- Opioid Prescriptions Falling but Remain Too High, CDC Says
- A New Report Shows Some Patients Take Advantage of Medicare To Get a Lot of Opioids
- Goal of Nation’s First Opioid Court: Keep Users Alive
- Research Results – Buprenorphine: Being Out of Treatment Increases Risk of Death Nearly 30-Fold
- New SAMHSA Report Shows the Usage of Non-Medical Pain Relievers Across the Nation
- Spending on Opioid Addiction Medications Rose Sharply Since 2011
- Issue Brief: Medicaid and the Opioid Epidemic: Enrollment, Spending, and the Implications of Proposed Policy Changes.
- As New and Lethal Opioids Flood U.S. Streets, Crime Labs Race to Identify Them
- New Resource: SAMHSA’s Decisions in Recovery: A New Shared Decision-Making Tool for Medication-Assisted Treatment
- Another Reason for Missing Workers: Opioids
- Some Eligible Physicians Avoid Prescribing Buprenorphine
Links to Additional News of Interest
- Most People Addicted to Opioids Receive No Treatment – 7/13/17
- Trump’s opioid commission misses second deadline – 7/13/17
- Major Science Report Lays Out a Plan to Tamp Down Opioid Crisis – 7/13/17
- ASAM Releases Consensus Document Outlining Appropriate Use of Drug Testing – 7/12/17
- What Does America’s Opioid Crisis Mean for Unemployment? Not Much, Says Goldman – 7/7/17
- As Fentanyl Takes Hold, Treatment Is More Essential Than Ever – 7/5/17
- Has Medicaid Made the Opioid Epidemic Worse? – 7/5/17
- Science key to solving opioid crisis – 7/3/17
- Surgeon General Nominee Championed Policies to Curb Indiana’s Opioid Epidemic – 7/3/17
- New from the DEA – Fentanyl: A Brief Guide for First Responders (PDF) – June 2017
“The U.S. is in the midst of an opioid crisis. Millions of Americans are addicted to the powerful prescription painkillers, and tens of thousands are dying each year from overdoses.
A new report out Thursday offers a bit of hope: Doctors are prescribing opioids less often, and the average dose they’re giving patients has dropped, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
However, the number of patients getting opioids is still too high, and doctors are giving their patients prescriptions that last longer, according to the report in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.”
Source: NPR.org – July 6, 2017
The CDC report can be accessed at: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/mm6626a4.htm?s_cid=mm6626a4_w
The inspector general says the federal government could do more to stop this.
“Last year, a patient using Medicare’s prescription drug program managed to receive an unbelievable amount of opioids: In total, this patient got 46 different prescribers and 20 pharmacies to dole out the drugs. In just August, this patient managed to receive 11 different opioid prescriptions from eight prescribers and six pharmacies across five states — a potential indication that no one involved checked the patient’s prescription history.
This is an extreme case, but it’s one example cited in a new report by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) at the US Department of Health and Human Services as evidence that the Medicare prescription drug program, Part D, is essentially funding a lot of opioid prescriptions that are fueling the ongoing drug overdose epidemic. In short, Part D is likely enabling potentially tens of thousands of opioid users in getting the drugs so they can misuse or resell them.
Source: Vox.com – July 13, 2017
“After three defendants fatally overdosed in a single week last year, it became clear that Buffalo’s ordinary drug treatment court was no match for the heroin and painkiller crisis.
Now the city is experimenting with the nation’s first opioid crisis intervention court, which can get users into treatment within hours of their arrest instead of days, requires them to check in with a judge every day for a month instead of once a week, and puts them on strict curfews.
Administering justice takes a back seat to the overarching goal of simply keeping defendants alive.
Source: Wtop.com – July 9, 2017
Buprenorphine reduces mortality for those with opioid use disorder, but periods off treatment are associated with much higher mortality rates. A study of 713 new outpatient users of buprenorphine was conducted in France, where patients with opioid use disorder are usually treated by general practitioners in private practice with periods in and out of treatment. The mortality rate for study subjects was 0.63/100 person-year [95 percent CI 0.40- 0.85], compared to 0.24/100 person-year [0.24-0.25] for other individuals of the same age range during the same time period. The authors encourage physicians to avoid interruption of treatment and encourage patients to remain in treatment for a sufficient amount of time.”
Source: Eurekalert – July 10, 2017
A new SAMHSA report indicates that 4.31 percent of people aged 12 or older in the United States used prescription pain relievers nonmedically in the past year. The report also shows variations in use by state, indicating that rates of past year nonmedical use of prescription pain relievers among those aged 12 or older ranged from 3.41 percent in Minnesota to 5.31 percent in Oklahoma.
Research has found that the vast majority of people who take prescription pain relievers do not misuse them; however, their misuse is second only to marijuana use as the nation’s most prevalent illicit drug problem.
The press release can be accessed at: https://www.samhsa.gov/newsroom/press-announcements/201707130900
The report can be accessed at: https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/report_3187/ShortReport-3187.html
Source: SAMHSA.gov – July 13, 2017
“Medicaid spending on three important medications used to treat opioid addiction increased 136 percent nationwide between 2011 and 2016, according to a new report from the Urban Institute, a public policy think tank based in Washington D.C. The increases were much higher in some states—in seven states, rates rose more than 400 percent.
The authors of the report draw a parallel between the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion and spending on buprenorphine, naltrexone and the overdose antidote naloxone, saying it has brought addiction treatment to previously underserved populations.
“What we saw was this gigantic, rapid, ongoing expansion in treatment,” says report co-author Lisa Clemans-Cope. “It was particularly fast after 2014 when the big Medicaid expansion came into play. There’s definitely an effect of people getting access to treatment—that’s the primary driver of growth of spending.”
The report can be accessed at: http://www.urban.org/research/publication/rapid-growth-medicaid-spending-medications-treat-opioid-use-disorder-and-overdose
Source: WBOI.org – July 3, 2017
Issue Brief: Medicaid and the Opioid Epidemic: Enrollment, Spending, and the Implications of Proposed Policy Changes.
This issue brief provides information on the number of Medicaid enrollees with opioid addiction, Medicaid spending on these enrollees, and the implications of the BCRA as states work to combat this public health crisis. Drawing on state-level data available for FY 2013, this brief provides insight into Medicaid’s role, but from a time predating the expansion and current focus on the opioid epidemic. Thus effects shown here will undoubtedly understate Medicaid’s role today, but provide insight into the scope of Medicaid’s impact on the opioid addiction challenge.”
Source: KFF.org – July 14, 2017
See related Medicaid article: Medicaid affects millions of Americans, young and old available at: http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/13/health/medicaid-explainer-bn/index.html
“The yellow pills had already killed four before landing in Brian Hargett’s lab last month. They were clearly counterfeit — the letters P-E-R-C-O-C-E-T were as crooked as the dealer who had peddled them throughout central Georgia — but now his chemists had to figure out exactly what they were. And fast. Lives were still at stake; health officials wanted to alert the public about the phony pills. First, though, they had to know what was in them.
At the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s forensic lab outside Macon, Hargett assigned the tablets to one of his forensic chemists. She threw on her gown and gloves, weighed a pill, and dropped it in a skinny vial to soak in ethanol. Then she ran a test designed to separate and identify each substance in the pill. Two synthetic opioids showed up — including one never before seen in Georgia.”
Source: STAT/FoxNews.com – July 5, 2017
New Resource: SAMHSA’s Decisions in Recovery: A New Shared Decision-Making Tool for Medication-Assisted Treatment
SAMHSA’s new online tool, Decisions in Recovery: Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder, helps people with opioid use disorder learn about using MAT treatment options to strengthen their recovery. This tool features content on the stages of medication-assisted recovery, how to build a recovery support team, and recovery resources.
Using Decisions in Recovery, people can explore and compare MAT treatment options and, together with a healthcare provider, decide which options are best for individual recovery. The tool provides comprehensive information about each medication, including a side-by-side comparison chart, as well as information about pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, and drug interactions. The tool’s interactive self-assessments and downloadable worksheets help a person identify and consider values and preferences regarding available treatment options for opioid use disorder.
Source: SAMHSA.gov – May 5, 2017
“The opioid crisis has hit many communities hard, leading to untimely deaths, higher health care spending and personal tragedies.
But the crisis may also be rippling into the economy in complex ways. Goldman Sachs (GS) economist David Mericle said in a research note earlier this month that the opioid epidemic “is intertwined with the story of declining prime-age participation, especially for men.”
The declining labor force participation rate is something of an economic puzzle because the stronger economy should be convincing more Americans to return to the workforce. Instead, the share of American adults with jobs has dwindled by almost 3 percentage points since the recession ended.
Economists have posited causes ranging from weak demand for less-skilled workers to rising disability rates, but as Mericle points out, the trend has also coincided with the opioid crisis.”
Source: CBSNews.com – July 11, 2017
“Fewer than one in three rural physicians who have a waiver to prescribe buprenorphine for opioid use disorder currently do so, according to research that recently appeared in Annals of Family Medicine.
Compounding the problem of opioid misuse in rural areas is that 60.1% of nonurban counties lack physicians that have these waivers, hindering treatment in these locations, noted researchers.
“A few studies, limited to one or only a few states, have looked at the barriers physicians face providing buprenorphine maintenance treatment, but none has examined nationally the differences between physician groups who are and are not actively using their waivers or accepting new patients,” C. Holly A. Andrilla, MS, department of family medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, and colleagues wrote. “This study’s purpose was to understand the barriers physicians with waivers face in providing buprenorphine maintenance treatment.”
The full article can be accessed at: http://www.annfammed.org/content/15/4/359.full
Source: Healio.com – July 13, 2017
Categories: News Updates