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

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/

U.S. Representatives: Don’t Dial Back Opioid Response Now

RX Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit News, April 15, 2020

In Wednesday’s morning plenary session in the Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit, three U.S. representatives expressed cautious optimism about the nation’s drug overdose death rate dropping by 4.6% in 2018—the first decline recorded in decades—but added that neither that development nor the COVID-19 crisis is a reason to throttle back now.

“For the first time in literally 20 years, the number of Americans who lost their lives to opioid overdose declined. Think about that. That’s bending the curve in a productive way. But obviously, the fight is not over. We’ll have to continue in the years ahead to devote additional resources to research, law enforcement and, most importantly, finding ways to help folks who have become addicted—usually through no fault of their own, usually by following a legitimate prescription given to them by a medical professional.

> Read the article

Officials worry of potential spike in overdose deaths amid COVID-19 pandemic

ABC news, April 15, 2020

Health officials worry extended isolation could exacerbate the problem. Health officials acknowledged there could be a myriad of potential factors behind the increase of overdoses in some communities, with a primary concern being the obstacles that social distancing orders have created for public health services like addiction clinics and syringe exchange services.

> Read the article

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For Drug Users, COVID-19 Poses Added Dangers

U.S. News, April 2, 2020
The National Institute on Drug Abuse director warns the coronavirus could increase the pressure to use, cause complicated health effects and curtail access to treatment for those struggling with addiction. As the novel coronavirus spreads and more states issue stay-at-home orders in the U.S., the head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse says social isolation and overburdened health systems could paint a dire picture for people struggling with addiction. "Every one of us is affected by COVID – maybe we don't get infected, (but) we're all anxious because of the uncertainties" surrounding it, NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow says. "How we cope with that anxiety is very much dependent on multiple factors, including our circumstances, but one of the ways that people cope with it is by taking drugs."

> Read the article

Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit

The Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit, a 2020 Virtual Experience, begins today through April 16. VCBH staff have been attending the Rx Summit since its inception in 2012. We brought back the inspiration and the momentum of the Rx Summit annually to inform our efforts to address the opioid crisis at home in Ventura County.

“The same power, the same drive that prompted you to be a part of the solution – to beat back the opioid epidemic, to save lives, and bring illegal drug dealers to justice – it’s that same victorious spirit that will carry this nation through the coronavirus pandemic. Together, we have witnessed a dramatic shift in the stigma behind drug abuse, and most importantly we have seen the number of overdose deaths finally decrease across the country – falling from more than 70,000 in 2017 to under 68,000 in 2018, according to the CDC. It’s a direct result of your comprehensive work. We have ambushed the opioid epidemic on every side – through improvements in law enforcement, treatment and education.” - Congressman Hal Rogers

> Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit

NIDA director outlines potential risks to people who smoke and use drugs during COVID-19 pandemic

The precarious intersection of the COVID-19 national health emergency and the concurrent epidemic of drug overdose deaths is outlined in the Annals of Internal Medicine this week by Dr. Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Volkow discusses how the serious health risks of COVID-19 pose unique challenges to people who smoke or vape, are already struggling with substance use disorders (SUD), or are in recovery from addiction.
 
People recovering from addiction now face new challenges. Physical distancing measures, while critical to COVID-19 mitigation, eliminate the important element of social support needed for addiction recovery. Additionally, people with opioid use disorder may face barriers to obtaining medications (i.e., buprenorphine or methadone) or obtaining services from syringe services programs. Social distancing will also decrease the likelihood of observed overdoses; administration of naloxone to reverse overdose may be less likely, potentially resulting in more fatalities.

> Read the announcement

NIDA. (2020, April 2). NIDA Director outlines potential risks to people who smoke and use drugs during COVID-19 pandemic. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/news-releases/2020/04/nida-director-outlines-potential-risks-to-people-who-smoke-use-drugs-during-covid-19-pandemic on 2020, April 2

COVID-19 promotes life-saving policy change for opioid addiction

Facing the US pandemic COVID-19. USA, The US Administration of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. USA (SAMHSA) has announced new policy changes regarding home treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD). Last week, the agency issued a directive to allow some patients in opioid treatment (OTP) programs to take their medications home, announcing that states may request "general exceptions" for all stable patients in an OTP to receive a 28-day supply of home-dose medications such as methadone and buprenorphine, for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD). The agency also said states can now request up to 14 days of take-home medications for patients who are less stable but who, in OTP doctors' opinion, can safely handle this level of take-home medications. "SAMHSA recognizes the evolving problems surrounding COVID-19 and the emerging needs that OTPs continue to face," the agency writes.

> Read the article

Source: NewsDio is a website intended to deliver news related to Business, Tech, Finance, and Sports networks, March 21, 2020
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration https://www.samhsa.gov/coronavirus

COVID-19 is an Emerging, Rapidly Evolving Situation, NIDA, March 20

Stay updated at the National Institute on Drug Abuse on the latest news about COVID-19. Stay updated about our County of Ventura Coronavirus Information at https://www.vcemergency.com/

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Armed with overdose drug Narcan, Oxnard police aim to reduce opioid fatalities

Ventura County Star, January 10, 2020

Public safety personnel locally and nationwide have seen a dramatic increase in drug overdose calls in recent years. In 2018, Oxnard police responded to 190 overdose calls, or nearly four per week. The Oxnard Police Department has responded to the opioid epidemic by training officers to administer an overdose-reversal drug and changing the protocol for logging overdose calls. In early 2018, the department began equipping officers with naloxone, also known as Narcan, a nasal spray that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. Today, 150 officers are equipped with naloxone kits, Cmdr. Sharon Giles said Tuesday in a report to the City Council.
“If you have someone that you believe is suffering from drug dependency and has overdosed, this goes into the nostril, a couple pumps and it’s administered,” Giles told the council while showing the nasal spray. In 2018, 19 of the 96 opioid-related deaths in Ventura County were in Oxnard. Figures for 2019 were not yet available, but Giles said she expects the number will be lower due to naloxone. 2019 was the first full year in which officers were equipped with naloxone. Officers used the nasal spray nine times.

> Read the Story, Ventura County Star
> See the Video "Oxnard Police Respond to the Opioid Epidemic in Ventura County"

Findings from the 2019 Monitoring the Future (MTF) Survey

Findings from the 2019 Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey demonstrate the appeal of vaping to teens, as seen in the increased prevalence of marijuana use as well as nicotine vaping. Results from the annual MTF survey, a nationally representative sample of eighth, 10th and 12th graders in hundreds of U.S. schools, were announced today by the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, along with the University of Michigan scientist who leads the research team. "We are heartened to see the continuing decline in the use of many drugs, particularly non-medical use of prescription opioids; however, teens are clearly attracted to vaping products, which are often concentrated amounts of drugs disguised as electronic gadgets," said NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow.

Prescription Drugs:

  • Past year rates of misuse of the opioid pain reliever Oxycontin dropped significantly among 12th graders over the past five years, with only 1.7% reporting in 2019–the lowest level of use since it was first measured in 2002 (at 4.0%).
  • Past year rates of misuse of the opioid pain reliever Vicodin is now at 1.1% for both 12th graders and 10th graders. For 12th graders, it is a significant drop from 2018 and the lowest rate since it was first measured in 2002 (at 9.6%). These rates represent a significant five-year decline in these two grades.
  • Past year misuse of the ADHD medication Adderall saw a significant decline over the past five years among 10th and 12th graders–from 4.6% to 3.1% for 10th graders and from 6.8% to 3.9%, for 12th graders. However, there was a significant increase among eighth graders⸺now reported to be 2.5%, up from 1.3% in 2014.

NIDA. (2019, December 18). Vaping of marijuana on the rise among teens.

Prescription Drug Take Back Day - October 26, 2019 – 10am - 2pm

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.9 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet. The DEA’s Take Back Day provides an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths.

> Find local disposal sites near you
> See the Medication Safety at Home brochure
> DEA National Rx Take Back Day Information

 

medication safety at home

Rx Drop-Off Day – Oxnard Police Department – April 27, 2019 – 10AM-2PM

Protect your family from getting your medicines that could be harmful to them. Drop off your expired and unused medications!

OPD DropOffDay FNLREV rightcol

> Read more about Medication Safety at Home

> Learn about Medication Disposal

Prescription Drug Take Back Day - October 27, 10am – 2pm

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.2 million Americans misused controlled

Rx DisposalHandout 4x9 Englprescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet. The DEA’s Take Back Day events provide an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths. The Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications. 

> Find disposal sites near you
> DEA National Rx Take Back Day Information

Ventura County will sue opioid makers and distributors to recoup expenses

Ventura County supervisors voted Tuesday to sue manufacturers, marketers and distributors of opioids, joining the large number of public entities across the nation lining up to recoup costs of treatment, law enforcement and other expenses linked to the addictive painkillers. Voting 5-0, the Board of Supervisors authorized the litigation that is expected to be decided in federal court. County officials say commonly misused opioids include Vicodin, OxyContin, tramadol and codeine. County Counsel Leroy Smith provided a list of potential defendants that included Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson and other drug companies, along with about a dozen distribution companies. The list of distributors, which were defined as firms that get the drugs to market, included CVS Health Corp., Rite Aid and Walmart.

> Read Ventura County Star article

County Wins Federal Opioid Response Grant. DOJ funds to expand Rx and Heroin Suppression

Ventura County Opioid Abuse Suppression Taskforce (COAST)

The Ventura County Behavioral Health Department, in cooperation with the County’s Prescription Drug Abuse and Heroin Workgroup, announced today that the County of Ventura has been awarded a competitive grant under the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Site-based Program; federal funding provided by the U.S. Department of Justice to combat opioid misuse. The Behavioral Health Department’s successful proposal for $935,401 was funded in full; falling just under the $1 million maximum and the largest award of two California county grants in this category. Dr. Loretta Denering, Division Chief for Alcohol and Drug Programs noted, “With this new funding, we will dramatically expand our ability to leverage information from multiple sources—our behavioral health,public health, emergency medical services, medical examiner and public safety data—to analyze trends and target efforts to reduce local impacts.” The award marks the first major funding dedicated to addressing local opioid issues and the plan enjoyed endorsements from many agencies. “This is truly about data-driven collaboration,” said Sheriff Geoff Dean, who was a strong supporter of the proposed approach, “We know that opioid abuse is really hitting home here in Ventura County, and it takes strong teamwork to reverse the trends we’ve seen over the last decade.”

> Read the Press Release



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