COVID-19 Resources and Substance Use Disorders

The COVID-19 pandemic presents unique challenges for people with substance use disorders and in recovery. The following resources from Dr. Nora Volkow, NIDA Director, may help. See interviews with Dr. Volkow and read the FAQs on COVID-19 and Addiction/Substance Use Disorder.

> Learn more at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

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

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/

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/

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.

NIH launches HEAL Initiative

At the 2018 National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit, National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., announced the launch of the HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) Initiative, an aggressive, trans-agency effort to speed scientific solutions to stem the national opioid public health crisis. “Every day, more than 115 Americans die after overdosing on opioids,” said Dr. Collins. “That is a four-fold increase since 2000, and the numbers continue to climb. Read more at NIH

Countdown to the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit 2018 – April 2-5, Atlanta, GA

Since 2012, the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit has been a venue where leaders from diverse backgrounds come together with solutions for a common goal in addressing the Opioid crisis. It is the annual gathering for stakeholders to discuss what’s working in prevention and treatment. This year, a delegation from Ventura County, including staff, Prevention contract providers, and more will be attending. We are honored that two VCBH proposals were approved by the Summit this year: 1) Safe Alprazolam Prescribing and Benzodiazepine Monitoring Program, Brian S. Taylor, MD, Medical Director, VCBH; Celia Woods, MD, Quality Medical Director, VCBH and 2) The Intersection of Law Enforcement and Healthcare: Increased Utilization of California's PDMP, Victor Fazio, EdD, MACJ, Detective Sergeant, Ventura County Sheriff’s Office; Dan Hicks, Manager Prevention Services, VCBH.

We look forward to networking, sharing our Ventura County experiences on a national platform, and gaining new ideas and momentum to continue our good work. 

Follow us live from the Summit on Twitter at twitter.com/VCLimits #venturacountyresponds



©2020 Ventura County Behavioral Health • Hanstad Consulting • Website: Idea Engineering