Responding to the Opioid Challenge: Guidance for Healthcare Providers in Raleigh May 2, 2017

April 7th, 2017

This course, for Wake county based medical and dental providers along with pharmacists, will provide guidance on safer and proper prescribing and dispensing of opioid medications. The emphasis will be on national and state guidelines, safe initiation and maintenance of opioid therapy, non-opioid based strategies to manage chronic pain, and the integrative role of pharmacists with health care providers for chronic pain management.

More Information

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NC Medical Board Refines Safe Opioid Prescribing Initiative Criteria

March 9th, 2017

The North Carolina Medical Board (NCMB) voted last month to refine how they determine who will be investigated under their Safe Opioid Prescribing Initiative (SOPI). Read the proposed rule changes below. The Board will accept comments on the proposed changes through May 1. Please email comments to rules@ncmedboard.org. A public hearing on the changes will be held at 10 a.m. on May 1.

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Proposed Rule Changes

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NC General Assembly Introduces STOP Act to Promote Safer Prescribing and Dispensing of Controlled Substances

March 9th, 2017

North Carolina Senators, Representatives, law enforcement officials, physicians and the NC Attorney General among others gathered at a press conference on March 2 to introduce the STOP (Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention) Act, legislation aimed at curbing the state’s opioid abuse epidemic.

Press Conference

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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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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.