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.
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.
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."
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.”