West Virginia and Vancouver, B.C., could not be more different in their responses to the opioid crisis. In West Virginia, addiction treatment programs are in short supply, with waiting lists as long as a year, and many people can’t access existing programs because they lack health insurance and are too poor to pay out of pocket. The state’s most populous city, Charleston, has exactly one needle exchange program, after political opposition closed the other one. Meanwhile, city, state and federal law enforcement officials regularly make arrests designed to cut the supply of drugs in West Virginia. Vancouver, by contrast, is in a country that provides universal health insurance and has much less economic inequality than the United States. The city offers a range of addiction treatment services, needle exchange programs, supervised drug consumption rooms and a clinic that prescribes heroin.
The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.
The DEA’s Take Back Day events provide an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths.
(NOTE: New or used needles and syringes will not be accepted.)
This week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded over $1 billion in opioid-specific grants to help combat the crisis ravaging our country. The awards support HHS’s Five-Point Opioid Strategy, which was launched last year and enhanced this week. New data unveiled recently by HHS suggests that efforts are now yielding progress at the national level.
The Surgeon General, in coordination with SAMHSA and HHS released the newest edition of Facing Addiction in America. The Surgeon General’s Spotlight on Opioids calls for a cultural shift in the way Americans talk about the opioid crisis and recommends actions that can prevent and treat opioid misuse and promote recovery.
By Nora D. Volkow, MD and Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.
The public health emergency of opioid misuse, addiction, and overdose affects millions of Americans and requires innovative scientific solutions. Today, during “National Prescription Opioid and Heroin Awareness Week,” we are sharing news of an important step towards these solutions through the HEALing Communities Study – an integrated approach to test an array of interventions for opioid misuse and addiction in communities hard hit by the opioid crisis.
Upcoming Event: Facebook Live with Surgeon General to Discuss Role Families Can Play in Solving Opioid Crisis
Our President Fred Muench will moderate a Facebook Live with United States Surgeon General, Vice Admiral Jerome M. Adams, M.D., M.P.H., and Susan Knade, a Partnership Parent Coach whose daughter is in long-term recovery.
The first part of the online event will include a discussion on the nation’s current opioid epidemic and will explore what families can do to be part of the solution. The guests will then take a few questions from the live audience.
To participate in the Facebook Live, please visit the Partnership’s Facebook Page on Thursday, August 30th at 2:00 p.m. EDT. If you are unable to join the live event and would like to submit a question in advance for consideration, please email us at email@example.com.
HONOLULU (KHON2) - Hydrocodone and oxycodone are two of the most commonly abused opioids in Hawaii according to emergency room doctor William Scruggs.
Scruggs says opioid addiction has grown significantly worse in the last decade.
"Every emergency department in the state sees this everyday in one way, shape, or form," Scruggs said. "Either patients who have actually overdosed, to people who are seeking medications inappropriately, to people who are trying to get help for their addictions for these medications. We all see it everyday."
SAMHSA publishes guidance on clinical best practices using medication-assisted treatment to combat the opioid epidemic
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is publishing guidance today to help broaden healthcare professionals’ understanding of medications that can be used to treat Americans with opioid use disorder (OUD).
“We know that people can and do recover from opioid use disorders when they receive appropriate treatment, and medication-assisted treatment’s success in treating opioid use disorders is well documented,” said Dr. Elinore F. McCance-Katz, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use. “TIP 63 emphasizes that increasing access to medications to treat opioid use disorder will help more people recover, enabling them to improve their health, living full and productive lives.”
SAMHSA Announces New Efforts to Advance Evidence-Based Practices for Opioid Use and Serious Mental Illness
On January 17, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced major efforts to advance evidence-based practices in the behavioral health field.
In conjunction with the Presidential Public Health Emergency Declaration on October 27, SAMHSA announced a new Technical Assistance (TA) effort to focus on the specific needs of states and local jurisdictions to address the opioid crisis in their areas. This week, SAMHSA released $12 million in funding to the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry to begin the effort to utilize local expertise to provide TA and training on scientifically based evidence-based practices to combat the nation’s opioid crisis.
The state of Hawaii released its Opioid Initiative Action Plan on Dec. 1. The plan was developed collaboratively by multiple agencies starting in July 2017 and serves as a roadmap for prevention and treatment of substance abuse, officials said.
"Fortunately, Hawaii has not yet experienced the magnitude of the opioid crisis seen in other parts of the country," Hawaii Gov. David Y. Ige said. "While emerging issues and concerns in the state are on the rise, we have been given a relatively unique opportunity to proactively respond, prepare, and prevent the crisis from reaching the same magnitude."
The Hawaiʻi State Department of Health (DOH) announced the unveiling of the Hawai‘i Opioid Initiative action plan, a statewide road map for prevention and treatment of opioid and other substance misuse issues. The plan was created through a collaborative, multi-agency approach that began in July.
“Fortunately, Hawai‘i has not yet experienced the magnitude of the opioid crisis seen in other parts of the country,” said Gov. David Y. Ige. “While emerging issues and concerns in the state are on the rise, we have been given a relatively unique opportunity to proactively respond, prepare and prevent the crisis from reaching the same magnitude.”
The Statewide Action Plan is a comprehensive strategy to aggressively counteract the increased abuse and misuse of opioids in Hawai‘i. The plan is designed to sustain a system-wide, coordinated and proactive response to not only opioids, but also methamphetamine and other prevalent drugs.
Acting Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Eric D. Hargan issued the following statement upon declaring a nationwide public health emergency regarding the opioid crisis, as requested by President Donald Trump on Thursday:
“Today’s declaration, coupled with the President’s direction that executive agencies use all appropriate emergency authorities and other relevant authorities, is another powerful action the Trump Administration is taking in response to America’s deadly opioid crisis.
Combatting the Opioid Epidemic: An American Budget The drug abuse and overdose epidemic, particularly as related to opioids, is tearing apart America’s families and devastating communities. In 2016, approximately 64,000 people died from drug overdoses, and the majority of these deaths involved opioids. In 2017, President Donald J. Trump said: “Ending the epidemic will require mobilization of government, local communities, and private organizations. It will require the resolve of our entire country.” The Administration has declared the opioid epidemic a nationwide public health emergency. Under the budget caps agreement, the Administration is seeking nearly $17 billion in opioid related spending in 2019 to stop this deadly scourge. Notably, the Administration proposes $3 billion in new funding in FY 2018 and $10 billion in new funding in FY 2019 in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), for a total of $13 billion in new funding to combat the opioid epidemic by expanding access to prevention, treatment, and recovery support services, as well as support mental health. The Budget also includes investments to help stop the illegal supply of drugs
Today President Donald Trump announced new action to help 11 million Americans affected by the opioid crisis.
President Trump’s declaration of the opioid crisis as a public health emergency reaffirms the role of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as leaders in solving one of America’s most pressing public health issues. The President recently appointed Dr. Elinore F. McCance-Katz as the first Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, underscoring the urgency of the issue. “SAMHSA looks forward to continuing its role in helping American communities fight the opioid crisis through evidence-based programs in prevention, treatment, and recovery services,” said Dr. McCance-Katz. “The announcement today by President Trump reflects our commitment to this cause and inspires us to redouble our efforts on behalf of all who have suffered the effects of opioid addiction.”
WASHINGTON - DEA Acting Administrator Robert Patterson today announced results of the 2017 National Drug Threat (NDTA), which outlines the threats posed to the United States by domestic and international drug trafficking and the abuse of illicit drugs.
“This report underscores the scope and magnitude of the ongoing opioid crisis in the United States,” said Acting Administrator Patterson. “The information in the report represents data gathered over the past year, but of critical importance is the real time information we get every day from our partners. It has never been a more important time to use all the tools at our disposal to fight this epidemic, and we must remain steadfast in our mission to combat all dangerous drugs of abuse.”
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The nation's opioid epidemic has unleashed a secondary outbreak: the rampant spread of hepatitis C.
New cases of the liver disease have nearly tripled nationwide in just a few years, driven largely by the use of needles among drug users in their 20s and 30s, spawning a new generation of hepatitis C patients. Because a treatment that cures the disease costs tens of thousands of dollars, is limited by insurance and Medicaid, and is mostly unavailable to people who are still using illicit drugs, there probably will be financial and public health ramifications for decades to come.
A new weapon in the fight against the opioid epidemic is using big data to track — and possibly prevent — overdoses.
The web-based tool, called the Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program, or ODMAP, charts suspected overdoses in real time and alerts public safety officials to spikes in opioid emergencies.
Used by first responders, public safety and public health officials across the country, ODMAP was created by the Washington/Baltimore division of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, or HIDTA, a federal program that provides resources for local agencies to address drug trafficking. Jeff Beeson, the program's deputy director, calls ODMAP "a very simple and practical approach to a complex problem."
Today the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is launching Rx Awareness, a powerful communication campaign featuring real-life accounts of people recovering from opioid use disorder and people who have lost loved ones to prescription opioid overdose.
The campaign aims to increase awareness and knowledge among Americans about the risks of prescription opioids and stop inappropriate use. Rx Awareness is CDC’s latest effort in the fight against the prescription opioid overdose crisis. From 1999 to 2015, more than 183,000 people have died in the U.S. from overdoses related to prescription opioids.
ARLINGTON, VA (Sept. 20, 2017)—The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) unveiled a new tool designed to help public health leaders respond to the nation’s opioid crisis. Based on state and national plans, the Preventing Opioid Misuse in the States and Territories framework highlights four key strategies for health officials to carry out in partnership with governmental and non-governmental organizations to coordinate a comprehensive approach to preventing opioid misuse in their jurisdictions.
“Many of us have seen firsthand how opioid misuse profoundly impacts individuals, families, and communities. It is one of the top public health priorities for our nation and we all have a role to play in addressing the health and social problems related to substance misuse,” says ASTHO President Jay Butler. “This new framework gives state and territorial public health leaders a roadmap for strengthening their agencies’ existing opioid plans and leading across government to formulate multi-program, government-wide responses.”
HONOLULU – Hawaiʻi currently ranks 43rd in the nation in drug overdose deaths. The rank has remained steady over the past six years, even though drug overdose rates continue to rise across the nation.
Drug overdose remains the leading form of injury-related deaths for Hawaiʻi residents. It currently accounts for 23 percent of all fatal injuries, according to the Hawaiʻi Department of Health’s Emergency Medical Services and Injury Prevention System Branch. While heroin-related overdoses are much less frequent in the state, Hawaiʻi is experiencing an increase in deaths from heroin overdoses, which mirrors the alarming national trend.
In response to a growing opioid “crisis,” government officials are coordinating a statewide plan to combat overdoses, the leading cause of injury-related deaths in Hawaii.
Drug overdoses, which account for 23 percent of all fatal injuries in Hawaii, have been the leading cause of injury-related death for the past decade, according to the Health Department. Hawaii ranks No. 43 among the states for drug overdose deaths.