CEPOP Publishes White Paper from Policy Roundtable on Naloxone Access

On March 31, 2021, CEPOP convened stakeholders to discuss policy approaches to expand access to naloxone. The virtual event focused on three key aspects of naloxone access: addressing prescription opportunities, promoting community-based access, and ensuring a pathway from naloxone use to treatment and recovery. Thought leaders and participants across the agency, public health, provider, and employer landscape shared their views on these topics and identified potential actions that could be taken by CEPOP and others. CEPOP developed a white paper summarizing the proceedings of the roundtable and the recommended next steps to be included in its policy and advocacy strategy. The white paper can be found here.

Full Senate to Consider Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Nomination

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee voted 20-2 in favor of Dr. Miriam Delphin-Rittmon’s nomination to serve as Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use with the Department of Health and Human Services. With the Committee’s support, the nomination must now be considered by the full Senate. As Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, Dr. Delphin-Rittmon would lead the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). During the hearing, Dr. Delphin-Rittmon emphasized her commitment to addressing the increased use of opioids due to the COVID-19 pandemic and highlighted her plans for SAMHSA to expand access to and fund prevention, treatment, recovery, and harm reduction services. Dr. Delphin-Rittmon currently serves as Associate Professor Adjunct of Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine and Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

Articles & Resources

Bloomberg Government – Pandemic Preparedness, Substance Use Nominees to Get Senate Vote

Yale Medicine – Delphin-Rittmon Nominated to Serve as Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use in Biden Administration

Measure Introduced to Replace Criminal Drug Penalties with Health-Centered Approaches

Last week, Representatives Cori Bush (D-MO-01) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ-12) introduced the Drug Policy Reform Act (DPRA), which would decriminalize drug possession at the federal level, incentivize states to adopt decriminalization policies, shift regulatory authority for substances under the Controlled Substances Act from the Department of Justice to the Department of Health and Human Services, and support investments in health-centered and evidence-based approaches to addressing drug use. The bill would expand access to substance use treatment and would support harm reduction services, pre-arrest diversion programs, and drug education. In a press release, Representative Watson Colman said, “as we work to address the opioid epidemic, it is essential that we change tactics in how we address drug use away from the failed punitive approach to a health-based and evidence-based approach.”

Articles & Resources

Representative Cori Bush – Reps. Cori Bush and Bonnie Watson Coleman Introduce Federal Bill to Decriminalize Drug Possession, Replace with Health-Centered Approach

What We Read Last Week

Several articles were published last week pertaining to the opioid epidemic, covering a variety of different components of the issue. Links to relevant articles are provided below.

Articles & Resources

American Medical Association – AMA calls for access to substance use disorder treatment in prisons, jails

Bloomberg Government – California Gets Privacy Win in Johnson & Johnson Opioid Cases

Bloomberg Government – Opioids Rip Through U.S. Workforce, With Deaths at Record Level

Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs – Former Doctor Sentenced for Unlawfully Distributing Controlled Substances

EurekAlert! – Ibuprofen and other NSAIDs superior to codeine for managing outpatient postoperative pain

INSEAD – Curbing the Opioid Epidemic at its Root: The Effect of Provider Discordance after Opioid Initiation

JAMA – Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Mandates and Opioids Dispensed Following Emergency Department Encounters for Patients With Sickle Cell Disease or Cancer With Bone Metastasis

Law360 – W.Va. State Opioid Claims Will Be Heard By A Jury

NC Health News – Expanding medication-assisted therapy training for health care professionals

NPR – After 50 Years Of The War On Drugs, ‘What Good Is It Doing For Us?’

Representative Chuck Grassley – Grassley, Jordan Again Seek Biden Admin Plan For Deadly Fentanyl Knockoffs

Salon – The pandemic-opioid vortex

U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware – Claymont Man Sentenced to Over 10 Years in Federal Prison for Selling Fake Oxycodone Pills that Contained Fentanyl

U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Kentucky – Kentuckiana Physician And Nurse Practitioner Found Guilty Of Conspiracy To Distribute Controlled Substances, Conspiracy To Commit Health Care Fraud, And Conspiracy To Commit Money Laundering

This Week’s Calendar

In the week ahead, there are no relevant events or hearings noticed at this time. In the event that there are any changes to the schedule for this week, we will make additional information available.

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