The Safe Opioid Prescribing Initiative

Doctors who over-prescribe OxyContin, Percocet and other narcotic painkillers known as opioids are widely seen as partly responsible for a dramatic rise in drug overdose deaths over the last two decades. Fatal overdoses kill more than 1,000 people a year in North Carolina and nearly half involve prescriptions written within 60 days of the victim’s death.

Regulators seeking to curb deaths are now using a statewide database to spot potentially reckless prescribing.

Click HERE for more on this story

Senate Passes Bill to Support Substance Abuse Treatment

Responding to a drug crisis that has contributed to more American deaths than car crashes, the Senate passed a broad drug treatment and prevention bill, the largest of its kind since a law in 2008 that mandated insurance coverage for addiction treatment.

The measure authorizes money for various treatment and prevention programs.  It also strengthens prescription drug monitoring programs to help states and expands the availability of the drug naloxone, which helps reverse overdoses, to law enforcement agencies.

It also increases disposal sites for prescription medications that are often abused by teenagers and others. “This is a strong signal that the United States Congress now gets this issue,” Mr. Portman said in a news conference after the vote.

Click HERE for more in this story

Register Today for the PITA IX Conference

It’s that time of year.  Register today for the PITA IX Conference

PITA IX Flyer

SAMHSA Announces a $30,000 Opioid Recovery App Challenge

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is announcing a new challenge to help to spur developers to create a mobile application (app) that provides additional recovery support to patients receiving treatment for opioid misuse.  The app may be used as part of a patient’s comprehensive treatment plan that includes counseling and participation in social support programs.  The goal of this challenge is to increase access to resources, educational materials, information and support for people in outpatient recovery from opioid misuse.

Click here for more information

Public Health Leaders Urge Far-Reaching Reforms to Curb Prescription Opioid Epidemic

A group of experts, led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, issued recommendations aimed at stemming the prescription opioid epidemic, a crisis that kills an average of 44 people a day in the U.S.  The report calls for changes to the way medical students and physicians are trained, prescriptions are dispensed and monitored, first responders are equipped to treat overdoses, and those with addiction are identified and treated.

The report, titled “The Prescription Opioid Epidemic: An Evidence-Based Approach,” breaks its recommendations into seven categories:

  • Prescribing Guidelines
  • Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs)
  • Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) and Pharmacies
  • Engineering Strategies (i.e., packaging)
  • Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution Programs
  • Addiction Treatment
  • Community-Based Prevention Strategies

Click HERE for more on this story.