Language matters: ASAM updates definition of “addiction”

Language always matters to addiction medicine physician Yngvild Olsen, MD, MPH. The emphasis on using correct terminology is one of the prime reasons why the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) updated its definition of “addiction” as well as clarifying how people use the term “MAT.” This is about highlighting the fact that treatment is not just medication, and that addiction is a highly complex medical disease.

> Read the article, American Medical Association (AMA)

The Opioid Crisis and the Black/African American Population: An Urgent Issue

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) by SAMHSA’s Office of Behavioral Health Equity, March 2020

The opioid crisis has not abated and has had a significant impact on African American communities. This issue brief presents recent data on prevalence of opioid misuse and death rates in the Black/ African American population; contextual factors and challenges to prevention and treatment; innovative outreach and engagement strategies to connect people to evidence-based treatment; and the importance of community voice.

> Read the report

DEA launches Secure Your Meds campaign, calls on Americans to keep medications safe

With families encouraged to stay at home due to the nationwide health crisis, the Drug Enforcement Administration is asking Americans to keep prescription medications safe and secure until they can properly dispose of them. The Secure Your Meds awareness campaign addresses a vital public safety and health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. The campaign also prompts families to discuss the issue of controlled prescription drug abuse.

> Learn more about Safety at Home at https://venturacountyresponds.org/en/safety-at-home
> Learn more about the DEA Take Back Day at https://takebackday.dea.gov/
> Read the Press Release

Vaping, Opioid Addiction Accelerate Coronavirus Risks, Says NIDA Director

Kaiser Health News, April 24, 2020
Volkow spoke with Kaiser Health News about the emerging science around COVID-19’s relationship to vaping and to opioid use disorder, as well as how these underlying epidemics could increase people’s risks. In 2018, opioid overdoses claimed about 47,000 American lives. Last year, federal authorities reported that 5.4 million middle and high school students vaped. And just two months ago, about 2,800 cases of vaping-associated lung injuries resulted in hospitalizations; 68 people died. Until mid-March, these numbers commanded attention. But as the coronavirus death toll climbs and the economic costs of attempting to control its spread wreak havoc, the public health focus is now dramatically different.

> Read the article

Addressing the Stigma that Surrounds Addiction

Untreated drug and alcohol use contribute to tens of thousands of deaths every year and impact the lives of many more. Healthcare already has effective tools including medications for opioid and alcohol use disorder that could prevent many of these deaths, but they are not being utilized widely enough, and many people who could benefit do not even seek them out. One important reason is the stigma that surrounds people with addiction.

> Read the article

NIDA. (2020, April 22). Addressing the Stigma that Surrounds Addiction. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/noras-blog/2020/04/addressing-stigma-surrounds-addiction on 2020, April 22

Coronavirus Crisis Spurs Access To Online Treatment For Opioid Addiction

NPR
Opioid addiction isn't taking a break during the coronavirus pandemic, but the U.S. response to the viral crisis is making addiction treatment easier to get. Opioid addiction isn't taking a break during the coronavirus pandemic. But the U.S. response to the viral crisis is making addiction treatment easier to get. Under the national emergency declared by the Trump administration in March, the government has suspended a federal law that required patients to have an in-person visit with a physician before they could be prescribed drugs that help quell withdrawal symptoms, such as Suboxone. Patients can now get those prescriptions via a phone call or videoconference with a doctor

> Read the article

Opioid Summaries by State

National Institute on Drug Abuse, April 2020
Opioid-involved overdose deaths dropped for the first time in decades to 67,367 in 2018. Learn how the OpioidCrisis is affecting your state:

> Opioid Summaries by State Report

HHS Official: ‘Fourth Wave’ Looms in Drug Crisis

Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit 2020

Despite overall drug overdose-related deaths decreasing in 2018, other statistics indicate a rising “fourth wave” in the nation’s substance use disorder crisis means there is more work to be done, federal officials said in addresses presented during the evening plenary session of the virtual Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit on Wednesday. Admiral Brett Giroir, MD, assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said methamphetamine-associated deaths saw a 20% to 30% year-over-year increase in 2018, with methamphetamine-associated deaths overtaking those linked to prescription opioids and heroin, with cocaine soon to be next. Polysubstance use is now the norm, Giroir said, noting that methamphetamine and illicit fentanyl or fentayl analogue use together is on the rise.

> Read the article at https://www.psychcongress.com/article/hhs-official-fourth-wave-looms-drug-crisis

> https://www.rx-summit.com/

DEA releases 2020 Drugs of Abuse Resource Guide

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has released the 2020 edition of Drugs of Abuse, A DEA Resource Guide, which is designed to be a reliable resource on the most commonly abused and misused drugs in the United States. Drugs of Abuse provides important science-based information about the harms and consequences of drug use, describing a drug’s effects on the body and mind, overdose potential, origin, legal status, and other key factors.

> https://www.getsmartaboutdrugs.gov/
> Resource Guide

Researchers: Hope is on the horizon

Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit 2020
Many clinical trials and research initiatives targeted to the opioid crisis have had to be placed on hold while our country focuses on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the potential that awaits just over the horizon is encouraging, stated two of the country’s leading researchers. Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) – both long-time contributors to the Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit – joined Thursday, April 16, for a conversation to discuss the status of promising research.

> Read the article
> Follow the Rx Summmit on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RxSummit
> https://www.rx-summit.com/



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