ASAM Weekly | May 2, 2017

ASAM Weekly

May 2, 2017

ASAM Commends President Trump’s Nomination for Assistant Secretary of Mental Health and Substance Use

ASAM Advocacy

President Donald Trump announced his nomination of Elinore McCance-Katz, MD, PhD to serve as the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use in the Department of Health and Human Services. ASAM sent a letter to Dr. Tom Price to express support for the nomination.  Read More >

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EDITORIAL COMMENT:  A CNN report from 28 April
cites a private foundation report in asserting that drug-impaired driving has risen to a level exceeding that of alcohol-impaired driving, in the US:  ( Considerations include:

1) Drugged driving is of course an important problem.

2) The cover story introduces the report as: “Positive drug tests were more common than the presence of alcohol among the fatally injured drivers who were tested in 2015, according to the report (PDF) “Drug-impaired Driving,”
released Wednesday by the Governors Highway Safety Association and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, a nonprofit funded by alcohol distillers.”  (Italics mine – WFH),

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Editor-in-Chief: William Haning, MD, DFAPA, DFASAM

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You Draw It: Just How Bad Is the Drug Overdose Epidemic?

New York Times

Since 1990, the number of Americans who have died every year from drug overdoses has increased more than 500 percent. Among those 15 to 44 — the age group in which drug overdose accounts for the greatest share of deaths — there are vast differences across racial categories and between urban and rural places.  Read More >

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Research >>>

Alcohol-induced performance impairment: a 5-year re-examination study in heavy and light drinkers


To examine the effects of drinking histories on behavioral and subjective responses to alcohol over time, this longitudinal study compared performance on psychomotor tasks in heavy and light drinkers from the initial testing phase to a re-examination phase conducted 5-6 years later.  Read More >

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Changes in US Lifetime Heroin Use and Heroin Use Disorder

JAMA Psychiatry 

In this population-based survey study of 79 402 respondents, the prevalence of heroin use (1.61% vs 0.33%) and related disorder (0.69% vs 0.21%) was significantly higher in 2012-2013 than in 2001-2002, with greater increases among white individuals. The proportion of individuals reporting initiation of nonmedical use of prescription opioids before heroin use increased across time among white users only.  Read More >

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Advances >>>

Characteristics of Fentanyl Overdose — Massachusetts, 2014–2016

CDC: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

To guide overdose prevention and response activities, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner collaborated with CDC to investigate the characteristics of fentanyl overdose in three Massachusetts counties with high opioid overdose death rates. Evidence showed that approximately two thirds of investigated opioid overdose deaths involved fentanyl.  Read More >

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Public Policy and Regulatory News>>>

Nurse Licensing Laws Block Treatment for Opioid Addiction

The Pew Charitable Trusts 

Confronting an opioid overdose epidemic that is killing at least 90 people every day, two federal agencies gave more than 700 nurse practitioners and physician assistants the authority to write prescriptions for addiction medication, buprenorphine.  Read More >

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Discrimination Against Patients with Substance Use Disorders Remains Prevalent and Harmful: The Case For 42 CFR Part 2

Health Affairs Blog

42 CFR Part 2, the law designed to protect confidentiality of patients with substance use disorders, is outdated and unnecessary. The purpose of the confidentiality law is to ensure that a person with a substance use disorder is not made more vulnerable to discriminatory practices and legal consequences as a result of seeking treatment. However, patients with substance use disorders still face consequences associated with disclosure.  Read More >

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Your Patients Are Reading >>>

What Doesn’t Kill You Can Maim: Unexpected Injuries from Opioids

NPR: Shots

The common understanding of patients addicted to heroin or other opioids is that they either survive a high or die — but that there’s no real damage to those who get up and walk away. However, emergency room doctors are identifying associated injuries.  Read More >

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Featured Courses & Events: 

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Full Education Calendar


Editor-in-Chief: William Haning, MD, DFAPA, DFASAM

Senior Editor: Karen Miotto, MD, FASAM                                                                                                         Assistant Editor: Nicholas Athanasiou, MD, MBA

Erin Foxworthy, Coordinator, Marketing, Membership & Engagement, Staff Editor

Bob Davis, Vice-President, Marketing, Membership & Engagement

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Articles included are reviewed on their merit at the discretion of ASAM Weekly’s Editor-in-Chief. Any relationship that exists with products or services advertised with content is coincidental and not an endorsement, guarantee or condemnation of said products or services. Similarly, the views and positions of any content published in ASAM Weekly are not necessarily endorsed by ASAM nor a reflection of ASAM’s beliefs and policies. The features are presented as a summary of the contemporary issues being represented and expressed in scientific, governmental, commercial, and media sources across the specialty field of addiction medicine. 

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