Using the NC Controlled Substance Reporting System (CSRS) to Improve Opioid Prescribing

May 4th, 2017

In the most recent issue of the NC Medical Board Forum publication, Dr. Steven D. Prakken, Director of Duke Health’s Medical Pain Service, shared tips on why and how prescribers should use the Controlled Substance Reporting System (CSRS) to monitor patient behavior and avoid issuing prescriptions to patients who may be misusing the medications.

Read the Q & A

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Major Study Shows Significant Mortality Reduction with Opioid Replacement Therapy

May 4th, 2017

The BMJ published an article this week that concluded that, “Retention in methadone and buprenorphine treatment is associated with substantial reductions in the risk for all cause and overdose mortality in people dependent on opioids.” The review examined 19 observational studies involving more than 120,000 patients. “In pooled trend analysis, all cause mortality dropped sharply over the first four weeks of methadone treatment and decreased gradually two weeks after leaving treatment,” the review said.

See Research Study

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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.

Learn More

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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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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.