New Way to Dose Buprenorphine

April 20th, 2017

A new subcutaneous injection form of buprenorphine has been developed by Swedish pharmaceutical company Camarus and has shown promise in clinical trials. The liquid substance containing buprenorphine forms a gel once injected and can be easily administered through subcutaneous injection at weekly or monthly intervals. In a recent blog post, Dr. Jana Burson discusses this potential new option for administering buprenorphine.

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New Data Available on Emergency Department Visits for Opioid Overdose

April 20th, 2017

The NC Injury and Violence Prevention Branch of the Division of Public Health has been working with several partners to develop timely data reports utilizing ED data from NC DETECT. This infographic charts Emergency Department Visits for Opioid Overdose.

View Infographic on ED Visits for Opioid Overdose in North Carolina

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Guidelines for Addressing Benzodiazepine Use in Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs)

April 20th, 2017

Earlier this month, the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence (AATOD) released its long-awaited report, Guidelines for Addressing Benzodiazepine Use in Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs). The purpose of the AATOD report is to offer guidance, instead of restrictive procedures, to help OTPs treat these patients. The report notes that both careful monitoring and coordination of care that is “respectful but not capricious or punitive” are essential to ensure safe, effective, and individualized care for OTP patients.

Download AATODs Benzodiazepine Guidelines

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Benzodiazepines + Prescription Opioids = Caution Needed: Study

April 20th, 2017

Benzodiazepines may be prescribed for patients coping with severe anxiety, panic disorder, or sleep problems; prescription opioids can help relieve severe pain. When prescribed appropriately and with sufficient monitoring, either medication is relatively safe, especially for short-term use.

Dual therapy – an opioid plus a benzodiazepine – introduces much greater risk to the patient. Careful weighing of risk/benefit profile and monitoring are critical. Both medications can cause respiratory depression, and the combined respiratory effects can lead to serious problems; overdose, even death. Yet, according to the authors of the study, dual prescribing is becoming increasingly common.

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NC Medical Board Offering Free CME Training in Several Piedmont Locations Addressing What Every Prescriber Needs to Know About Controlled Substance Prescribing

April 20th, 2017

Wake AHEC and the North Carolina Medical Board have partnered together to develop a webinar and panel sessions addressing the issue of prescription opioids for primary care physicians, surgeons, orthopaedists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and other providers who prescribe controlled substances for pain. This blended learning activity will provide clinicians with best practices for effectively and appropriately treating pain, and ultimately improving patient outcomes. These two educational activities are being offered at no cost and will fulfill the controlled substances CME requirement for the North Carolina Medical Board.

Download the CME Flyer
April 19 – Henderson
May 4 – Roxboro
May 24 – Sanford

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Data Spotlight: NC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME)

April 7th, 2017

The OCME Toxicology Laboratory is accredited by the American Board of forensic Toxicology (ABFT) and performs toxicology testing on all drug-related deaths in North Carolina to assist the pathologist in determining cause and manner of death. The OCME Toxicology Laboratory screens for more than 600 compounds. The number of novel compounds detected during screening has risen dramatically in the last two years. The fact sheet below shows the breakdown of positive cases of heroin, fentanyl, and fentanyl analogues in North Carolina.

Fentanyl and Heroin-Related Deaths in North Carolina

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Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants Now Able to Apply to Prescribe Buprenorphine

April 7th, 2017

The online waiver NOI form for nurse practitioners and physician assistants is now available on SAMHSA’s website! NPs and PAs who have completed the 24 hours of required training may seek to obtain a DATA 2000 waiver for up to 30 patients by completing the Waiver Notification Form below. In addition to filling out the form, all applicants must provide a copy of their training certificate(s) to the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) by emailing them to infobuprenorphine@samhsa.hhs.gov or by faxing them to 301.576.5237.

Details from SAMHSA
Waiver Notification Form

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A Project of the Governor's Institute on Alcohol & Substance Abuse and the North Carolina Society of Addiction Medicine.
Funded wholly or in part by the federal Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant Fund (CFDA #93.959) as a project of the NC Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities & Substance Abuse Services.