Join the February All-Participants Meeting at 3PM Eastern with Presentation from CDC on New Study Findings

CEPOP will be hosting its February All-Participants Teleconference today at 3:00pm EST. Today’s meeting will include a presentation from Dr. Lauren Tanz of the CDC on their new study suggesting opioid overdose deaths involving buprenorphine did not increase due to COVID-19 pandemic prescribing flexibilities. Please contact Sanjyot Sangodkar for meeting details.

U.S. to Sanction Sinaloa Cartel Network of Fentanyl Suppliers Contributing to the U.S. Opioid Crisis

On February 22, 2023, the United States Department of Treasury, in collaboration with the U.S. State Department and the Mexican government, announced sanctions for six Sinaloa Cartel members and six Sinaloa-run organizations. In a press release, Secretary Blinken said, “Today’s action is part of a whole-of-government effort to disrupt and dismantle the transnational criminal organizations that facilitate the illicit supply of fentanyl and other narcotics.” The Sinaloa Cartel is one of the leading organizations in the illicit fentanyl and methamphetamine business and is responsible for bringing fentanyl precursor chemicals into the United States. The sanctions will block all property and interest in property of the specific cartel members and organizations and report to the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). The names and businesses sanctioned can be found in the resource list below. Andrea Gacki, OFAC Director, clearly outlined the purpose of the sanctions, stating, “Depriving this network of access and resources will hinder the Sinaloa Cartel’s ability to produce and traffic the illicit drugs it depends on.”

Articles & Resources

U.S. Department of State Press Release

U.S. Department of the Treasury Press Release

U.S. Department of Treasury Specifically Designated Nationals List Update

Medicaid to Allow Coverage for SUD Treatment for Incarcerated Individuals

On February 21, 2023, Rahul Gupta, head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, outlined CMS’ plan to have states utilize Medicaid funding to treat incarcerated individuals for Substance Use Disorder before release. Gupta also announced medication-assisted treatment will be available at 122 federal prisons by Summer 2023. The announcement comes after the January 2023 CMS approval of California Waiver, for the CA to use Medicaid funds to cover treatment before individuals were released. States interested in the program must complete the Medicaid 1115 waiver; guidelines are forthcoming. The announcement was made from Camden County Jail, where inmates shared their experiences with the facility’s substance use treatment program, including medication-assisted treatment. Karen Taylor, warden at Camden County Jail, shared the high-risk situation released individuals face,”…Those first 12 days that an individual leaves, we have the stats they’re 124 times more likely to overdose.” With the high rate of relapse and overdose, the steps taken by the Administration address the gaps in care for those reentering society.

Articles & Resources

ONDCP – In New Jersey, ONDCP Director Dr. Rahul Gupta Discusses How Biden-Harris Administration Is Expanding Access to Addiction Treatment in Jails and Prisons

CMS – HHS Approves California’s Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) Demonstration Authority to Support Care for Justice-Involved People

CBS – White House Drug Czar visits Camden Jail, makes announcement

Politico – Biden Administration will use Medicaid to allow coverage for incarcerated substance use treatment

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.

ABC News – US sanctions Mexican drug precursor suppliers

Axios – Fentanyl-positive patients usually had additional drugs in their system

BJA – FY 2023 Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Use Site-based Program

Boston Globe – AT Mass. And Cass, BMC shutting down Roundhouse clinical programs

Law360 – Walmart Rejects Opioid Liability Over ‘Unwitting’ Pharmacists

NPR – Politicians say they’ll stop fentanyl smugglers. Experts say a new drug war won’t work

PBS – How harm reduction advocates are working to prevent fentanyl overdose deaths

U.S. States Attorney’s Office District of Massachusetts – Haverhill Fentanyl Pill Distributor Arrested for Trafficking Tens of Thousands of Counterfeit Pills

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