and use does not necessarily infer abuse. On the other hand, higher dosing than prescribed is common among drug users (Nielsen et al. 2008) and use in combination with drugs such as heroin and alcohol is likely to promote adverse effects.

Source: McIlwraith, F., Hickey, S., and Alati, R. (April 2012). Benzodiazepine update: alprazolam and other benzodiazepine use among people who inject drugs. IDRS Drug Trends Bulletin April 2012, Sydney: National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, The University of New South Wales.

SAMHSA News Winter 2012 Now Available Online

The Winter edition of the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration is now available online at:

Articles in this issue include:

¨       Health Information Technology—What It Means for You

¨       SAMHSA Enhances Health IT Efforts

¨       Behavioral Health IT Resources

¨       View From the Administrator: Embracing Health Information Technology

¨       Using Social Media To Save Lives

¨       Study Finds One in Five American Adults With Mental Illness

¨       National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows 45.9 million adults across the United States experienced mental illness in the past year.

¨       SAMHSA’s Budget Affirms Commitment to Behavioral Health

¨       Celebrating 20 Years of Behavioral Health Advances

¨       SAMHSA Releases Two New Resources

Source: Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration – March 29, 2012

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