Join 3:00pm CEPOP October All-Participants Call

CEPOP will be hosting its October All-Participants Teleconference this afternoon at 3:00pm ET. We’re pleased to be joined by Jon Woodruff, Senior Legislative Attorney at the Legislative Analysis and Public Policy Association, for an opioid litigation update and Dr. Keri Donaldson, Founder and CEO of SOLVD Health regarding use of genetic analytics to prevent substance use disorder.

CEPOP All-Participants Teleconference (October 2021)

  • To join WebEx, please CLICK HERE
  • Or, to join via conference call:
    • Conference Line: (855) 244-8681
    • Participant Code: 299 655 082

President Biden Signs Fentanyl Sanctions Act Extension into Law

On October 19th, President Joseph Biden signed into law “To amend the Fentanyl Sanctions Act, to modify certain deadlines relating to the Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking” (PL 117-51). The new law extends the Fentanyl Sanctions Act by 120 days, allowing the Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking to continue their work developing a report tracking synthetic opioids and a plan to identify the source of synthetic opioids and limit their flow and supply in the United States.

Articles & Resources

The White House – Bill Signed: H.R. 4981

Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill Includes Funding for Several Opioids Programs

On October 18th, the Senate Appropriations Committee released nine appropriations bills, including the Fiscal Year 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) funding bill. The bill includes increases in funding for several initiatives within the Department of Health and Human Services that address the opioid epidemic, including:

  • $9.1 billion for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, including $3 billion for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant, $2 billion for State Opioid Response Grants, and $65.5 million for first responder trainings to prevent drug overdose deaths;
  • An increase of $270 million for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) initiative;
  • An increase of $350 million for the NIH to research opioids and pain management;
  • $30 million for the NIH National Health Service Corps to expand access to opioid use disorder treatment programs in rural and underserved areas; and
  • $663 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Opioid Overdose Prevention and Surveillance program.

Articles & Resources

Labor-HHS Bill Text

Labor-HHS Bill Summary

House Passes Two Bills that Support Community Responses to the Opioid Epidemic

On October 20th, the House passed two bills aimed at supporting communities implement interventions to the opioid epidemic. In a vote of 380-46, the House passed the State Opioid Response Grant Authorization Act of 2021. The bill, introduced by Representatives Kelly Armstrong (ND-AL) and David Trone (MD-06) in April, would authorize $10.5 billion over six years for State Opioid Response Grants and Tribal Opioid Response Grants. These grants – awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – would provide funding for treatment and recovery programs to states and tribal organizations with high rates of opioid use disorders and high mortality rates for drug overdoses. In a press release, Representative Armstrong said, “The epidemics of opioid addiction and substance abuse continue to ravage families and communities across the country. I am happy to see the House pass our bipartisan bill to provide stable and certain funding for our state, local, and tribal governments to combat this crisis.”

The House also passed the Drug-Free Communities Pandemic Relief Act in a vote of 395-30. The bill, introduced by Representatives Derek Kilmer (WA-06) and Dave Joyce (OH-14) in February, would grant the Office of National Drug Control Policy temporary authority to waive requirements for Drug-Free Communities program grantees to match federal dollars with local dollars if they are unable to meet the matching requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a press release, Representative Kilmer said, “Too many communities and too many families have struggled with the opioid epidemic. Across our region, we’ve seen local efforts funded through the Drug-Free Communities Program that have played a critical role in preventing and reducing substance use. However, these efforts have faced unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s why I’m proud that the House passed this bipartisan plan to help make sure that these community-based programs have the resources they need – today and in the future – to make a difference.”

Articles & Resources

Bill Text – State Opioid Response Grant Authorization Act of 2021

Representative Kelly Armstrong – Armstrong, Trone Bill to Provide Funding to States to Fight Opioid Epidemic Overwhelmingly Passes House

Bill Text – Drug-Free Communities Pandemic Relief Act

Representative Derek Kilmer – House Passes Kilmer’s Bipartisan Legislation to Help Communities Address Ongoing Opioid Crisis

NIDA Study Findings Support Expansion of Buprenorphine OUD Treatment

A new study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) suggests that, from 2015 to 2019, the number of people receiving buprenorphine-based treatment increased while buprenorphine misuse decreased among people with opioid use disorder. The study analyzed prescription opioid use and misuse data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s annual National Surveys on Drug Use and Health and found that, in 2019, nearly three-fourths of the adults who used buprenorphine did not misuse the FDA-approved medication. The study also found that adults who were taking buprenorphine and concurrently receiving drug treatment were less likely to misuse buprenorphine compared to individuals who were not receiving drug treatment while taking buprenorphine. NIDA authors noted that these observations suggest that receiving treatment may reduce misuse and highlighted the need for expanding access to buprenorphine-based treatment. In a press release, NIDA Director Dr. Nora D. Volkow said, “High quality medical practice requires delivery of safe and effective treatments for health conditions, including substance use disorders. This includes providing lifesaving medications to people suffering from an opioid use disorder. This study provides further evidence to support the need for expanded access to proven treatment approaches, such as buprenorphine therapy, despite the remaining stigma and prejudice that remains for people with addiction and the medications used to treat it.”

Articles & Resources

NIH – Buprenorphine misuse decreased among U.S. adults with opioid use disorder from 2015-2019

LINK to Study

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.

ACGME – ACGME Releases Recommendations and Resources on Preparing Residents and Fellows to Manage Pain and Substance Use Disorder

Council on Foreign Relations – The U.S. Fentanyl Crisis: What to Know

DEA – DEA Holds National Prescription Drug Take Back Day to Turn the Tide Against the U.S. Opioid Epidemic

Department of Justice – Texas Physician Found Guilty for Unlawfully Prescribing Over 1.3 Million Doses of Opioids

FDA – FDA approves naloxone injection to counteract opioid overdoses

Law360 – Walmart Blasts Ohio Counties’ Sanctions Bid In Opioid Trial

ODG – Naloxone: Getting More Patients with Opioid Use Disorder to Treatment

Rand Corporation – Origins of the Opioid Crisis and Its Enduring Impacts

Representative Joe Neguse – Preventing Youth Substance Abuse Act of 2021

Senator Jeanne Shaheen – Shaheen Helps Secure Numerous NH Priorities in CJS Appropriations Bill, from Addressing Substance Use Disorder Crisis to Violence Against Women & More

Senator Maggie Hassan – Senator Hassan Discusses How Expanded Affordable Care Act and Medicaid Coverage Are Helping Address the Substance Misuse Crisis at Senate Hearing

Senator Maggie Hassan – Senator Hassan Pushes Customs and Border Protection Nominee on Border Security, Taking Action Against Drug Trafficking, and Prioritizing U.S.-Canada Border Trade

Senator Tammy Baldwin – Baldwin, Smith Call for Continued Support for Opioid Overdose Prevention and Harm Reduction in COVID-19 Recovery Efforts

The Hill – Ending the opioid crisis starts with proper distribution of settlement payouts

The White House – FACT SHEET: Improving Access and Care for Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Conditions

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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