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…

DEA Schedule Changes for Opioids

Prescription medication abuse has become an issue of great concern.  The DEA moved hydrocodone combination pills, also known as opioids, from a Schedule III to a Schedule II drug.  The final ruling goes into effect in 45 days. Drugs are categorized into one of five “schedules” by the DEA based on “whether they have a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, their relative abuse potential and their likelihood of causing dependence when abused.”  Other drugs, such as Adderall and morphine, are also labeled as Schedule II. Now, in order to use these drugs, patients will have…

Palcohol Gets the Green Light

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved a new product Wednesday called Palcohol.  It’s a dried form of alcohol that can be mixed with water to create liquid alcohol.  Concerns over safety have already led several states, including South Carolina, Louisiana and Vermont, to ban powdered alcohol and other states are considering legislation, KPNX-TV in Phoenix reported. Some critics are concerned people may try to snort the powder or mix it with alcohol to make it even stronger or spike a drink. Click HERE for more on this story.

Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)

  The ONDCP provides information on new policies and reforms as well as data and research related to substance abuse in the United States.

Governor McCrory Creates Task Force to Combat Substance Abuse and Underage Drinking

Governor Pat McCrory signed an executive order that creates a multi-agency task force aimed at reducing substance abuse and underage drinking.  The Governor’s Substance Abuse and Underage Drinking Prevention and Treatment Task Force will build on statewide prevention, treatment and enforcement initiatives implemented by the Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) Commission, Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE) Division, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the University of North Carolina (UNC) System. As a part of this initiative, six UNC campuses that will take part in a pilot program that will emphasize prevention and treatment:  East Carolina University, UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina…

Guidelines for Advocacy

There is significant evidence that the most effective approaches to the prevention of alcohol and other substance abuse problems are those that seek to change the environment within which these problems take place.  It should not be a surprise that these approaches often involve advocating for legislative public policy changes. Strategizer 31 clarifies what constitutes lobbying activities for nonprofit organizations and to what extent these organizations can participate in lobbying activities in particular and the legislative process in general.

Justice Department Asks For Reduced Sentences for Less Serious Drug Offenders

As prison populations swell, the Justice Department is seeking sentencing changes that would keep tough penalties for violent and repeat drug offenses, but provide reduced or alternative sentences for less serious offenders.  The U.S. Sentencing Commission is an independent government agency that sets sentencing policies for the federal courts. Each year, the commission reviews the guidelines and may act to change them. Federal law requires the Justice Department’s criminal division to submit a report assessing the guidelines and recommending changes. Click here for full story…

Policy Alert: State Alcohol & Drug Abuse Treatment Centers to Close

Policy Alert from APNC  The NC Senate’s budget proposes closes of ALL of the state’s Alcohol & Drug Abuse Treatment Centers (ADATCs), with a mandate to cease admissions at the end of June.  That proposal is now being considered by the NC House.   Click here for full alert

A Drug Policy for the 21st Century

The release of the 2013 National Drug Control Strategy, a science-driven plan for drug policy reform in America.  This 21st century drug policy outlines a series of evidence-based reforms that address our Nation’s drug problem as not just a criminal justice issue, but also a major public health concern. The President has outlined his vision of an America built to last—where an educated, skilled workforce has the knowledge, energy and expertise to compete in the global marketplace. Yet—for far too many Americans—that vision is limited by drug use, which not only limits the potential of the individual, but jeopardizes families, communities…