A Strong Response to the Opioid Scourge – NYT Editorial

“For far too long, the medical profession and policy makers ignored growing evidence that prescription painkillers were causing great harm. Now that abuse has become an epidemic, the government needs to mount a much stronger response to it.”

Read the whole editorial here.


A simple question and a conversation could be key to fight opioid abuse

Almost half the patients taking pain medication in the past year were not asked one vital question
February 16, 2016 | By Matt Kuhrt
The opioid addiction crisis has led to increased pressure on primary care practices to look closely at the way they communicate with and care for afflicted patients. A new survey from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation suggests primary care doctors could do more to stem addiction problems earlier in the cycle, simply by asking the right questions before prescribing pain medication.
As more and more primary care physicians find themselves on the front linesdealing with opioid addicts, they have also discovered that, in many cases, they unwittingly contributed to the problem by prescribing them in the first place, according to previous reporting by FiercePracticeManagement.
The biggest risk factor for addicts is “a past personal or family history of issues with alcohol and/or other drugs,” says Marvin D. Seppala, M.D., chief medical officer at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. It’s telling, then, that his organization’s survey found that 46 percent of the time patients indicated their doctors failed to ask about past problems before writing their prescriptions for opioid painkillers.
When dispensing opioids, Seppala suggests doctors need to keep in mind the stigma surrounding addiction and take the time to have a medical conversation with patients about the potential risks. As simple as this step may seem, 80 percent of the patients surveyed indicated their doctors prescribed opioid pain medication without their requesting it. In six of 10 cases, doctors didn’t even bother to tell patients the painkillers could be addictive.
Other survey findings suggest a conversation about what to do with leftover pills would be worthwhile, since 63 percent of patients reported keeping them around, and data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse indicate 54 percent of those using pain pills got them from a friend or relative for free.
To learn more:
– check out the survey results

OP-ED: SUPER BOWL AD SENDS WRONG MESSAGE ABOUT PRESCRIBING OPIOIDS

by Steve and Elaine Pozycki from the New Jersey Spotlight

With opioid overdoses the chief cause of accidental death in New Jersey, the media can’t make these drugs an acceptable part of life

This week, the White House rightly criticized an ad, which aired during the Super Bowl, designed to promote a drug to treat opioid-induced constipation. White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and other officials blasted the ad, saying that the pharmaceutical companies should be running ads combating addiction, not fueling it. The danger of these kind of ads is that they normalize the use of opioid-based prescription painkillers, the overprescribing of which is the main driver fueling the epidemic of addiction to opiate-based painkillers and heroin.

Read complete article here.


POZYCKI: Notify parents before teens are prescribed opiate

From the Asbury Park Press:

“While addiction to opiate-based prescription pain killers and their illegal street cousin heroin is spreading in all demographic and age groups, teenagers are at particular risk. High school students who use prescription opioids like OxyContin, Vicodin and other pain relievers are 33 percent more likely to abuse the drug by the age of 23, according to a recent University of Michigan Study. Further, New Jersey now has the sixth-highest youth overdose rate in the nation.”

Read the whole article here.


New Jersey Officials Call On Doctors To Be More Responsible When Prescribing Painkillers


The Prescription Opioid and Heroin Crisis: An Epidemic of Addiction

Read a recent presentation by Dr. Andrew Kolodny, Executive Director of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing.

Download PDF here.

 


PREVENT OPIATE ABUSE URGES ADOPTION OF LEGISLATION REQUIRING PRESCRIBERS TO WARN PARENTS OF ADDICTION RISKS BEFORE PRESCRIBING OPIATES

MEDIA RELEASE

For Immediate Release: Contact: Rob Horowitz
November 18, 2015 401-595-5026

PREVENT OPIATE ABUSE URGES ADOPTION OF LEGISLATION REQUIRING PRESCRIBERS TO WARN PARENTS OF ADDICTION RISKS BEFORE PRESCRIBING OPIATES

CALLS ON NJ STATE LEGISLATURE TO PASS THE BILL BY THE END OF THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION

Prevent Opiate Abuse today urged the speedy adoption of the Parent Notification Bill (A4760) introduced this week by Assemblyman Joseph A. Lagana (D-38).

This legislation provides parents with the critical information needed to make an informed decision about whether their teenager should be prescribed an opiate by requiring that Doctors and other prescribers discuss the potential risks of dependency before writing a prescription as well as where appropriate discuss potential alternative treatments. When parents make a decision to go forward with an opiate prescription, this legislation provides the added benefit of alerting them to be on the look out for any signs of dependence developing.

Prevent Opiate Abuse leaders pointed to the fact that while addiction to opiate-based prescription painkillers and their illegal street cousin, heroin has spread to all demographic and age groups, teenagers are particularly at risk.

The teenage years are a “critical window of vulnerability for substance abuse disorders,” according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, “because the brain is still developing and still malleable.” The parts of the brain that are attracted to drug use mature before the parts of the brain that are responsible for making sound, non-impulsive decisions. High school students who use prescription opioids like OxyContin, Vicodin and other pain relievers are 33 percent more likely to abuse the drug by the age of 23, according to a recent University of Michigan Study.

Elaine Pozycki, Co-Chair of Prevent Opiate Abuse and Chair of Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, said, “We must give parents the tools to protect their children from this epidemic. That is exactly what this legislation does and why it needs to speedily become law.”

Assemblyman Lagana said, “The epidemic of opiate addiction poses a big threat to our youth. This is why I am proud to sponsor this legislation and will do everything I can to make sure we stop addiction before it begins.”

Angelo Valente, Executive Director of Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, said that “if parents must give permission before their child can go on a field trip to the Zoo, they sure should be asked for their sign-off, before their child is prescribed an opiate.”

New Jersey families who have been impacted by opiate addiction will gather at a breakfast meeting hosted by Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey and Prevent Opiate Abuse at the Marriott Teaneck at Glenpointe on this Friday,November 20th. The keynote speaker at the breakfast will be Andrew Kolodny, M.D, co-founder of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing and Chief Medical Officer at Phoenix House, who will discuss how opiate use impacts the developing brain, particularly of children.

A more expansive Patient Notification bill (S2366), put forward by Senator Loretta Weinberg (D-37) and Senator Joe Vitale (D-19), which required a conversation with adult patients as well, passed the State Senate overwhelmingly at the end of 2014. It has yet to receive a Committee hearing in the Assembly Health Committee, Chaired by Herb Conaway (D-7).Noting they were confident of its passage by an overwhelming majority in both Houses, Prevent Opiate Abuse called on Conaway to post this more targeted version of the legislation for a Committee vote before the session ended.

Prevent Opiate Abuse is dedicated to significantly reducing the abuse of prescription opiate-based painkillers in New Jersey through advancing initiatives, both governmental and non-governmental, that are effective.

 

Download complete A4760 Parent Notification bill here


18 Rhode Island Communities to Participate in American Medicine Chest Challenge Collection of Unused and Expired Prescription Drugs to Stop Opiate Abuse

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts : Dyana Koelsch DyanaK@dk-comm.com Hannah Scansaroli, AMCC, hannah@drugfreenj.org
Download Press Release Here. Download locations here.

18 Rhode Island Communities to Participate in American Medicine Chest Challenge Collection of Unused and Expired Prescription Drugs to Stop Opiate Abuse

PROVIDENCE, RI- On November 14, several Rhode Island communities will join hundreds of others across the country in the American Medicine Chest Challenge – a national collection effort to prevent prescription drug abuse.

Coordinated by The American Medicine Chest Challenge in conjunction with Prevent Opiate Abuse RI and police and community representatives, the National Awareness Day is designed to raise awareness about the dangers of prescription drug abuse. Rhode Islander’s are encouraged to drop of their used and expired medications at one of eighteen locations throughout the state. Locations can be found here: http://www.americanmedicinechest.com/

“This is a great opportunity for residents of Rhode Island to properly dispose of their prescription drugs,” said Prevent Opiate Abuse RI’s Rob Horowitz. “In Rhode Island, nearly one-in-five 12th graders have used painkillers without a doctor’s prescription, according to RI Kids Count. Over the period of a month, roughly 7 million Americans use prescription drugs for non-medical reasons.”

The most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows prescription medicines to be the most abused drugs by Americans, other than marijuana and found that 70% of people who abuse prescription pain relievers say they got them from friends or relatives. A recent study on drug use by teens by the Partnership for a Drug Free America (PDFA) found that one in 9 children are abusing prescription pain relievers to get high.

“Removing unused prescription drugs from your household is something we all can do to combat drug addiction. Our Drug Takeback bin at the Public Safety Complex is open this Saturday and every day of the year to Providence residents,” said Peter Asen, Director of Providence’s Healthy Communities Office. “Please, do you part to combat drug abuse by safely and responsibly disposing of unused prescription drugs.”

“With the American Medicine Chest Challenge we are calling on residents to see their medicine cabinets through new eyes — as an access point for potential misuse and abuse of over-the-counter and prescription medicine by young people,” said American Medicine Chest Challenge Chief Executive Officer Angelo M. Valente. “This Challenge will raise awareness about the dangers of abusing prescription drugs and reduce the availability of potent drugs that lead kids down a path to addiction.”

Residents are also encouraged to take the Five-Step American Medicine Chest Challenge:

  • Take inventory of your prescription and over-the-counter medicine.
  • Secure your medicine chest.
  • Dispose of your unused, unwanted, and expired medicine in your home or at an American Medicine Chest Challenge Disposal site.
  • Take your medicine(s) exactly as prescribed.
  • Talk to your children about the dangers of prescription drug abuse. American Medicine Chest Challenge has gained the national support of PhRMA, the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), and Covanta.

About:

The “American Medicine Chest Challenge” is a community-based public health initiative, with law enforcement partnership, designed to raise awareness about the dangers of prescription drug abuse and provide a nationwide day of disposal — at a collection site or in the home — of unused, unwanted, and expired medicine, held on the second Saturday of November each year in communities across the country.

Prevent Opiate Abuse, originally organized in New Jersey, is dedicated to significantly reducing the abuse of prescription opiate based painkillers through advancing initiatives, both governmental and non-governmental, that are effective and by doing so establishing a model that can be adapted throughout the nation. According to the Center for Disease Control& Prevention, prescription drug abuse and the related problem of heroin addiction has become an epidemic causing nearly 20,000 deaths annually. It is the nation’s fastest-growing drug problem. We are in it for the long-haul and committed to the all out multi-dimensional effort required to produce results.


American Medicine Chest Challenge – Rhode Island Locations

Rhode Island will be participating in the American Medicine Chest Challenge on November 14th, with drop locations throughout the state listed here, available for download here and listed below.

The event will take place on November 14, 2015 in communities across the country. This initiative will challenge Rhode Island residents to take the Five-Step American Medicine Chest Challenge:
• Take inventory of your prescription and over-the-counter medicine.
• Secure your medicine chest.
• Dispose of your unused, unwanted, and expired medicine in your home or at an American Medicine Chest Challenge Disposal site.
• Take your medicine(s) exactly as prescribed.
• Talk to your children about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.

 

RHODE ISLAND AMERICAN MEDICINE CHECK CHALLENGE DROP BOX LOCATIONS

Barrington Police Department 110 Federal Road Barrington 401-437-3935

Burrillville Police Department 1477 Victory Highway Oakland 401-568-6255

Charlestown Police Department 4901 Old Post Road Charlestown 401-364-1212

Foster Police Department 182 Howard Hill Road Foster 401-397-3317

Hopkinton Police Department 406 Woodville Road Hopkinton 401-377-7750

Jamestown Police Department 250 Conanicus Avenue Jamestown 401-423-1212

Johnston Police Department 1651 Hartford Avenue Johnston 401-519-1903

Little Compton Police Department 60 Simmons Road Little Compton 401-635-2311

Middletown Police Department 123 Valley Road Middletown 401-846-1104

Narragansett Police Department 40 Caswell Street Narragansett 401-789-1091

Narragansett Indian Tribal Police Department 4375 B. South County Trail (Rear) Charlestown 401-364-1100

North Kingstown Police Department 8166 Post Road N Kingstown 401-294-3311

Providence Police Safety Complex 325 Washington Street Providence 401-421-2489

Richmond Police Department 1168 Main Street Wyoming 401-539-8289

Tiverton Police Department 20 Industrial Way Tiverton 401-625-6717

Warwick Police Department 99 Veterans Memorial Dr Warwick 401-468-4200

Westerly Police Department 60 Airport Road Westerly 401-596-2022

Woonsocket Police Department 242 Clinton Street Woonsocket 401-766-1212


Heroin Death Rate in Your County