University of Virginia (UVA) Reduces Opioid Use While Improving Patients’ Pain Scores: Study

February 9th, 2017

While most prescriber interventions addressing the opioid epidemic have focused on the treatment of chronic pain, more recently focus has been placed on the clinical setting in which some of the opioid misuse begins – in the post-surgical period. This article discusses a study in which UVA anesthesiologists reviewed 101,484 surgeries between March 2011 and November 2015 where patients received general anesthesia. During that timeframe, the average amount of opioids given per surgery at UVA declined 37 percent. At the same time, surgical patients’ self-rated average pain score on a 0-to-10 scale in a post-surgery recovery unit declined from 5.5 to 3.8 – a 31 percent improvement.

Study Overview

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Opioid Use, Misuse, and Overdose in Women: White Paper

February 9th, 2017

This new report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health examines the impact of the opioid crisis on women across age, race, geography, and income levels. To develop this report, a review of the literature focused on topics around opioid use disorders and women was conducted, as well as consultations with subject matter experts within and outside HHS.

White Paper

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SAMHSA Issues Final Rule on the Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Treatment Information

February 9th, 2017

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) finalized changes to Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records regulations, (42 CFR Part 2) to facilitate health integration and information exchange within new health care models while continuing to protect the privacy and confidentiality of patients seeking treatment for substance use disorders.

The intent of modernizing the regulations is to facilitate the sharing of information within the health care system to better support integrated care and improve patient safety while maintaining privacy protections for patients seeking treatment for SUDs. This change is expected to lead to increased participation in HIEs and ACO and similar organizations.

The new rule is available in the Federal Register.

New Rule

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$15 million Grant to Address the Opioid Crisis in North Carolina

January 26th, 2017
NC Division of Mental Health Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services Submitting Application 

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) and Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) is offering the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grant (short title: Opioid STR). The $1 billion program aims to address the opioid crisis by increasing access to treatment, reducing unmet treatment need, and reducing opioid overdose related deaths through the provision of prevention, treatment and recovery activities for opioid use disorder (OUD) (including prescription opioids as well as illicit drugs such as heroin). State allocations for Opioid STR grants are calculated using a formula based on unmet need for opioid use disorder treatment and drug poisoning deaths.

SAMHSA Announcement

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CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on National and State Increases in Opioid Involved Overdose between 2010 and 2015

January 12th, 2017

Drug overdose deaths nearly tripled during 1999-2014. Among 47,055 drug overdose deaths that occurred in 2014 in the United States, 28,647 (60.9%) involved an opioid. In 2015, this number increased to 52,404, of which 63.1% involved opioids. Illicit opioids are contributing to the increase in opioid overdose deaths. This report examines overall drug poisoning deaths and stratifies by substances, regions, and states. North Carolina is ranked 28th and its rate of change is markedly less than many other states. The authors point out that there are a number of limitations to the data and conclusions.  

Read Article

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Study: Mandatory Provider Review of PDMP and Pain Clinic Laws Reduce the Amounts Of Opioids Prescribed And Overdose Death Rates

January 12th, 2017

There has been much discussion about the relationship between the implementation of policies to reduce unsafe opioid prescribing and increased heroin overdose deaths. This article looks at data to ascertain the effect of these policies and overdose rates between 2006 and 2013 in the US.

Read Abstract

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ASAM Announces Partnerships to Offer Free Training for NPs and PAs to Treat Opioid Addiction

January 12th, 2017

The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) has partnered with the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) and the American Academy of PAs (AAPA) to offer new training courses that will allow physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) to prescribe buprenorphine, a medication to treat addiction involving opioid use. This joint offering, including CE/CME credits, is being made possible in part through an unrestricted educational grant from Indivior to each of the partner organizations. Educational content has been identified and/or created to satisfy the 24-hour requirement as described in the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA). This training is divided into two parts of 8 hours and 16 hours. If you have already completed the 8-hour DATA2000 course, you will only need to complete the second part of the course.

Training Details

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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.