News & Updates – May 16, 2014; Issue 200

Compiled & Edited by Sue Emerson – Publisher

Prior Edition: April 25, 2014

List of all News/Updates

MEDICATION-ASSISTED TREATMENT (MAT) AND OPIOID ABUSE/ADDICTION

GOVERNMENT

PRESCRIPTION DRUG MONITORING

OTHER NATIONAL NEWS OF INTEREST

NEWS FROM THE STATES

Buprenorphine, Methadone and Opiate Replacement Therapy Blog Series from Psychology Today

blog1This three part blog by Joseph Troncale, MD, FASAM, published online on the Psychology Todaywebsite provides a historical overview of opioid addiction and the rise of opioid replacement medication.  The three parts include:

Part 1: Lessons From History – April 30, 2014

Part II: Where the Harrison Act has Brought Us – May 10, 2014

Part III: The Plight of the Opiate Addict from 1914 until Now, and the Rise of Substitution Therapy – May 10, 2014

Dr. Troncale concluded, “There is no perfect drug or therapy, but it is still a certainty that the use of street heroin or synthetic opiates is extremely lethal. I have seen people use NA or AA and get clean, and I have seen people use a combination of buprenorphine or methadone and/or AA and live normal lives. The hope of change is still there. Why people make destructive choices is the question that cannot be explained except by an understanding of the power of the limbic system.”

Source: PsychologyToday.com – April/May 2014

Opioid Substitution Therapy Is Linked to Lowered HIV Risk

“Methadone maintenance therapy and treatment with buprenorphine-naloxone are equally effective at reducing HIV injecting risk behaviours among people who inject drugs, investigators from the United States report in the online edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.

Both treatments were associated with significant reductions in injecting practices linked to a risk of HIV transmission. Sexual risk behaviour also decreased in women taking both therapies. However, drop-out rates were higher among people treated with buprenorphine-naloxone and men taking this therapy reported significantly higher rates of sexual risk-taking.”

http://www.aidsmap.com/Methadone-and-buprenorphine-naloxone-both-associated-with-reduced-HIV-risk-among-people-who-inject-drugs/page/2849368/

Source: Aidsmap.com – April 29, 2014

NYC: National Development and Research Institutes, Inc. (NDRI) Honors Dr. Beny J. Primm for Lifetime Contribution to the Fields of Addiction and Its Related Diseases

Primm“Dr. Beny J. Primm was recently honored by the National Development and Research Institutes, Inc. (NDRI) and presented with the Lifetime Contribution Award by Dr. H. Westley Clark, MD, and Mr. Joseph Lunievicz at The Masonic Temple on at 71 West 23rd Street, NY, NY.

Dr. Primm is the co-founder of Addiction Research Treatment Corporation (Now known as SMART) served as its Executive Director for more than 40 years, and as President of the Urban Resource Institute since its creation in 1980. Selected by four U.S. Presidents to serve as a consultant on a variety of substance abuse and public health issues, he was appointed to the Commission on AIDS by President Ronald Reagan, selected as the first Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment of the US Department of Health and Human Services by President George Bush, and named U.S. Representative on issues of drug addiction and AIDS to the World Health Organization in Geneva.”

http://wcalvinanderson.wordpress.com/tag/american-association-for-the-treatment-of-opioid-dependence/

Source: Calvin Anderson – April 28, 2014

E-mail Communication from AATOD President Mark Parrino on MAT for Opioid Addiction in the Criminal Justice System

AATOD“I am providing a link to an important letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, dated April 10, 2014, which was signed by sixteen US Senators. The Senators are urging the Attorney General to work with all of the branches in the Department of Justice to utilize the federally approved medications to treat opioid addiction “in combination with counseling”. “Specifically, the Department should initiate a multi-state program utilizing anti-addiction medications to support successful reentry into society of opioid addicted offenders from various correctional settings.” I know that you will join me in supporting this approach and clearly the sixteen Senators understand the benefit of providing access to Medication Assisted Treatment for opioid addiction in the Criminal Justice setting.”

The AATOD letter can be accessed at: http://www.aatod.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Letter-to-AG-Holder-on-Prescription-opioid-and-heroin-addiction.pdf

Source: American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence – April 28, 2014

Blog by Jana Burson Methadone and Buprenorphine During Incarceration

jail-cropped“As a health care provider, of course I’m opposed to any refusal to treatment a patient while incarcerated. I think it’s a violation of the 8th Amendment about cruel and unusual punishment, but since I’m no legal scholar, I’ve searched the internet for more information about this situation. I found a great article co-authored by a doctor and a lawyer. They make the point that opioid addiction is a complex illness, and forced withdrawal causes severe physical and psychological suffering. Also, because opioid withdrawal makes people especially vulnerable, they may be coerced into giving testimony that incriminates themselves. They are less able to make decisions.

Prisons are charged to provide as much care as is available to prisoners as general population, yet opioid addicts are denied access to medication-assisted treatments for addiction. These treatments are, as you probably know if you’re a regular reader of this blog, one of the most evidenced-based medical treatments in all of medicine.”

http://janaburson.wordpress.com/2014/05/11/methadone-and-buprenorphine-during-incarceration/

Source: JanaBurson.com – May 11, 2014

Doctors Have ‘Knowledge Gaps’ About Opioid Abuse (Free registration required to view article)

“Many physicians still have a lot to learn about opioid misuse, abuse, and diversion, according to the results of a survey of clinicians who attended 1 of last year’s major pain meetings.

“Clinicians in the real world are not reading the data that we currently have about opioid abuse-deterrent formulations, they don’t understand how big the problem of diversion is, and they have serious knowledge gaps about where people who abuse opioids are getting these drugs,” Joseph V. Pergolizzi, MD, from Johns Hopkins Medical School, Baltimore, Maryland, told Medscape Medical News.

Less than half (45%) were aware that most (71%) prescription opioids that are abused are obtained from a friend or a relative, and only 53% believed that more than half of recreational abuse is sourced through diversion of a legitimate prescription.”

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/824702

Source:  Medscape.com -May 6, 2014

SAMHSA Blog: Recovery Includes Medical Treatment

samhsa“Within the health domain, clinical treatment plays a critical role in recovery.  Access to safe and effective medications is a vital tool on the path to recovery for many people with mental and/or substance use disorders.  We can think of recovery as a process by which people learn to manage their conditions and lead productive lives.  It is facilitated by working with providers via medications, counseling, rehabilitative services, stress and relapse management, and other services and supports.  Just as with other health conditions, medication is often a key part in achieving positive outcomes. However, medication is not effective for everyone or for every mental health condition, so there needs to be individualized approaches to care and treatment.  The recovery model incorporates all of these variables and provides new hope to many individuals with serious mental illnesses.

To optimize the use of medications to assist recovery, consumers/peers, families, and providers need to be fully informed, engaged, and involved.  SAMHSA has developed evidence-based approaches in areas such as shared decision-making, family psychoeducation, medication treatment, evaluation, and management, and provider training and clinical decision support.”

http://blog.samhsa.gov/2014/05/01/recovery-includes-medical-treatment/#.U3Z6YptALzZ

Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration -May 1, 2014

Privacy Being Tightened for Prescription Drug Monitoring Databases

pills“The privacy of information contained in prescription drug monitoring databases is being tightened, The Wall Street Journal reports. Privacy advocates hail the trend, while law enforcement officials say it is hampering their attempts to curb prescription drug abuse.”

“The public and lawmakers are really starting to understand what kinds of threats to privacy come when we start centralizing great quantities of our sensitive personal information in giant electronic databases,” said Nathan Wessler, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union. The group represented patients and a doctor who challenged the Drug Enforcement Administration in the Oregon case.”

http://www.drugfree.org/join-together/legal/privacy-being-tightened-for-prescription-drug-monitoring-databases

Source: JoinTogether.org -May 7, 2014

Other National News of Interest

News From the States

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