HHS to Provide $15M for Rural Communities Opioid Response Program

On June 8th, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that, as part of its Overdose Prevention Strategy, it will award $15 million to address prescription psychostimulant misuse and related overdose deaths in rural communities. While HHS’s Overdose Prevention Strategy continues to target illicitly manufactured synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, the agency has committed this funding to address the increasing role of psychostimulants in overdose deaths. In a press release, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said, “The Department is committed to expanding access to substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery services as part of our National Overdose Prevention Strategy. Today’s funding builds on our ongoing efforts to do all we can to meet the needs of those battling addiction—providing not only care, but hope, to all individuals and their loved ones.”

Articles & Resources

HHS – HHS Invests Nearly $15 Million to Prevent and Treat Stimulant Use in Rural Communities

CDC Data Detail Characteristics of Adults with SUD

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday issued another Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, this time providing details on the characteristics of U.S. adults who were evaluated for substance use and treatment planning in 2019. CDC analyzed data from 49,138 individuals who were assessed at 339 treatment centers across 37 states and found that many reported severe psychiatric, medical, or family problems across multiple biopsychosocial domains. Data show that 45.4 percent reported polysubstance use, 35.2 percent reported psychiatric problems, 25 percent reported employment issues, 27.4 reported other medical issues, and 22.8 percent reported family issues. CDC notes that these findings highlight an overlap between substance use, mental illness, and access to treatment and suggests that substance use programs should account for co-occurring polysubstance use and mental health problems into their prevention, treatment, and response strategies.

Articles & Resources

CDC – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report June 10, 2022

The Hill – New CDC data detail overlap of substance misuse, psychiatric disorders

What We Read Last Week

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

Annals of Internal Medicine – Trends in Concurrent Opioid and Benzodiazepine Prescriptions in the United States, 2016 to 2019

Drug and Alcohol Dependence – County-level sociodemographic differences in availability of two medications for opioid use disorder: United States, 2019

Drugs.com – Setting Time Limits on Opioid Prescriptions Might Reduce Misuse

Futurity – Should Opioid Prescriptions Have a Shorter Time Limit?

JAMA Network Open – Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Buprenorphine and Extended-Release Naltrexone Filled Prescriptions During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Law360 – DEA Change In Opioid Policy Created Confusion, Judge Hears

NBER – Opioid Use and Employment Outcomes: Evidence from the U.S. Military

NRPA – How Mentoring Supports Youth Impacted by the Opioid Epidemic

ScienceDaily – Pressures within supply chains paved the way to an oversupply of prescription opioids, experts say

ScienceDaily – Removing barriers to opioid use disorder treatment shows success during pandemic

The Pharmaceutical Journal – Pharmacies and opioid dependency: working together to better support recovery

Time – Fewer Than Half of U.S. Pharmacies Carry One of the Most Effective Drugs for Opioid Abuse

WEKU – Addiction recovery official: opioid problem continues to grow as does residential treatment

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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