SAMHSA Prescription Drug Abuse Weekly Update
Issue 138  |  September 3, 2015
The Prevention of Prescription Drug Abuse in the Workplace (PAW) TA Center addresses prescription drug abuse—a growing public health problem with increasing burdens on workers, workplaces, and our economy. To subscribe colleagues, family members, or friends to this listserv sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), please click here or send their e-mail addresses to
Table of Content Featured Article Journal Articles and Reports Professional Education and Policy Debate National Marijuana International Northeast/Mid-Atlantic News South News Midwest News West News Other Resources Webinars Archive Webinars Video Grant Announcement National Take-Back Initiative Take-Back Events and Drop Boxes Upcoming Conferences and Workshops


R. Lipari. 2015. The CBHSQ Report: Monthly Variation in Substance Use Initiation Among Full-Time College Students. Rockville, Md.: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality.

An analysis of 2002–13 National Survey on Drug Use and Health data from full-time college students looked at patterns by month of substance use initiation in the past year. On average, 700 students ages 18 to 22 started nonmedical use of pain relievers daily. Peak initiation months were November/December at 820–850 daily, with similarly high rates in April. Initiation of nonmedical stimulant use was also highest in November, December, and April at more than 500 new users per day, compared with an average 400 initiates daily throughout the year. There were about 1,000 new marijuana users daily, with a peak of 1,500 in June.

Read more:

Survey Analyzes ADHD Prescription Stimulant Misuse
Indiana Daily Student
August 23, 2015

With funding from Shire Pharmaceuticals (manufacturer of Vyvanse, an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder [ADHD] drug), the Coalition to Prevent ADHD Medication Misuse (CPAMM) developed a College Media Toolkit to raise awareness about prescription stimulants. A Harris Poll on misuse and diversion was conducted on CPAMM's behalf and administered between May 15 and June 11, 2014, to 2,056 U.S. 4-year college students ages 18–24. Of those, 91 percent were full-time students, 9 percent were part time, and 164 had been diagnosed with ADHD. Seventy-five percent of the students interviewed thought some of their peers had used ADHD prescription stimulants not prescribed to them. Forty percent of sorority/fraternity members and 36 percent of athletes said they were somewhat likely to use ADHD prescription stimulants in a way that differed from their doctors' instructions, compared with 23 percent of non-Greeks and 21 percent of nonathletes.

Read more:

Journal Articles and Reports

D.P. Alford, L. Zisblatt, P. Ng, S.M. Hayes, S. Peloquin, I. Hardesty, and J.L. White. 2015. "SCOPE of Pain: An Evaluation of an Opioid Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy Continuing Education Program." Pain Medicine, doi:10.1111/pme.12878.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) required manufacturers of extended-release/long-acting opioid analgesics to fund or provide comprehensive prescriber education on the safe use of these medications. Training will be based on the FDA's Blueprint for Prescriber Education for Extended Release and Long-Acting Opioid Analgesics curriculum. Boston University's Safe and Competent Opioid Prescribing Education (SCOPE:, a free, 3-hour online training, covers all aspects of the blueprint and more. Participants completed pre- and immediate posttests and were asked to fill out 2-month post-assessments. The 2,850 course participants and subset of 476 who completed the post-assessment (a 17 percent response rate) were clinicians licensed to prescribe extended-release/long-acting opioid analgesics, cared for patients with chronic pain, and completed the training between March 2013 and mid-June 2014. Immediately post-program, correct responses to knowledge questions rose from 60 percent to 84 percent, and 87 percent of participants planned to make practice changes. At 2 months post-program, only 69 percent of responses to knowledge questions were correct, 67 percent reported increased confidence in safe opioid prescribing care, and 86 percent reported implementing practice changes. Attitudes toward safe opioid prescribing also aligned better with the FDA's views.

Read more:

E. Austic, S.E. McCabe, S.A. Stoddard, E.Q. Ngo, and C. Boyd. 2015. "Age and Cohort Patterns of Medical and Nonmedical Use of Controlled Medication Among Adolescents." Journal of Addiction Medicine, doi:10.1097/ADM.0000000000000142.

In surveys of 5,185 Detroit-area students between 2009 and 2012, modal age at last assessment was 17. First-time use of controlled medication peaked at age 16, when 11.3 percent started medical use, and 3.4 percent began nonmedical use. In the 1996–2000 birth cohort, 82 percent of medical users and 76 percent of nonmedical users initiated use by age 12. In the 1991–95 birth cohort group, 42 percent of medical users and 35 percent of nonmedical users initiated use by 12.

Read more:

T. Barrett, K. Kostenbader, S. Nalamachu, M. Giuliani, and J.L. Young. 2015. "Safety and Tolerability of Biphasic Immediate-Release/Extended-Release Oxycodone/Acetaminophen Tablets: Analysis of 11 Clinical Trials." Pain Practice, doi:10.1111/papr.12324.

Pooling data from 1,106 people spread across 11 clinical trials of tramadol or immediate- or extended-release oxycodone, more than 10 percent of opioid recipients reported pruritus, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, and somnolence. These adverse events occurred with similar frequency for oxycodone alone or combined with acetaminophen (APAP) but with less frequently for tramadol/APAP. Less than 10 percent of oxycodone recipients experienced constipation.

Read more:

G.M. Campbell, R. Bruno, Raimondo, S. Darke, Shane, F. Shand, W. Hall, M. Farrell, and L. Degenhardt. 2015. "Prevalence and Correlates of Suicidal Thoughts and Suicide Attempts in People Prescribed Pharmaceutical Opioids for Chronic Pain." Journal of Pain, doi:10.1097/AJP.0000000000000283.

The Pain and Opioids IN Treatment (POINT) study includes 1,514 community-based Australians prescribed opioids for chronic noncancer pain. At baseline, 36.5 percent reported past-year suicidal ideation, and 16.4 percent had attempted suicide after the onset of their pain condition, including 2.5 percent in the past year. General suicide risk factors—but not pain characteristics or response—were associated with past-year ideation. A lower pain self-efficacy score was modestly but significantly associated with past-year ideation-to-action.

Read more:

G.L.F. Cheng, Y–P. Liu, C.C.H. Chan, K–F. So, H. Zeng, and T.M.C. Lee. 2015. "Neurobiological Underpinnings of Sensation Seeking Trait in Heroin Abusers." European Neuropsychopharmacology, doi:10.1016/j.euroneuro.2015.07.023.

Magnetic resonance imaging and self-reported personality traits (Zuckerman's Sensation Seeking Scale and Barratt Impulsivity Scale) administered to 33 abstinent heroin users and 30 matched healthy controls in Hong Kong showed a high sensation-seeking tendency was associated with smaller midbrain structural volume in heroin users. Importantly, coupling between the midbrain and ventromedial prefrontal cortex was stronger and between the midbrain and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was weaker.

Read more:

G. Cochran, J. Rubinstein, J.L. Bacci, T. Ylioja, and R. Tarter. 2015. "Screening Community Pharmacy Patients for Risk of Prescription Opioid Misuse." Journal of Addiction Medicine, doi:10.1097/ADM.0000000000000148.

In a convenience sample of rural and urban community pharmacies in an unreported state, 164 adult noncancer patients with opioid prescriptions completed a survey (87 percent response rate), revealing positive screens for opioid misuse risk (14.3 percent), illicit drug use (7.3 percent), hazardous alcohol use (21.4 percent), depression (25.8 percent), and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (17.1 percent). In multivariate analysis, odds of a positive opioid medication misuse risk score rose with a positive screen for illicit drug use (odds ratio [OR] 12.96) or PTSD (OR 13.3).

Read more:

I.P. Ilieva and M.J. Farah. 2015. "Attention, Motivation, and Study Habits in Users of Unprescribed ADHD Medication." Journal of Attention Disorders, doi:10.1177/1087054715591849.

Recruiting participants through campus flyers and university websites, this study compared 61 Philadelphia students who were misusing stimulants and 67 controls who had never used stimulants. Another 24 students completed only part of the survey, and 24 were excluded, including 10 who drank heavily or slept little the night before planned testing. (Editor's note: The latter exclusion means respondents were not representative of stimulant misusers.) The data replicated previous findings of relatively lower self-reported attention functioning in stimulant users. User–control differences in attention were still present but less pronounced on objective measures than on self-report. Stimulant users had lower motivation during cognitive testing and less optimal study than their nonusing peers.

Read more:

Professional Education and Policy Debate

G. Christie. 2015. "Independent Non-Medical Prescribing for Paramedics." Nursing Standard 29(51):36–39, doi:10.7748/ns.29.51.36.e9771.

This article discusses the paramedic's evolving role and names the benefits of independent nonmedical prescribing of naloxone for the paramedic profession and patients.

Read more:

V. Modesto–Lowe, M. Chaplin, S. Sinha, and K. Woodard. "Universal Precautions to Reduce Stimulant Misuse in Treating Adult ADHD." Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, 82(8):506–12, doi:10.3949/ccjm.82a.14131.

Stimulants have significant potential for misuse. This article describes a "universal precautions" approach for reducing risks while promoting appropriate medication use.

Read more:


Heroin, Painkiller Abuse on Agenda at Drug Summit in Detroit
August 26, 2015

Federal law enforcement authorities from Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia met in Detroit to discuss heroin use and pain reliever misuse, as well as possible solutions to the problem. U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade hosted the private summit. (Includes video: 2:37 minutes)

Read more:


F.M. Filbey, T. McQueeny, S. Kadamangudi, C. Bice, and A. Ketcherside. 2015. "Combined Effects of Marijuana and Nicotine on Memory Performance and Hippocampal Volume." Behavioural Brain Research 293:46–53, doi:10.1016/j.bbr.2015.07.029.

Researchers examined the individual and combined correlations of marijuana and tobacco use with hippocampal volumes and memory performance in four groups taken from two larger studies: 36 marijuana-only users, 19 nicotine-only users, 19 combined marijuana and nicotine users, and 16 nonusing controls. The marijuana and marijuana-plus-nicotine groups had smaller total hippocampal volumes compared with nicotine-only users and controls. Immediate and delayed story recall did not differ significantly between groups.

Read more:

L. French, C. Gray, G. Leonard, M. Perron, G.B. Pike, L. Richer, J.R. Séguin, S. Veillette, C.J. Evans, E. Artiges, T. Banaschewski, A.W.L. Bokde, U. Bromberg, R. Bruehl, C. Buchel, A. Cattrell, P.J. Conrod, H. Flor, V. Frouin, J. Gallinat, H. Garavan, P. Gowland, A. Heinz, H. Lemaitre, J–L. Martinot, F. Nees, D. Papadopoulos Orfanos, M.M. Pangelinan, L. Poustka, M. Rietschel, M.N. Smolka, H. Walter, R. Whelan, N.J. Timpson, G. Schumann, G.D. Smith, Z. Pausova, and T. Paus. 2015. "Early Cannabis Use, Polygenic Risk Score for Schizophrenia and Brain Maturation in Adolescence." JAMA Psychiatry, doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.1131.

This study pooled data from three population-based samples, including 1,024 adolescents in the Canadian Saguenay Youth Study, 426 adolescents in the IMAGEN Study from eight European cities, and 504 male youths in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children in England. Among a subset of 1,574 youths with all required data, cannabis use in early adolescence was negatively correlated with cortical thickness in male participants who had a high polygenic risk score for schizophrenia across 108 genetic loci, but not among low-risk male participants or low- or high-risk female participants. In the British high-risk male group, those who used cannabis most frequently (≥ 61 occasions) had lower cortical thickness than those who never used cannabis or used it less heavily.

Read more:

D. Pagliaccio, D.M. Barch, R. Bogdan, P.K. Wood, M.T. Lynskey, A.C. Heath, and A. Agrawal. 2015. "Shared Predisposition in the Association Between Cannabis Use and Subcortical Brain Structure." JAMA Psychiatry, doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.1054.

Among 483 participants (22–35 years old) enrolled in the Human Connectome Project, 262 reported trying cannabis. Brain volumes did not differ between sex-matched siblings discordant for use. Although those who had tried marijuana had slightly smaller left amygdala and right ventral striatum volumes, these volumetric differences were within the range of normal variation. The association between left amygdala volume and cannabis use largely resulted from genetic factors.

Read more:

Why Medical Marijuana Can Still Get You Fired in Illinois
Alexia Elejalde–Ruiz, Chicago Tribune
August 21, 2015

Although the Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act prohibits employers from discriminating against a marijuana patient, the act permits companies to drug test, enforce zero-tolerance policies, and discipline qualifying patients for violations. The Illinois law does not protect patients from being fired for failing a drug test. Employers can accommodate a worker's medical marijuana use, but they are not required to do so. The Illinois Human Rights Act and Americans with Disabilities Act both exclude use of marijuana and other Schedule I (illegal) drugs from protection.

Read more:

Reno's First Medical Marijuana Shop Opening Wednesday
Tyler Hersko, Reno Gazette-Journal
August 25, 2015

Sierra Wellness Connection will soon become the first medical marijuana dispensary in Reno, Nev. The dispensary will offer at least six strains of medical marijuana in its own glassware, as well as informational books and videos. Staff have been trained to answer questions about the differences between strains and recommended dosages. The company has a marijuana cultivation facility and plans to expand to Carson City.

Read more:

Cannabis Dispensary Plans Unveiled in Merrimack
Kimberly Houghton, Union Leader
August 25, 2015

The Prime Alternative Treatment Center of New Hampshire, which is proposing a medical cannabis dispensary facility, and New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services hosted a public meeting to discuss their plans. The dispensary would include security cameras, secure interior vaults, and a clean, professional environment similar to a medical facility.

Read more:

Patients Urge Expansion of Medical Marijuana Program
August 27, 2015

The Minnesota Department of Health's Office of Medical Cannabis held a public forum in Rochester to gather input on adding intractable pain to its list of qualifying conditions. The state's health commissioner has until January 1 to decide.

Read more:

The Progress and Pitfalls of Medical Marijuana
Katharine Quarmby, Discover Magazine
August 18, 2015

Researchers have identified two types of cannabinoid receptors: CB1, which is mostly found in the brain and spinal cord, and CB2, found mainly on cells in the immune system. These receptors are activated by cannabinoids made by the body (endocannabinoids), as well as synthetic cannabinoids and those in plants. Many researchers believe the individual components of cannabis are more effective than using the whole plant. Focusing on certain components would also obviate a patient's need to smoke. Dr. Wai Liu's team at the University of London St. George's Medical School has shown cannabinoids target the signaling pathways mutated in cancer cells, which tell cells to keep growing. With no supporting medical evidence, Dr. Liu says this has led some patients to illegally buy cannabis oil online. Liu is also concerned patients could be self-medicating with contaminated oil. Other chemicals within cannabis (minor cannabinoids) could work to counteract the beneficial effects of THC and cannabidiol. THCV, for example, blocks the CB1 receptor but partially activates the CB2 receptor, which some speculate might treat stroke or drug dependence. A review of medical cannabis's efficacy for a number of conditions was published in summer 2015. After examining 28 databases, the authors found moderate evidence that medical cannabis may help relieve spasticity in multiple sclerosis and neuropathic and chronic pain. Alice O'Leary–Randall, an American pioneer in the medical cannabis field, says consistent education on medical cannabis and the endocannabinoid system is needed among healthcare professionals.

Read more:

Kevlar for the Mind: Marijuana for PTSD Needs More Study
Bret A. Moore, Military Times
August 29, 2015

Bret Moore, a board-certified clinical psychologist who served two tours in Iraq, discusses the uncertainly of using marijuana for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The National Center for PTSD reports marijuana can be harmful to people with the disorder, and decades of research have linked problems like respiratory disease to its use. Dr. Moore believes additional research is needed to demonstrate the safety and benefits of marijuana for PTSD treatment. Until then, he recommends not promoting or sanctioning its use for medical disorders at the state or federal level.

Read more:


Prescription Drug Abuse Is a 'National Emergency,' WA Branch of Australian Medical Association Says
Laura Gartry, ABC News
August 26, 2015

Prescription drug abuse is increasing at an alarming rate and has become a "national emergency." West Australians were more likely to misuse pharmaceuticals (5.6 percent) than any other state or territory, according to a 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey. In Victoria, prescription overdoses exceeded the state road toll in 2013. ScriptWise, an advocacy organization, is calling on state governments to invest in community education on prescription drug dangers.

Read more:

Third of Students Use Legal Drugs to 'Get High'
Catherine Shanahan, Irish Examiner
August 28, 2015

Ireland's 2014 National Student Drugs Survey found 30 percent of students have used medications prescribed by their general practitioner to "get high," while only 18 percent have used nonprescription drugs. Six percent used nonprescribed opioids, and 12 percent used benzodiazepines (Xanax or Zopiclone) in the past year.

Read more:

The Two Million Britons Hooked on Painkillers: Prescription Drugs Acquired from Friends, Dealers and Online Are Used to Get High
Ian Drury, Daily Mail
August 26, 2015

The Office of National Statistics reported 2 million Britons are now misusing medication acquired from other people. About 5.4 percent of 16- to 59-year-olds misused pain relievers in the past year, including 520,000 under age 25.

Read more:

Continuing Education for Opioid Prescribing Should Be Mandatory: CMA
The Canadian Press
August 24, 2015

Dr. Douglas Grant, registrar of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia, spoke at the Canadian Medical Association's annual meeting, telling participants that continuing medical education on opioid prescribing should be mandatory. Dr. Grant said doctors have become less aware and concerned about opioids' potential danger and take too casual an approach to prescribing potent pain relievers.

Read more:

Drugs Warning for Young People After 'Worrying' Number of Emergency Admissions to Stockton Hospital
Dave Robson, The Gazette
August 25, 2015

The UK University Hospital of North Tees issued a warning for young people to steer clear of prescription medicines, after a group of 12- to 16-year-olds took a drug cocktail and landed in the hospital. Seven were at the same party and consumed gabapentin, amitriptyline, diazepam, and cocaine.

Read more:

Northeast/Mid-Atlantic News

Christie Vetoes Recovery High School Bill
Patrick Bober, Union News Daily
August 22, 2015

Governor Chris Christie conditionally vetoed a bill that would have created three New Jersey high schools for students recovering from drug and alcohol dependency. He said the bill would "unnecessarily restrict access to these programs as a result of overly burdensome state oversight and regulation." Senator Ray Lesniak will continue to pursue this matter.

Read more:

The Heroin Epidemics Toll: One County, 70 Minutes, Eight Overdoses
Lenny Bernstein, The Washington Post
August 23, 2015

Washington, Pa., responded to 16 heroin overdoses in 24 hours and 25 overdoses in a 2-day span. Three people died, and many others were treated with naloxone. More than 50 fatal overdoses have occurred in Washington County this year. Authorities are finding bags stamped with "MADE IN COLUMBIA" and "BLACKJACK." Both types of heroin are laced with fentanyl.

Read more:

People Struggling to Get Narcan in NH Despite State Law Making It Legal
Allie Morris, Political Monitor
August 22, 2015

Somersworth residents are having trouble getting Narcan® because drugstores do not stock it, and several Concord pharmacies have yet to see a prescription. The Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services plans to purchase about 9,000 doses of Narcan® and distribute the drug to first responders, healthcare providers, and addicts or their families at no cost. The state is also in the process of developing an educational brochure that will be distributed along with the drug.

Read more:

Del. Gets Gift of 2,000 Drug OD–Reversal Kits
Robin Brown, The News Journal
August 26, 2015

The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services helped facilitate a donation of 2,000 naloxone kits that have been distributed to high school nurses, paramedics, police departments, and treatment centers.

Read more:

NY Doctors' Group Wants Veterans Hospitals in Drug Database
San Francisco Chronicle
August 26, 2015

The New York State Academy of Family Physicians sent a letter to the Veterans Administration, urging its hospitals and medical facilities to help prevent doctor shopping by joining the state's prescription drug database.

Read more:

Ipswich Police Outfit Cruisers with Narcan
Amanda Ostuni, The Salem News
August 26, 2015

The Ipswich Police Department in Massachusetts announced its cruisers will carry Narcan®.

Read more:

South News

Abuse Counselors Headed to Blossom Park After 15 Overdoses
News 13
August 21, 2015

Mayor Teresa Jacobs is sending substance abuse counselors to an Orange County (Fla.) condo complex after 15 people overdosed on heroin in a 24-hour period, resulting in three deaths. Counselors will stay the week to provide assessments and education on treatment options and community resources.

Read more:

Novant to Offer Electronic Prescriptions for Controlled Drugs
Richard Craver Winston-Salem Journal
August 26, 2015

Novant Health Incorporated will introduce an e-prescription service, MyID, which has a fingerprint reader allowing providers to prescribe controlled substances to pharmacies quickly and securely. Implementation will start in Charlotte, N.C., clinics in September and October, in Winston–Salem in late October and November, and in the rest of the Triad area by year's end.

Read more:

Midwest News

New Tennessee Law Puts Restrictions on Suboxone, Subutex Prescribing
Kylie McGivern, WJHL
August 27, 2015

Effective July 1, Tennessee's Addiction Treatment Act of 2015 aims to reduce buprenorphine prescriptions and curb misuse. Buprenorphine had been prescribed for chronic pain management, but such use is no longer allowed under Tennessee law. Subutex can only be used for nursing or pregnant women, or those allergic to Suboxone. The law also limits Suboxone dosages. Doctors who prescribe patients more than 16 mg buprenorphine a day will be required to refer those patients to an addiction specialist for a second opinion. (Includes video: 3:39 minutes)

Read more:

Heroin Deaths Could Mean Charges for Suppliers Under New Initiative
John Futty and Theodore Decker, The Columbus Dispatch
August 28, 2015

In Ohio, supplying drugs that lead to a fatal overdose could come with a manslaughter sentence. Now, every heroin overdose death in Franklin County will be analyzed by two detectives to determine who supplied the drug. Other law enforcement agencies have been contacted to join the effort, possibly forming a task force called the "Heroin-Overdose-Death Project."

Read more:

Tool to Prevent Theft of Prescription Drugs: Milwaukee Walgreens First in the State to Install New Safe
Jonathon Gregg, Fox 6 News
August 25, 2015

A Milwaukee Walgreens store installed a time-sensitive safe—a first in Wisconsin. The longer criminals have to wait for drugs, the longer they will be watched by surveillance cameras. This also provides more time for police to be called and for officers to arrive on scene. Walgreens plans to install similar safes in all its Wisconsin stores. (Includes video: 2:02 minutes)

Read more:

NCADA, Mallinckrodt and State of Missouri Partner to Provide Safe Drug Disposal Systems to St. Louis Community
Jared Opsal, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
August 24, 2015

Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals is donating 1,000 drug deactivation pouches to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (NCADA), making them available for distribution through community coalitions and at town hall events and health fairs. The Missouri State Department of Mental Health Division of Behavioral Health will provide NCADA with funding to purchase additional bags that will be given out for free.

Read more:

Kosciusko Police Trained to Administer Nasal Spray That Reverses Overdoses
Kayla Crandall, WPTA-TV
August 21, 2015

The Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department in Indiana trained its deputies to recognize overdose symptoms and properly administer naloxone.

Read more:

West News

Judge Halts Counties' Lawsuit Against 5 Narcotic Drug Manufacturers
Lisa Girion, Los Angeles Times
August 27, 2015

Orange County Superior Court Judge Robert J. Moss halted a government lawsuit against five narcotics manufacturers. Orange and Santa Clara Counties accused the companies of fraudulently marketing addictive pain relievers to undermine the effect of Food and Drug Administration (FDA)–required warning labels. Purdue Pharma's attorney asked for the lawsuit to be thrown out because it duplicated FDA efforts, which could risk issuing a decision at odds with the agency. Judge Moss put the case on hold indefinitely to allow the FDA to complete a pending inquiry on the safety and efficacy of pain relievers. He agreed to dismiss the suit as long as the drug makers agreed to allow the counties to revive it, without forfeiting any potential damages, once the FDA finishes its inquiry. The county's attorney is considering an appeal.

Read more:

Spirit Lake Declares State of Emergency in Fight Against Drug Trafficking
Kevin Bonham, Grand Fork Herald
August 26, 2015

In an effort to combat illegal drugs and drug trafficking, North Dakota's Spirit Lake Tribe has declared a state of emergency. The Spirit Lake resolution calls on the tribe to cooperate with federal, state, and local authorities to restore peace and safety. It does not address potential actions or penalties that might be imposed in drug crime convictions, but banishment from tribal enrollment is a possibility.

Read more:

San Francisco Police Officers Train to Administer Drug to Help Overdose Victims
NBC Bay Area
August 28, 2015

San Francisco police officers are being trained to administer naloxone to overdose victims. In July 2015, naloxone reversed 75 overdoses, compared with 25 in July 2014. (Includes video: 1:33 minutes)

Read more:

Hoag Opens On-Site Rehab Facility in Newport Beach
Courtney Perkes, The Orange County Register
August 25, 2015

SolMar Recovery is a 21-bed residential substance abuse treatment center in Newport Beach—the first in California on an acute-care hospital campus. The new facility is within walking distance from Hoag Hospital's inpatient detox unit. It offers stays of 30, 60, or 90 days and accepts insurance.

Read more:

Other Resources

Expanded National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week Begins January 25
National Institutes of Health
August 27, 2015

January 25–31, 2016, is National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week. The observance brings together teens and scientific experts to shatter myths about substance use and addiction. Event holders are provided with an online toolkit to create and publicize an event, find an expert, and obtain scientific information on drugs. This year, three interactive tools can be projected on large screens at events or used with mobile devices: the online 2016 National Drug and Alcohol IQ Challenge; Choose Your Path, a video encouraging students to make smart decisions about prescription drugs; and the interactive version of the poster Drugs + Your Body: It Isn't Pretty, which highlights drugs' effects on the teen body.

Read more:

American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) to Host Live Mini-Course at PAINWeek: AAPM Returns to Present Essential Tools for Treating the Patient in Pain
August 24, 2015

On September 9, the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) will present a 4-hour version of Essential Tools for Treating the Patient in Pain™. This mini-course offers participants a chance to sample content and speakers from the full Essentials™ course, typically offered during AAPM's annual meeting. The Essentials™ program at PAINWeek will include the following sessions: Strategies for Success with Chronic Opioid Therapy, Understanding and Treating Neuropathic Pain, Anatomy of Ouch: The Pathophysiology of Pain, and The Science Behind Marijuana as an Analgesic.

Read more:

Webinars Archive

Individualizing Evidence-Based MAT for Opioid-Use Disorder: Improving Patient Outcomes Through Adherence to Therapy
Accessed August 28, 2015

This free set of slides, materials, and Webcast transcript describes how to manage patients with opioid use disorders. The instructional materials largely use a case-based approach, asking participants to make treatment choices and illustrating important principles for care. (Includes pre- and posttest and an evaluation.)

Read more:

Preventing Substance Use Disorders Among College and 'Non-College' 18- to 25-Year-Olds: Young Adults in the Workplace
July 15, 2015, 3–4 p.m. (EDT)

Young adults not enrolled in college have some of the highest rates of substance use disorders in the country. Though workplace-related collaborations have been shown to play an important role in reaching and engaging this group in prevention efforts, practitioners face unique challenges bringing employers to the prevention table. SAMHSA's Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies, representatives from the Division of Workplace Programs' (DWP) Prevention of Prescription Abuse in the Workplace Technical Assistance Center, and past DWP Young Adult in the Workplace grantees and contractors explored these challenges and evidence-based and innovative collaborative approaches to overcoming them.

Read more:





CDC Opioid Prescribing Guidelines Public Webinar
National Center for Injury Prevention and Control
September 16, 2015, 2–5 p.m. (EDT)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidelines for prescribing opioid pain relievers to patients 18 and older for chronic, non-end-of-life care in outpatient settings. These guidelines target primary care providers and intend to equip physicians with uniform recommendations based on the most recent scientific evidence. The Webinar offers an opportunity for the public to provide feedback on the feasibility and reasonability of each recommendation, as CDC experts walk through the 12 draft top-line prescribing suggestions.

Read more:


Addressing the Prevention Needs of College Students: Collecting Data and Fostering Buy-In
SAMHSA's Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies
October 1, 2015, 3–4:30 p.m. (EDT)

When working to prevent substance misuse among college students, it is essential to obtain campus support for data collection and prevention efforts. This Webinar will explore options for accessing both primary and secondary data on college students and discuss approaches for engaging key stakeholders.

Read more:


Board of Pharmacy Prescription Drug Awareness
Watson Noemi, Daily Motion
August 23, 2015

This public service announcement by the California Board of Pharmacy discusses prescription safety. (Duration: 60 seconds)


Grant Announcement

NIDA Translational Avant-Garde Award for Development of Medication to Treat Substance Use Disorders
National Institutes of Health
Deadline: December 3, 2015

This award will support outstanding basic and/or clinical researchers with the vision and expertise to translate discoveries into medications for substance use disorders stemming from tobacco, cannabis, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, or prescription opiate use.

Read more:

2015 Healthy Living Grant Program
American Medical Association
Deadline: September 11, 2015, 5 p.m. (Central)

Partnership for Clean Competition
Pre-applications due November 1
Full applications due December 1

National Take-Back Initiative

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day
Drug Enforcement Administration
September 26, 2015, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Various locations nationwide

Take-Back Events and Drop Boxes

Nearly 300 Pounds of Drugs Collected in Grand Forks
Kelsie McMahon, WDAZ (North Dakota)
August 25, 2015

Prescription Drop Box Opens in Madison County
Meredith Wood, WAAY (Alabama)
August 27, 2015

Guilford Plans Prescription Drug 'Take Back' Sept. 5
Tim Rizzo, New Haven Register (Connecticut)
August 24, 2015

Audio: Rehoboth Police to Host Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Sept 12
Jon Budler, 105.9 FM (Delaware)
August 24, 2015

Taking It Back: Help Prevent Prescription Abuse
Christine Cabalo, HI Military (Hawaii)
August 23, 2015

Madison County Collection of Expired Prescription Drugs Program Continues to Grow
Dan Brannan, (Illinois)
August 26, 2015

Florence PD to Host Event for Disposal of Old, Unused Medication
Alex Suckow, WLWT (Kentucky)
August 26, 2015

Montgomery County Law Enforcement Agencies Conduct Drug Take-Back Day
Montgomery County Department of Police (Maryland)
August 24, 2015

Wakefield Post Unveils Drop Box for Unused Medicine
The Daily Globe (Michigan)
August 22, 2015

Local Law Enforcement Participates in Take Back Day
Gaylord Herald Times (Michigan)
August 25, 2015

Hamptons Big Red Med Box Allows for Responsible Medication Disposal
Nicole Barylski, (New York)
Accessed August 26, 2015

Sag Harbor Pharmacy Creates New Medication Disposal Method
Priscila Korb, East Hampton Patch (New York)
August 28, 2015

Lexington to Open Second Prescription Drug Drop Box
Joe Gamm, Greensboro News & Record (North Carolina)
August 26, 2015

Sevierville Police Prompt Community to Participate in 'Take Back' Event
WATE (Tennessee)
August 24, 2015

Expired, Unwanted Medications to Be Collected at Shaler North Hills Library
Rachel Farkas, Trib Total Media (Pennsylvania)
August 25, 2015

Upcoming Conferences and Workshops

SCOPE of Pain Training
Oakland County Prescription Drug Abuse Partnership
October 3, 2015
Waterford, Michigan


Sixth Annual Prescription Drug Abuse Symposium
State of Indiana, Attorney General's Office
October 28–29, 2015
Indianapolis, Indiana


143rd Annual Meeting and Exposition—Health in All Policies
American Public Health Association
October 31–November 4, 2015
Chicago, Illinois


2015 Fall Research Conference: The Golden Age of Evidence-Based Policy
Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management
November 12–14, 2015
Miami, Florida


28th Annual National Prevention Network Conference: Bridging Research to Practice
National Prevention Network
November 17–19, 2015
Seattle, Washington


University of Michigan Injury Center Prescription Drug Overdose Summit
University of Michigan Injury Center
December 1, 2015
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Ensuring Access to Pain Care: Engaging Pain Medicine and Primary Care Teams
American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM)
February 18–21, 2016
Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel
888 E Tahquitz Canyon Way
Palm Springs, California

AAPM's annual meeting will feature expert faculty, educational sessions on the latest topics in pain, and an unparalleled opportunity to network with fellow practitioners and nationally recognized field leaders.

Read more:

2016 National Rx Drug Summit
March 28–31, 2016
Atlanta, Georgia
The Weekly Update is a service provided by the SAMHSA Preventing Prescription Abuse in the Workplace Technical Assistance Center (PAW) to keep the field abreast of recent news and journal articles to assist in forming policy, research, and programs to reduce prescription drug misuse or abuse. Please note, the materials listed are not reflective of SAMHSA's or PAW's viewpoint or opinion and are not assessed for validity, reliability or quality. The Weekly Update should not be considered an endorsement of the findings. Readers are cautioned not to act on the results of single studies, but rather to seek bodies of evidence. Copyright considerations prevent PAW from providing full text of journal articles listed in the Weekly Update.