NCADD-SD News & Blog

News and Information from NCADD-SD

Increase in Opioid Overdoses Leads to Rise in Organ Donations

Increase in Opioid Overdoses Leads to Rise in Organ Donations

The increase in fatal opioid overdoses has led to a rise in organ donations, according to CNN.

The United Network for Organ sharing, which manages the nation’s organ transplant network, says early data indicates a record number of deceased organ donors in 2017, for the fifth year in a row. There were more than 10,000 deceased organ donors last year—a 3 percent increase from 2016. More than 1,300 of those donors died from drug overdoses.

“About 40 percent of the increase (in the past five years) tracks back to the drug intoxication issue,” said Dr. David Klassen, the network’s Chief Medical Officer. In the past five years, the number of donors who died of drug overdoses increased 144 percent, while the number of deceased organ donors overall rose 24 percent.

Klassen said people who died of overdoses are usually good candidates for organ donation. “They tend to be younger and tend not to have the burdens of diseases associated with aging,” he said. He added that while the drugs may cause people to stop breathing or their hearts to stop, they don’t necessarily harm the organs.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
  207 Hits
207 Hits

Study Looks at Role of Medication-Assisted Treatment Started in the ER

Study Looks at Role of Medication-Assisted Treatment Started in the ER

A new study will assess whether starting medication-assisted treatment in the emergency room within hours of an opioid overdose will prevent people from relapsing after they recover.

Researchers at Virginia Tech, Carilion Clinic and Inova Fairfax Hospital received a $1 million grant to conduct the study, The Roanoke Times reports.

Participants treated for opioid overdoses in the emergency room will be asked if they want to participate in the study. If they consent, they will receive an injection of Sublocade, an extended-release form of buprenorphine, a drug that reduces opioid cravings.

Sublocade was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in November. It is the first ever buprenorphine injection for the treatment of moderate-to-severe opioid use disorder in adult patients.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
  167 Hits
167 Hits

Federal Officials Suspend Database of Programs to Treat Addiction and Mental Illness

Federal Officials Suspend Database of Programs to Treat Addiction and Mental Illness

Health officials have suspended a database of programs that help prevent and treat addiction and mental illness, The Washington Post reports.

The National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices, run by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, was suspended in September. No new postings have been added since then.

The database includes hundreds of programs that have been evaluated by an independent contractor and found scientifically valid.

Addiction and mental health specialists say they rely on the database to find appropriate and effective treatments, the article notes. Officials would not say why the database was suspended. They confirmed the contract for running the database will be taken over by a new entity, which they said is working closely with other parts of the agency to “institute an even more scientifically rigorous approach to better inform the identification and implementation of evidence-based programs and practices.”

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
  162 Hits
162 Hits

APA Releases New Practice Guideline on AUD Pharmacotherapy

APA Releases New Practice Guideline on AUD Pharmacotherapy

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) recently released a new practice guideline for the pharmacological treatment of alcohol use disorder (AUD). Despite the high prevalence of AUD and its significant public health consequences, patients with this disorder remain undertreated.

The guideline aims to increase physician and public knowledge on the effectiveness and risks of the five medications that may be used for the treatment of AUD: acamprosate, disulfiram, gabapentin, naltrexone, and topiramate.

Of these five, naltrexone and acamprosate have the best available evidence related to their benefits, and both have minimal side effects. As such, they should be considered the preferred pharmacological options for patients with moderate to severe AUD who want to reduce drinking or achieve abstinence. However, acamprosate should be avoided in patients with significant renal impairment, and naltrexone should be avoided in patients with acute hepatitis or liver failure, or in patients currently taking opioids or who may be expected to take opioids.Disulfiram, gabapentin and topiramate are also options for treatment of AUD but should typically be considered after trying naltrexone and acamprosate, unless the patient has a strong preference for one of these medications. Disulfiram is a special case as it does cause a series of adverse reactions if alcohol is consumed within 12 to 24 hours of taking the medication; the reactions include elevated heart rate, flushed skin, headache, nausea, and vomiting. Therefore, disulfiram is suggested only to patients who wish to achieve abstinence from drinking. Patients taking topiramate are at an increased risk of cognitive dysfunction, dizziness, and loss of appetite, whereas patients taking gabapentin may experience fatigue, insomnia, and headache.

While the guideline focuses specifically on evidence-based pharmacological treatments for AUD, it also includes recommendations and suggestions related to psychiatric evaluation of patients with AUD and developing a person-centered treatment plan. Evidence-based psychotherapeutic treatments for alcohol use disorder also play a major role in treatment and peer support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, and other 12-step programs can be helpful for many patients. However, specific recommendations related to these treatments are outside the scope of this guideline.

The full guideline, executive summary, and related materials are available here.

 

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
  110 Hits
110 Hits

Need for Multiple Naloxone Doses on the Rise

Need for Multiple Naloxone Doses on the Rise

The percentage of people treated for a drug overdose who need more than one dose of the opioid overdose antidote naloxone is on the rise, a new study suggests.

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed data from the National Emergency Medical Services Information System, and found the percentage of patients receiving multiple naloxone doses among emergency medical service (EMS) responders increased from 14.5 percent in 2012 to 18.2 percent in 2015, which represents a 26 percent increase in four years.

“We found there were 31,000 cases in which two or more naloxone doses were needed in 2015 in a prehospital setting,” said lead author Mark Faul, PhD, Senior Health Scientist at the CDC. “Of those, 4,000 cases required three doses, 1,600 required four doses, 615 required five doses and 200 cases required six or more doses.” He noted that not all people requiring multiple naloxone doses were successfully revived.

The study was published in Prehospital Emergency Care.

Dr. Faul discussed the results at the recent annual meeting of the American Public Health Association.

Continue reading
  103 Hits
103 Hits

Association Found Between Non-Cigarette Tobacco Product Use and Future Cigarette Smoking Among Teens

Association Found Between Non-Cigarette Tobacco Product Use and Future Cigarette Smoking Among Teens

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), some teens who use e-cigarettes and other non-cigarette tobacco products report smoking cigarettes one year later, based on recent research funded by institutes within the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration.

The research is based on data from the participants of the nationally representative Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study.

The researchers studied cigarette-smoking initiation among more than 10,000 participants in the PATH study. When first interviewed at ages 12-17, roughly half of the group reported that they had used e-cigs, hookah, snuff, or other non-cigarette tobacco products, but never cigarettes; the rest said they had always been completely tobacco-free.

When re-interviewed one year later, 4.6 percent of the group reported that they had now smoked a cigarette. Adjusted for other smoking risk factors, those who initially reported having used a non-cigarette tobacco product were twice as likely to have smoked cigarettes during the past 30 days, and those who had used more than one type of product were nearly four times as likely.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
  118 Hits
118 Hits

Sessions Allows More Aggressive Enforcement of Federal Laws Against Marijuana

Sessions Allows More Aggressive Enforcement of Federal Laws Against Marijuana

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has rescinded a policy that discouraged prosecutors from enforcing federal laws against marijuana in states that have decriminalized the drug, The New York Times reports.

In a statement, Sessions said that his memo to United States attorneys directs them “to use previously established prosecutorial principles that provide them all the necessary tools to disrupt criminal organizations, tackle the growing drug crisis, and thwart violent crime across our country.”

While marijuana remains illegal under federal law, the drug has been at least partly legalized—including for medicinal use—in 29 states and the District of Columbia. California began allowing the sale of recreational marijuana on January 1.

Sessions’ move is likely to increase the confusion about whether it is legal to buy, sell or possess marijuana in states where federal and state law conflict, the article notes.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
  194 Hits
194 Hits

Recreational Marijuana Sales Begin in California

Recreational Marijuana Sales Begin in California

Recreational marijuana sales began on January 1 in California.

California, the nation’s most populous state, is the sixth state to allow sales of recreational marijuana.

Adults 21 and older can possess as much as one ounce of marijuana, and grow up to six plants at home.

The marijuana industry in California is forecast to reach $7 billion in a few years, the article notes. The entire U.S. legal marijuana market was worth $6.6 billion in 2016, according to New Frontier Data, which tracks the industry.

Marijuana remains illegal under federal law. It is unlawful to take the drug across state lines, mail it or bring it on a plane.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
  123 Hits
123 Hits

Social Media is Bringing Our Teens Down

Social Media is Bringing Our Teens Down

According to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there was a 33% increase in the number of teens experiencing depression, a 23% rise in teen suicide attempts, and a 31% surge in the number of teens who died by suicide in the five years between 2010 to 2015.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Foundation says suicide is now the second leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 10 to 24.

What has gone wrong in the lives of our teens and why at such an alarming rate?

Despite the critical nature of this question, there are no clear answers. There is, however, a great deal of speculation, and many say our kids’ use of social media contributes this high suicide rate.

In a paper published in Clinical Psychological Science, researcher Jean Twenge and her colleagues found significant increases in depression, suicide attempts, and suicide in teens from every background in late 2012. At the same time, smartphone ownership crossed the 50% threshold. By 2015, just three years later the number of teens with access to smartphones grew to a whopping 73%.

Continue reading
  351 Hits
351 Hits

FDA Launches Campaign to Counter Tobacco Promotion

FDA Launches Campaign to Counter Tobacco Promotion

With smokers experiencing a number of triggers to use at popular retail locations, the federal government has decided to fight back on the same playing field.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that its “Every Try Counts” campaign will display at convenience stores and gas stations a number of messages encouraging smokers to quit.

The two-year campaign, which will launch in 35 U.S. markets in January, will try to capitalize on research showing that smokers who have previously tried to quit are more likely to try again. One of the campaign's print advertisements reads, “You Didn't Fail at Quitting. You Just Haven't Finished the Process.”

The FDA and the National Cancer Institute have partnered to establish an Every Try Counts website that offers consumers tips on quitting and words of encouragement, as well as a mobile app to track triggers and information on access to coaching assistance.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
  255 Hits
255 Hits

Cigarette smoking is increasing among Americans with drug problems

Cigarette smoking is increasing among Americans with drug problems

Odds of smoking among Americans with a substance use disorder are more than five times greater than the overall population ---science daily

While cigarette smoking has declined in the U.S. for the past several decades, since 2002 the prevalence of smoking has increased significantly among people with an illicit substance use disorder, according to a new study by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and the City University of New York.

Until now, little was known about whether the decline in smoking was also occurring among individuals with illicit substance use disorders. The findings are published online in the journal Addiction.

The data show that smoking rates increased among those with substance use disorders, including hallucinogens, inhalants, tranquilizers, cocaine, heroin, pain relievers, simulants, and sedatives, while cigarette smoking decreased among individuals with cannabis use disorders, as well as among those without any substance use disorders.

Source: Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. (2017, December 19).

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
  228 Hits
228 Hits

South Carolina Partners with Law Enforcement on Naloxone Program

South Carolina Partners with Law Enforcement on Naloxone Program

State prevention leaders joined forces with local police departments to create an effective naloxone training, distribution, and monitoring program.

On June 3, 2015, then Governor Nikki Haley signed the South Carolina Overdose Prevention Act into law, increasing medical professionals' access to the anti-overdose drug naloxone and authorizing first responders, including firefighters and police officers, to carry and administer it.1,2 The need to expand the safe use of this life-saving medication was urgent. In 2015, 468 people in South Carolina had died from opioid-related overdoses, up from 453 deaths the previous year.3

Police involvement in administering naloxone was critical, as police officers were frequently first on the scene of many overdoses. "Many of our counties are very rural. It takes anywhere from six to eight minutes for an ambulance to respond to a 911 call, whereas law enforcement typically responds in four minutes or less," says Michelle Nienhius, Prevention Manager for the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS). "When someone overdoses on heroin or other opioid drugs, minutes can mean the difference between life and death."

But the new state law presented challenges to local law enforcement. "Many of them thought that it was not their place, that administering naloxone was for [emergency medical services] to provide," says Nienhius.

To prepare law enforcement for their new role, DAODAS worked with the state Department of Health and Environmental Control's Bureau of Emergency Medical Services to create a pilot overdose prevention/naloxone training and monitoring program. "We were fortunate to have a forward-thinking partner who had experience training EMTs to use naloxone," Nienhius says. With additional input from the state’s Fifth Circuit Solicitor’s Office, and naloxone products donated by two pharmaceutical companies, the team created the Law Enforcement Officer Naloxone (LEON) program—a comprehensive training and online reporting system.

Continue reading
  398 Hits
398 Hits

National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® (NDAFW) is coming January 22-28, 2018

National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® (NDAFW) is coming January 22-28, 2018

NDAFW is a national health observance linking teens to science based facts to SHATTER THE MYTHS® about drugs!

National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® links students with scientists and other experts to counteract the myths about drugs and alcohol that teens get from the internet, social media, TV, movies, music, or from friends.

It was launched in 2010 by scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to stimulate educational events in communities so teens can learn what science has taught us about drug use and addiction.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism became a partner starting in 2016, and alcohol has been added as a topic area for the week.

NIDA and NIAAA are part of the National Institutes of Health.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
  266 Hits
266 Hits

Children of Alcoholics Week 12-18 February 2017

Children of Alcoholics Week 12-18 February 2017

Imagine coming home from school and dreading what you might find. Imagine having no friends because you’re too embarrassed to bring them home in case Mum or Dad are drunk, or worse. Imagine living in a home full of fear and having no one to turn to because everyone denies there’s a problem.

Children of Alcoholics (COA) Week is a campaign led by Nacoa (The National Association for Children of Alcoholics) to raise awareness of children affected by parental alcohol problems.

COA Awareness Week will be held February 11-17, 2018.

Together we can increase awareness of this hidden problem and the support available. Find out how you can help children of all ages know they are not alone.

Children of Alcoholics Week is celebrated internationally each year during the week in which Valentine’s Day falls. There are organizations holding COA Week activities in USA, Germany, Poland, Sweden and Slovenia.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
  240 Hits
240 Hits

Aetna Will Waive Co-Pay for Narcan for Some Customers

Aetna Will Waive Co-Pay for Narcan for Some Customers

The health insurance company Aetna said it will waive co-pays for the opioid overdose antidote Narcan (naloxone) starting in January, CNN Money reports.

“Aetna is committed to addressing the opioid crisis through prevention, intervention and treatment,” Harold L. Paz, MD, MS, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Aetna said in a news release. “Increasing access to Narcan can save lives so that individuals with opioid abuse disorder can live long enough to get into evidence-based treatment.”

According to research from the company that makes Narcan, almost 35 percent of Aetna members prescribed the drug between January to June 2017 did not pick up their prescription.

Members are less likely to fill Narcan prescriptions as co-pays increase. “Cost is clearly a factor in whether individuals with substance abuse disorder obtain medication that could save them from a fatal overdose,” Paz said. “By eliminating this barrier, we hope to keep our members safe until they are ready to address their addiction.”

 

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
  149 Hits
149 Hits

People Who Live With Someone Taking Painkillers More Likely to Get Own Rx

People Who Live With Someone Taking Painkillers More Likely to Get Own Rx

A new study finds that people who live with someone with a prescription for opioid painkillers are more likely to get their own prescription for opioids.

The findings come from an analysis of 12.6 million people living in a household in which someone was prescribed opioids, and 6.4 million people in homes in which someone was prescribed nonprescription steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for pain.

The study found 11.83 percent of people living with someone prescribed opioids and 11.11 percent of people living with a person prescribed NSAIDs started taking opioids over the next year, Reuters reports.

While the increase in risk was small, lead study author Marissa Seamans of the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore said it matters “because millions of opioids are prescribed and have harmful effects.”

The study appears in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
  147 Hits
147 Hits

FDA Sends Warning to Distributors of Snortable Chocolate Powder Called “Coco Loko”

FDA Sends Warning to Distributors of Snortable Chocolate Powder Called “Coco Loko”

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has sent a warning letter to the marketers and distributors of a snortable chocolate powder called “Coco Loko,” for selling unapproved new drugs and misbranded drugs, HealthDay reports.

The FDA sent a similar letter to the distributors of a drink called “Legal Lean Syrup.”

The agency said the claims made in the promotional materials for both products demonstrate that they are intended to be used as alternatives to illicit street drugs, and the products, as labeled and marketed, may pose safety concerns.

“As a physician and a parent, I’m deeply troubled by the unlawful marketing of these potentially dangerous products, especially since they are so easily accessible by minors,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in an agency news release. “Encouraging the use of snortable chocolate as an alternative to illegal street drugs is not acceptable — there are very real consequences to snorting any powder, not to mention the societal dangers of promoting drug abuse.”

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
  244 Hits
244 Hits

Cashing in Gift Cards to Pay for Opioids Becoming More Common

Cashing in Gift Cards to Pay for Opioids Becoming More Common

Law enforcement officials report an increase in cases of people are stealing items from major retailers, returning them for gift cards, and cashing in the cards to pay for opioids, CNBC reports.

People steal items and return them to another store without a receipt, and receive a gift card in return. They sell the gift card to a pawn shop or secondary store at a discount.

The cards are then resold to an online exchange.

In Knox County, Tennessee, police found 16 of 19 drug overdoses were linked to the sale of gift cards during a one-month period this year. In the city of Knoxville, police linked almost 100 overdoses to gift cards during a three-month period.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
  285 Hits
285 Hits

St. Louis Police Saving Fewer Lives with Heroin Antidote Amid Stronger Opiates

St. Louis Police Saving Fewer Lives with Heroin Antidote Amid Stronger Opiates

The number of people that police in St. Louis have been able to save using the heroin overdose antidote naloxone, or Narcan, has declined by approximately 30 percent this year, compared to last year, according to the Associated Press.

The St. Louis County Medical Examiner’s Office reported that nearly 90 percent of 121 overdose deaths through July of this year involved the drug fentanyl.

Sometimes mixed with or sold as heroin, fentanyl is a powerful opiate that is considered stronger than heroin, making reversing an overdose from fentanyl more difficult.

“The toxicity level of fentanyl is so potent, it might not be reversible,” said Spring Schmidt, director of health promotion and public health research for St. Louis County. “The potential for death is faster, and that impacts our ability to reverse an overdose.”

Health officials noted that fentanyl overdoses may require more than one dose of Narcan to successfully revive patients. St. Louis County officer Benjamin Granda said that this year, officers gave three doses to an overdose victim who died.

Continue reading
  285 Hits
285 Hits

FDA Approves First Monthly Injection to Treat Opioid Addiction

FDA Approves First Monthly Injection to Treat Opioid Addiction

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first ever buprenorphine injection for the treatment of moderate-to-severe opioid use disorder (OUD) in adult patients.

The new injection is the medication-assisted treatment (MAT) option, Sublocade, which provides a new treatment option for patients in recovery from opioid addiction who may value the benefits of a once-monthly injection, compared to other forms of buprenorphine treatment.

MAT is a comprehensive approach that combines approved medications (currently, methadone, buprenorphine or naltrexone) with counseling and other behavioral therapies to help provide effective treatment and long-term recovery in patients with OUD.

“Given the scale of the opioid crisis, with millions of Americans already affected, the FDA is committed to expanding access to treatments that can help people pursue lives of sobriety. Everyone who seeks treatment for opioid use disorder deserves the opportunity to be offered the treatment best suited to the needs of each individual patient, in combination with counseling and psychosocial support, as part of a comprehensive recovery plan,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D.

Improving access to prevention, treatment and recovery services, including the full range of medication-assisted treatments, is a focus of the FDA’s ongoing work to reduce the scope of the opioid crisis and one part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Five-Point Strategy to Combat the Opioid Crisis.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
  198 Hits
198 Hits