SAMHSA to Provide $11M in Overdose Prevention Grants to State Health Departments

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration announced that it will award $850,000 each to 12 health departments to support opioid overdose prevention strategies, including implementing first responder trainings and supporting states purchase and distribute naloxone. Health departments in 12 states – Alaska, Alabama, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Washington – and Puerto Rico will receive the Prevent Prescription Drug/Opioid Overdose-Related Deaths grants. In a press release, Dr. Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use in the Department of Health and Human Services and Administrator of SAMHSA, said, “this is a need that preceded the COVID-19 pandemic and has only grown more urgent over the course of the past 18 months.”

Articles & Resources

SAMHSA – Grants to Prevent Prescription Drug/Opioid Overdose-Related Deaths

AHA – SAMHSA awards $11 million to prevent overdose deaths

Study Suggests CDC Guidelines had an Effect on Opioid Prescribing Practice

A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the University of Michigan suggests that the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain (Guidelines) may have had contributed to the change in opioid prescribing trends observed in the two years after the Guidelines were released. The researchers examined the pre- and post-Guidelines data for over 12.8 million opioid naïve patients and found that, after the Guidelines were released in 2016, the average days’ supply and the dose of opioid prescriptions decreased. Researchers observed that the duration of opioid prescriptions decreased by 5% in the year after the Guidelines were released and by 10% the next year. Researchers also observed an accelerated decreasing trend for high-dose prescribing rates after the Guidelines were released. According to authors, these trends suggest that evidence-based opioid prescribing guidelines may serve as a useful tool for safer prescribing practices. In a press release, lead author Dr. Jason Goldstick said, “these findings, based on trends before and after the CDC guideline was released, show it may have catalyzed other changes, because it came from a trusted entity. It’s impossible to isolate the effect of the guideline itself, given all the activity around opioid prescribing, but it’s important to track these trends and use them to inform future efforts to treat pain safely and effectively.”

Articles & Resources

JAMA Network Open – Changes in Initial Opioid Prescribing Practices After the 2016 Release of the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain

University of Michigan – First-time opioid prescriptions got shorter, less potent after CDC guidelines

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 Academy of Pediatrics – Study Finds That Almost Half of Opioid Prescriptions to US Children and Young Adults Are High-risk

American Heart Association – Experts urge caution, increased education about opioid use for people with heart disease

American Hospital Association – Chair File: Working with Our Communities to Stem the Opioid Crisis

Bipartisan Policy Center – What History’s Big Tobacco Settlement Means for Today’s ‘Opioid Remediation’

Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. – Pallone & HHS Secretary Becerra Headline Rally on Lowering Prescription Drug Costs

Crosscut – Telemedicine opens the door to addiction recovery

Inside Health Policy – Opioid Overdoses In Part D Beneficiaries Decreased In 2020

Massachusetts General Hospital – Study reveals trends in opioid overdose deaths in nine states during the COVID-19 pandemic

Metro – Breaking the silence on the overdose crisis in Philadelphia’s Black communities

NPR – The Sacklers Want Immunity From The Opioid Crisis For A Long List Of Their Associates

Penn Today – Patient preferences do not explain racial disparities in opioid prescribing

Senator Joe Manchin – Manchin, Capito Announce $3 Million to Treat, Prevent Substance Use Disorders In West Virginia Rural Communities

Senator Rob Portman – In Batavia, Senator Portman Meets with Clermont County’s Quick Response Team, Visits with Program Participant

The Hill – Ex-Purdue Pharma chair says he, family and company not responsible for opioid crisis

U.S. Department of Labor – US Department of Labor Awards $1.8m in Funding to Continue Employment, Training Services to Combat Illinois’ Opioid Crisis

University of Michigan – Improving Access to Primary and Pain Care for Patients Taking Opioids for Chronic Pain in Michigan: Recommendations from an Expert Panel

University of Michigan – Study: Half of pediatric opioid prescriptions are “high risk”

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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