- Portman, Casey Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Expand Opioid Treatment Medication for Seniors
- GAO Blog: A Multi-Front Effort on Substance Abuse
- House Panel Advances Dozens of Opioid Bills
- In A First, FDA Approves Drug Meant to Mitigate Symptoms of Opioid Withdrawal
- Pregnant Women on Opioids Shouldn’t Go ‘Cold Turkey’ to Protect Their Baby
- Dr. Jana Burson Blog: Medication-Assisted Treatment in An Aging Population Part I and II
- Overdose 101: New York Inmates Trained to Use Opioid Antidote Kit
- San Francisco Will Bring Anti-Addiction Medication to Users on The Streets
- The Private Sector Has A Powerful Incentive to Treat Opioid Addiction by Rob Portman, a Republican, represents Ohio in the Senate.
Links to Additional News of Interest
- The Stigma Of Addiction Treatment Medication
- Chronic pain sufferers say they are having trouble getting medicine due to opioid epidemic
- Opioid Addiction In U.S.: 7 In 10 Say It’s A Very Serious Problem – CBS News Poll
- Melania Trump’s “Be Best” Campaign Tackles Emotional Health, Opioid Abuse
- How Is The Opioid Crisis Affecting Students In The US?
- Blog: May is Hepatitis Awareness Month. 10 Things to Know About Hepatitis
- $5K settlement for nursing home that declined to admit opioid dependent patient
- Body’s ‘Natural Opioids’ Affect Brain Cells Much Differently Than Morphine
- Opioid epidemic leaving grandparents to raise grandchildren
“Recently, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced the Medicare Beneficiary Opioid Addiction Treatment Act (S. 2704), legislation that would break down existing barriers to treatment, by providing coverage for methadone under Medicare Part B and allowing seniors and people with disabilities to receive this important medication in their doctor’s office.
Opioid use disorder is a growing problem among older adults and people with disabilities, as nearly 12 million people with Medicare were prescribed opioids in 2015. In fact, the President’s FY2019 budget request proposes to test and expand Medicare treatment options, including reimbursing for methadone.
The bill is supported by the American Medical Association, the Center for Medicare Advocacy, Medicare Rights Center, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, and the Alliance for Retired Americans.”
Source: Portman.Senate.gov – May 9, 2018
“As drug overdose deaths have grown to unprecedented levels in America, federal efforts have attempted to combat the substance abuse problem on multiple fronts.
Programs and new laws have addressed everything from keeping tabs on Medicare opioid prescriptions to gathering unused prescription drugs so they won’t be misused among friends and family.
This week’s WatchBlog, in observance of National Prevention Week, takes a look at some of our recent work in the area of substance abuse prevention including:
Synthetic Opioids Arrive
Friends, Family, and Prescription Drugs
Focusing on the Young
Focusing on Seniors
Source: GAO.gov – May 17, 2018
“A House panel advanced a series of opioid bills Wednesday that would link overdose victims to treatment before leaving the emergency room, let hospice workers get rid of unused pills and spur the National Institutes of Health to find non-addictive solutions for pain.
All told, the Energy and Commerce Committee approved 25 bills aimed at reining in the addiction crisis that’s killing tens of thousands of Americans per year.
If enacted into the law, the measures would expand the use of “mail-back pouches” to destroy unused pain medication and help the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention combat rates of HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C and other diseases tied to intravenous drug use.
Patients covered by Medicare would see changes, too. Doctors would have to transmit prescriptions for potentially addictive drugs electronically — to reduce the number of fraudulent or manipulated scripts — and enrollees would learn about the potential dangers of using opioids.”
Source: WashingtonTimes.com – May 9, 2018
See related government spending article: HHS Head Azar Requested Less Money Than Congress Gave the Agency available at: http://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/news/hhs-head-azar-requested-less-money-congress-gave-agency
Categories: Addiction, Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), News Updates, Opioid Abuse/Addiction, Opioids, Overdose
Tags: Hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, Medicare, Medication-Assisted Treatment, Prescription Opioids
“The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved for the first time a drug meant to mitigate the symptoms of opioid withdrawal — rather than an underlying dependency — giving American physicians a new tool to help patients begin treatment.
The drug, lofexidine, will be manufactured by Kentucky-based US WorldMeds and marketed as Lucemyra.
The new drug is viewed as an important bridge to some forms of medication-assisted treatment, which have been the focus of many state and federal efforts to improve addiction treatment and have been seen as an effective way to help many patients.”
Source: StatNews.com – May 15, 2018
“Over the past 10 years, the rate of pregnant women who are dependent on opioids has steadily increased in the United States. In fact, on average, about 21,000 pregnant women aged 15 to 44 misused opioids in the past month, according to combined 2007 to 2012 national surveys on drug use and health from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Pregnant women taking opioids during pregnancy are at risk for having infants who are born dependent on opioids with a condition called neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).
While many studies have found that medically assisted treatment with methadone or buprenorphine is recommended over full detox, in some areas doctors still recommend an immediate unmedicated detox in the hopes of keeping infants from developing NAS.
In April, a meta-analysis published in Obstetrics and Gynecology looked at the various approaches of treatment for women who are pregnant and dependent on opioids. The large review assessed 15 previously conducted studies that involved some 2,000 women.
Conclusion: “Our review does not support detoxification for the prevention of neonatal abstinence syndrome as a result of the high rate of relapse and, therefore, continued fetal opioid exposure,” the researchers wrote. “Furthermore, relapse as reported in the included studies was likely underreported as a result of lack of follow-up beyond the immediate postpartum period as well as high lost-to-follow-up rates across all studies.”
Source: Healthline.com – May 9, 2018
See related article on NAS: Study shows prolonged NAS treatment for infants discharged early available at: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-05-prolonged-nas-treatment-infants-discharged.html
Categories: Addiction, Buprenorphine, Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), Methadone, News Updates, Opioid Abuse/Addiction, Opioids
Tags: Buprenorphine, Methadone Treatment, Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, Pregnancy
“Patients prescribed medication-assisted treatments with buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone are getting older…as we all are. This is wonderful, because it means our patients are surviving, making it to old age. Methadone has been prescribed for the longest of the three, so we tend to see more older patients on it.
Aging in our patients can present specific challenges; research literature shows high rates of physical and psychological illness in opioid users in general, meaning as this population ages, we can expect to see even more co-occurring illnesses.
When looking for information about aging MAT patients, I was appalled to see a journal article define “older adult” as those fifty and above. I’ve always thought of “older” as being, well, older than me. I’m no longer pushing fifty – I’ve been pulling it behind me for nearly seven years, so I felt a little resentful on behalf of my patients.”
Part II can be accessed at: https://janaburson.wordpress.com/2018/05/16/older-patients-at-opioid-treatment-programs-part-2/
Source: Dr. Jana Burson – May 10 and 16, 2018
Categories: Addiction, Buprenorphine, Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), Methadone, naltrexone, News Updates, Opioid Abuse/Addiction
Tags: Addiction, Buprenorphine, Medication-Assisted Treatment, Methadone Treatment, naltrexone
“The inmates filed into a room at a New York prison, squeezed into classroom-style desks, and watched a guard demonstrate how a small plastic tube could help them save lives when they return to the streets of a nation gripped by an opioid epidemic.
The weekly class at the Queensboro Correctional Facility in New York City is part of a state program to expand access to naloxone, a drug delivered through a nasal spray that can quickly revive someone who is overdosing on heroin or an opioid-based prescription painkiller.
By giving naloxone kits to inmates upon their release, New York state officials hope those in need will have a better chance of getting the antidote in time.”
Source: Reuters.com – May 10, 2018
See related article on naloxone: Narcan saved me from an opioid overdose. President Trump should make this drug cheaper available at: https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/05/11/opioid-overdose-nearly-killed-me-make-narcan-cheaper-donald-trump-column/597861002/
“San Francisco will begin supplying anti-addiction medication to long-term drug users and homeless people on city streets, an attempt to overcome a formidable obstacle to treatment that has complicated efforts to address the opioid crisis.
The city announced Thursday that its medical providers will offer buprenorphine and naltrexone prescriptions at needle exchanges, in parks and in other places where people with opioid disorders congregate. Users will be able to pick up the medications, which block the craving for opioids and the painful symptoms of withdrawal, at a centrally located city-run pharmacy.
The city is billing the plan as the first of its kind in the United States, though a few other communities have tried similar programs over the years.”
Read more at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/san-francisco-will-bring-anti-addiction-medication-to-users-on-the-streets/2018/05/16/432238ee-593a-11e8-b656-a5f8c2a9295d_story.html?utm_term=.baefbf307829
Source: WashingtonPost.com – May 17, 2018
The Private Sector Has A Powerful Incentive to Treat Opioid Addiction by Rob Portman, a Republican, represents Ohio in the Senate.
“In the steadily growing U.S. economy, with tax reform and regulatory relief leading businesses to invest more in both facilities and people, the unemployment rate stands at 3.9 percent, the lowest since 2000.
A record number of business owners say now is a good time to expand, but our workforce needs are going unmet. I see this in Ohio, where employers increasingly tell me that their biggest challenge is finding workers.
One reason workers are scarce is the historically low labor-force participation rate — the number of able-bodied, working-age Americans who are outside the economy, not working or even looking for work. These people are not included in the unemployment numbers. In fact, if the United States were at its pre-recession level of labor force participation, today’s unemployment rate wouldn’t be 3.9 percent — it would be a disappointing 8.6 percent.
Some new data suggest that the most significant factor contributing to this labor-force decline is the opioid epidemic.”
Read more at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-private-sector-has-a-powerful-incentive-to-treat-opioid-addiction/2018/05/14/da65d812-5473-11e8-a551-5b648abe29ef_story.html?utm_term=.6cae7543aa88
Source: WashingtonPost.com – May 14, 2018
Categories: News Updates