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Substance Abuse in Rural Areas News

News stories from the past 60 days.

CMS Proposes Policies to Lower the Cost of Prescription Drugs and Combat the Opioid Crisis
Nov 16, 2017 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have issued a proposed rule intended to provide more affordable prescription drugs to Medicare Part D enrollees and to allow Medicare to combat overprescribing and abuse of opioid medications. A fact sheet on this proposed rule is available.
Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
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USDA Helps Rural Communities Thrive With Health, Safety Outreach
Nov 13, 2017 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced that it would be supporting health education projects for individuals and families in rural areas through the Rural Health and Safety Education Competitive Grant Program. These grants were awarded to extension agents and land-grant universities in nine states with a focus on prevention and reduction of opioid abuse and chronic disease prevention and management.
Source: United States Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture
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How The Opioid Crisis Is Affecting Native Americans
Nov 11, 2017 - Radio interview with Dr. Ron Shaw, president of the Association of American Indian Physicians, about the impact of the opioid epidemic on Native American populations. Native Americans have the highest death rate from opioid overdoses of any demographic. Discussion includes the impact of historical trauma and the necessity of medication-assisted treatment.
Source: NPR
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One in Five US Adults Still Using Tobacco Products in 2015
Nov 9, 2017 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) that found that 1 in 5 U.S. adults used some form of tobacco product in 2015. The report also includes data on tobacco use by race/ethnicity and gender. Higher tobacco use was found for adults living in the Midwest, people with a General Equivalency Diploma (GED), people with annual household incomes under $35,000, those with a disability, uninsured adults or adults insured through Medicaid, adults with serious psychological distress, and those who are lesbian, gay, or bisexual.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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It’s Not Just Heroin Killing Alaskans: Meth Deaths Here Are up Four-Fold
Nov 7, 2017 - Details the continued presence and increased prevalence of methamphetamine use in Alaska. There were 233 deaths related to methamphetamine use in the state from 2008 to 2016; the average from 2014-2016 was four times higher than the average from 2008-2010.
Source: Alaska Dispatch News
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CMS Announces New Medicaid Policy to Combat the Opioid Crisis by Increasing Access to Treatment Options
Nov 1, 2017 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a new policy allowing states to design demonstration projects to increase access to treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD) and other substance use disorders (SUD). This announcement also includes the immediate approval of demonstration waivers for New Jersey and Utah under this new policy.
Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
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EOP: Combatting the National Drug Demand and Opioid Crisis Federal Register
Oct 31, 2017 - Official memorandum from the Executive Office of the President (EOP) outlining the Administration's policy for addressing the opioid crisis, and directing the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to declare a public health emergency.
Source: Federal Register
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Joining the Battle Against Opioid Addiction in Rural Communities
Oct 31, 2017 - Blog post from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Director Gopal Khanna discussing the agency's efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, including expanding access to treatment through the work of five grantees in Colorado, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania. Details the work being done by these grantees as well as tools and resources collected by the AHRQ to help with the implementation of medication-assisted treatment in primary care settings.
Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Blog
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HHS, SAMHSA to Maintain Funding Formula for $1B Opioid Grant Program
Oct 30, 2017 - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced that they will maintain the Opioid State Targeted Response (STR) grant funding allocation formula for the second year of the program. This program expands access to evidence-based prevention, treatment, and recovery support services.
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
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Fentanyl Involved in over Half of Opioid Overdose Deaths in 10 States
Oct 27, 2017 - According to new data published in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) Early Release, over half of the people who died of opioid overdoses during the second half of 2016 in 10 states tested positive for fentanyl. Researchers examined opioid overdose deaths from July 1 to December 31 in Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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HHS Office for Civil Rights Issues Guidance on How HIPAA Allows Information Sharing to Address the Opioid Crisis
Oct 27, 2017 - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights Issues released new guidance on how and when healthcare providers can share a patient's health information when the patient is in crisis and incapacitated, like during an opioid overdose. Healthcare providers can give information with a patient's family in emergency situations, including informing people in a position to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to that patient's health and safety.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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HHS Acting Secretary Declares Public Health Emergency to Address National Opioid Crisis
Oct 26, 2017 - As requested by President Donald Trump on Thursday, the acting Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Eric D. Hargan, declared the national opioid crisis a public health emergency. The declaration will allow HHS to accelerate temporary appointments of specialized personnel, expand access to addiction treatments, and provide flexibility for other response initiatives.
Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
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SAMHSA Reaffirms Efforts to Address the Public Health Emergency on the Opioid Crisis
Oct 26, 2017 - Details the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) efforts to address the opioid epidemic and the strategies from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that are guiding SAMHSA's efforts going forward. These include improving access to treatment and recovery services, improving availability and distribution of overdose-reversing drugs, and strengthening public health data reporting and collection, among other things.
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
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CDC Reports Rising Rates of Drug Overdose Deaths in Rural Areas
Oct 19, 2017 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) that found that rates of drug overdose deaths are rising in rural areas, surpassing rates in urban areas, despite a lower percentage of rural people reporting illicit drug use. This report, Illicit Drug Use, Illicit Drug Use Disorders, and Drug Overdose Deaths in Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Areas — United States, also found that the percentage of people reporting past-month use of illicit drugs has declined for youth aged 12-17 and increased substantially for other age groups.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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Another Outbreak Related to the Nation’s Opioid Crisis: Hepatitis C
Oct 17, 2017 - Details the increased rates of Hepatitis C and how they correlate to the opioid epidemic by looking at West Virginia, which has the highest rates of overdose deaths and new hepatitis B and C infections in the country. Because those infected with hepatitis often do not display symptoms immediately, the disease can go untreated for years, leading eventually to end-stage liver disease. This is one among many diseases that are rising in the midst of the opioid epidemic, and although there is a treatment for it, for many it is not affordable. (May require subscription to view full article.)
Source: The Washington Post
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EOP: Notification of a Public Meeting of the President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis (Commission) Federal Register
Oct 16, 2017 - The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) will hold its fifth meeting on Wednesday, November 1, 2017, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Eastern. The meeting will include personal stories about coping with addiction, and a discussion and voting on the Commission's final report, which will be posted on ONDCP's website shortly before the meeting begins. Meeting participation will be available via livestreaming.
Source: Federal Register
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Rural Issues at Heart of RAC Meeting
Oct 16, 2017 - Details the rural issues discussed at the National Association of Counties (NACo) Rural Action Caucus' (RAC) annual symposium. Major issues discussed include health and especially social determinants of health, high-speed internet access, the opioid epidemic, and housing.
Source: National Association of Counties
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Born Addicted: The Number of Opioid-Addicted Babies Is Soaring
Oct 9, 2017 - Details the growing number of infants born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), highlighting Tennessee specifically, where some counties are reporting rates eight times the national average. Touches on the long-term impacts of NAS including the potential for developmental delays and attention problems later and on opioid-related lawsuits targeting prescription drug manufacturers and distributors.
Source: NBC News
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EOP: Notification of a Public Meeting of the President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis (Commission) Federal Register
Oct 4, 2017 - The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) will hold its fourth meeting on Friday, October 20, 2017, from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Eastern. The meeting discussion will focus on issues related to the opioid epidemic. Meeting participation will be available via livestreaming.
Source: Federal Register
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Findings from NSDUH Reveal That Only a Subset of Individuals Receive Services for Substance Use and Mental Health Issues
Sep 21, 2017 - A new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Receipt of Services for Substance Use and Mental Health Issues among Adults: Results from the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, found that only 10.8% of the 19.9 million adults that needed substance use treatment in the past year received treatment at a specialty facility. It also found that 43.1% of the 44.7 million adults with any mental illness and 64.8% of the 10.4 million adults with serious mental illness received mental health services.
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
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Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., On the Agency’s Continued Efforts to Promote the Safe Adoption of Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction
Sep 20, 2017 - Statement on the opioid epidemic and the intention to promote more widespread adoption of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) to treat people struggling with opioid use disorder from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. Includes the Drug Safety Communication the FDA distributed to healthcare providers and patients that highlights the risk of serious side effects associated with combining certain MAT drugs with certain other prescription drugs.
Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration
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Unbudgeted: How the Opioid Crisis Is Blowing a Hole in Small-town America's Finances
Sep 19, 2017 - Discusses the financial impact of the opioid epidemic in small and rural towns. Includes costs associated with increased use of the foster care system, law enforcement, the justice system, emergency medical services, and coroner and toxicology services. It's leading some counties to consider cutting money from economic development and youth programs. Also includes the impact on small businesses struggling to find drug-free employees.
Source: Reuters
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Last Updated: 11/17/2017