Biden Administration Health Leaders Receive Naloxone Training

Last week, Biden Administration health leaders partook in the first of several formal naloxone trainings planned for the federal government to raise awareness of the newly available over-the-counter drug. Officials including Health Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, Deputy Secretary Andrea Palm, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, the Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine and White Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Rahul Gupta attended the training. HHS officials noted that its headquarters is currently outfitted with naloxone and the agency provides verbal and written instructions for administering naloxone. The Administration is urging other workplaces to make naloxone available. The next training will be held for members of Congress and their staff on September 13th at the Library of Congress.

Articles & Resources

Roll Call—With naloxone now more available, HHS officials tout its use

HHS-Instagram Post

CDC Report Finds Increase in Drug Overdose Deaths with Evidence of Counterfeit Pill Use

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released their weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report on Friday, which included findings suggesting that from July 2019 to December 2021 there was an increase in overdose deaths from the use of counterfeit pills. Using data from the CDC State Unintentional Drug Overdose Reporting System, researchers found that deaths with evidence of counterfeit pills doubled from 2.0% to 4.7% during the respective time period. However, in Western states (Arizona, Washington, Alaska), the rate tripled from 4.7% to 14.7%. The report authors state, “The proliferation of counterfeit pills, which are not manufactured by pharmaceutical companies, but are typically made to look like legitimate pharmaceutical pills (frequently oxycodone or alprazolam), is complicating the illicit drug market and potentially contributing to these deaths.”

Articles & Resources

CDC—Drug Overdose Deaths with Evidence of Counterfeit Pill Use—United States, July 2019-December 2021

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.

Associated Press—As more children die from fentanyl, some prosecutors are charging their parents with murder

Axios—Biden admin wants employers to make opioid overdose reversal drug available

STAT—Not yet free from heroin’s grip, an ‘honest funny man’ finds his way off the streets

University of Washington—UW assessment finds fentanyl and methamphetamine smoke linger on public transit vehicles

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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