SAMHSA Prescription Drug Abuse Weekly Update
Issue 144  |  October 15, 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 Announcement Featured Article Journal Articles and Reports National Marijuana International Northeast/Mid-Atlantic News South News Midwest News West News Webinars Grant Awards Grant Announcements Take-Back Events Drop Boxes Upcoming Conferences and Workshops


SAMHSA Announces NREPP Open Submission Beginning Nov. 23, 2015

The next National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) open submission period will begin Nov. 23, 2015, and end Jan. 26, 2016. To read more about the minimum requirements for submitting a program, visit the NREPP website.

NREPP Redesign
A July 7, 2015, Federal Register notice announced the redesign of NREPP to better align the registry with the standards and processes of other evidence-based repositories. This notice explained changes to 1) the process for identifying new programs and practices for NREPP review, 2) the process for announcing open submission periods, 3) the minimum requirements to be considered for NREPP review, and 4) the review process. The notice also announced the intent to re-review currently posted NREPP programs and practices to comport with new review criteria and ratings. The re-review of programs and practices currently posted will take place over the course of the next several years, depending on available resources. A relaunch of the NREPP website will happen in phases. The first phase is planned for late fall/early winter of 2015. Read the full announcement here.

(Potential applicants should be aware that this notice includes updated information on the eligibility of interventions for inclusion in NREPP and changes in the program and practice review process that supersede guidance provided in earlier Federal Register notices.)

SAMHSA's Mission
The mission of SAMHSA is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities. Established in 1992, the agency was directed by Congress to target effective substance abuse and mental health services to the people most in need, and to translate research in these areas more effectively and more rapidly into the general healthcare system. NREPP is a key public resource SAMHSA has developed to help meet this directive.


P. Rose, J. Sakai, R. Argue, K. Froehlich, and R. Tang. 2015. "Opioid Information Pamphlet Increases Postoperative Opioid Disposal Rates: A Before Versus After Quality Improvement Study." Canadian Journal of Anesthesia/Journal Canadien D'anesthésie, doi:10.1007/S12630-015-0502-0.

A British Columbia hospital enrolled 226 total hip or knee arthroplasty patients who had no addiction history and were prescribed up to 30 mg of morphine equivalents daily. Both groups received standard care; the intervention group also received a pamphlet about opiate storage, disposal, and risks. Researchers surveyed the patients 4 weeks postoperatively, and 172 responded (76 percent). Among patients who had discontinued opioids, rates of proper disposal rose from 2/42 (5 percent) to 12/45 (27 percent) in those who received the pamphlet. There was no improvement in secure opioid storage or the proportion of patients weaned from opioids.

Read more:

S.W. Patrick, J.F. Burke, T.J. Biel, K.A. Auger, N.K. Goyal, and W.O. Cooper. 2015. "Risk of Hospital Readmission Among Infants with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome." Hospital Pediatrics 5(10):513–19, doi:1s0.1542/hpeds.2015-0024.

According to 2006–09 New York State hospital discharge census data, 1,643 of 752,000 newborns were diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) before discharge. Multivariate analysis showed infants with NAS were more likely than uncomplicated term infants to be readmitted within 30 days of birth hospitalizations (odds ratio 2.5), with a risk of readmission similar to late preterm infants.

Read more:

Journal Articles and Reports

S. Lake, K. Hayashi, J. Buxton, M.–J. Milloy, H. Dong, E. Wood, J. Montaner, and T. Kerr. 2015. "The Effect of Prescription Opioid Injection on the Risk of Non-Fatal Overdose Among People Who Inject Drugs." Drug and Alcohol Dependence, doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.09.026.

To compare nonfatal overdose rates, researchers used longitudinal data (December 2005 to May 2014) collected in Vancouver, Canada, including 10,686 reports by 1,660 people who inject drugs. Compared with those who injected nonopioids, the odds of self-reported nonfatal overdose were 1.2 for those who injected only prescription opioids (not significant, possibly because of the limited sample size with only 3–6 percent of respondents in this category in any time period and even fewer in the comparison group), 1.7 for those who injected only heroin, and 2.5 for those who injected both. The analysis controlled for incarceration, public injecting, assisted injecting, methadone maintenance treatment, heavy alcohol use, and noninjected prescription opioid use (overdose odds of 1.4). The study recruits on the street and through ongoing self-referral.

Read more:

B.C. Maughan, M.A. Bachhuber, N. Mitra, and J.L. Starrels. 2015. "Prescription Monitoring Programs and Emergency Department Visits Involving Opioids, 2004–2011." Drug and Alcohol Dependence, doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.09.024.

Analysis of Drug Abuse Warning Network data on quarterly rates of emergency department visits involving opioid analgesics for 2004–11 from 11 U.S. metropolitan areas that implemented a prescriber-accessible prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) during this period found a small and nonsignificant rate decline following PDMP implementation. The study did not adjust for PDMP features, consider PDMP usage rates, or include any control sites that did not implement PDMPs.

Read more:

C. Okunseri, R.A. Dionne, S.M. Gordon, E. Okunseri, and A. Szabo. 2015. "Prescription of Opioid Analgesics for Nontraumatic Dental Conditions in Emergency Departments." Drug and Alcohol Dependence, doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.09.023.

Analysis of the 2007–10 National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Surveys found nontraumatic dental conditions accounted for 1.7 percent of all emergency department visits, with half of visits resulting in a prescription for opioid analgesics. Among children ages 0–4, 4.5 percent were prescribed opioids, with 78 percent of those scripts for codeine and 22 percent for hydrocodone. At ages 5–18, 32 percent were prescribed opioids, with one fourth prescribed codeine, one fourth prescribed oxycodone, and half prescribed hydrocodone. Prescription of opioids was highest among patients 19–33 years old (57 percent), self-payers (57 percent), and non-Hispanic whites (53 percent).

Read more:

J. Reimer, N. Wright, L. Somaini L, C. Roncero, I. Maremmani, N. McKeganey, R. Littlewood, P. Krajci, H. Alho, and O. D'Agnone. 2015. "The Impact of Misuse and Diversion of Opioid Substitution Treatment Medicines: Evidence Review and Expert Consensus." European Addiction Research 22(2):99–106.

A systematic review of studies on misuse and diversion of opioid substitution treatment indicates misuse or diversion keeps patients from progressing in recovery and negatively affects health (through overdose and other risks associated with relapse). It also has broader community impacts, including increasing risk for purchasers and drug-related criminal behavior.

Read more:


Pharmacy Survey Finds Workers' Comp Drug Spend Increased 6.4 Percent Since 2014
Claims Journal
October 6, 2015

In CompPharma's 12th Annual Survey of Prescription Drug Management, workers' compensation payers reported a 6.4 percent boost in drug spending in 2014—the first increase since 2009. Respondents cited prescribing behavior, narcotics, and growth in prescriptions for compounds as the main cost drivers. Long-term opioid use retained its spot as payers' number one issue. Payers remain concerned about opioid dependency and addiction. Most of the physician dispensing comments related to patient safety, including the fear that injured workers may take duplicative or very similar drugs or more opioids and have longer claims durations. Nearly all respondents have implemented pharmacy management initiatives targeting opioids.

Read more:

Surgeon General Plans Substance Abuse Study
Peter Urban, GateHouse Media Washington Bureau
October 6, 2015

The U.S. Surgeon General's Office plans to release a first-ever "substance use, addiction, and health" report in 2016. This report will look at the best science on heroin, marijuana, and prescription opioids, as well as alcohol and other illicit and designer drugs.

Read more:

Seven Federal Bills Addressing the Country's Opioid Problem
Peter Urban, The Herald News
October 5, 2015

Seven pieces of legislation moving through the U.S. House and Senate address the country's growing opioid problem. The House has approved the Protecting Our Infants Act of 2015 (H.R. 1462 and S. 799), which directs the Department of Health and Human Services to develop a strategy for addressing gaps in research and programs for prenatal opioid use and neonatal abstinence syndrome. It has also approved the All Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 1725 and S. 480), which reauthorizes grants to maintain and operate prescription drug monitoring programs and encourage interstate cooperation. The Opioid Overdose Reduction Act of 2015 (H.R. 1821 and S. 707) would exempt individuals from liability for harm caused by the emergency administration of an opioid overdose drug under certain circumstances. The Heroin and Prescription Opioid Abuse Prevention, Education, and Enforcement Act of 2015 (H.R. 2805 and S. 1134) would establish a national drug awareness campaign that emphasizes similarities between heroin and prescription opioids. The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2015 (H.R. 953 and S. 524) would authorize the Attorney General to provide grants for expanding educational efforts to prevent opioid, heroin, and other substance abuse. The Recovery Enhancement for Addiction Treatment Act, or TREAT Act (H.R. 2536 and S. 1455), would increase the number of patients a qualifying practitioner dispensing narcotic drugs for maintenance or detoxification is allowed to treat. The Stop Overdose Stat Act of 2015 (H.R. 2850 and S. 1654) would require the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to distribute naloxone or similar overdose-prevention drugs and train the public, first responders, or health professionals on drug overdose prevention.

Read more:


C. Akrea, R.E. Bélanger, and J–C. Suris. 2015. "Cannabis Users Identifying Themselves as Non-Cigarette Smokers: Who Are They?" Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse 24(6):331–36, doi:10.1080/1067828X.2013.839406.

Focus groups with 19 cannabis users ages 16–25 who did not smoke cigarettes found participants understood cigarette smoking was risky and thought smoking marijuana was safer.

Read more:

M.H. Andreae, G.M. Carter, N. Shaparin, K. Suslov, R.J. Ellis, M.A. Ware, D.I. Abrams, H. Prasad, B. Wilsey, D. Indyk, M. Johnson, and H.S. Sacks. 2015. "Inhaled Cannabis for Chronic Neuropathic Pain: An Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis." The Journal of Pain, doi:10.1016/j.jpain.2015.07.009.

Meta-analysis of pooled data from 178 participants with 405 observed responses from five low-quality randomized controlled trials on inhaled cannabis versus placebo for treating chronic painful neuropathy found 18 percent more cannabis patients reported short-term reductions in pain, compared with placebo recipients. The authors warn that shortcomings in concealing who smoked cannabis, considerable dropout before follow-up, the small number of included studies and participants, and short follow-up limit the conclusions that can be drawn from the review.

Read more:

State, Local Officials Urge Brown to Sign Pot Bills
Jessica Calefati, Tracy Seipel, and Hunter Cresswell, San Jose Mercury News and the Times-Standard
October 5, 2015

Three California medical marijuana bills (AB 243, AB 266, and SB 643) would create state rules for growers and establish a business licensing framework for the medical marijuana industry. If Governor Brown does not veto the measures by mid-October, they will automatically become law.

Read more:

Edina Meeting Discusses Approved Conditions for Medical Marijuana Treatment
Rebecca Omastiak, KSTP
October 6, 2015

Minnesota health officials met in Edina to discuss adding intractable pain to the list of conditions approved for medical marijuana treatment. The Office of Medical Cannabis' Advisory Panel on Intractable Pain hosted the meeting.

Read more:

Lawmakers Want More Patients to Get Medical Marijuana
James Call, Tallahassee Democrat
October 7, 2015

Two Florida senators filed a bill expanding the Compassionate Medicinal Cannabis Act of 2014 by amending last year's Right to Try Act allowing terminally ill patients to use full-strength marijuana. The bill would make available any drug, product, or device that has completed the first phase of a clinical trial but has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. To gain access to marijuana, two doctors would have to certify a patient is terminally ill. The bill will also allow nurseries with a Charlotte's Web license to grow and dispense low–THC marijuana to cultivate full-strength marijuana, and produce a nonsmokable form of cannabis medicine.

Read more:

Rep. Regan: Medical Cannabis Task Force Report Being Reviewed by House (Column)
Representative Mike Regan, The York Daily Record
October 9, 2015

A 14-member task force of the Pennsylvania House presented its recommendations on legalization of medical cannabis. The report will be used to draft House and Senate bills. It recommends licenses the commonwealth would create to manufacture, process, and dispense medical cannabis and suggests how these licenses should be dispersed geographically. Legalized medical cannabis would only be allowed in the form of pills, oils, and material for vaporization, not in smokable or edible form. The panel recommends making medical cannabis available for 14 diseases, including HIV/AIDS, seizures, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Crohn's disease, damaged spinal column tissue, neuropathies, post-traumatic stress disorder, glaucoma, and chronic pain management.

Read more:

Ian Mulgrew: Medical Marijuana Ok for Judges, Lawyers, Juries?
Ian Mulgrew, The Vancouver Sun
October 4, 2015

A Vancouver Sun reporter talks to the Law Society of British Columbia about rules governing medical marijuana use by lawyers and guidelines for judges, lawyers, jurors, and others active in the administration of justice. The Law Society has no specific rules or guidance for medical marijuana use. The organization's communications officer said it would be no different than any other drug legally prescribed for a medical condition, and no obligation exists to reveal a medical condition to the courts or a regulator. The Public Prosecution Service, which prosecutes all federal drug charges and medical constitutional cases, said it does not have a policy that "specifically addresses the consumption of marijuana pursuant to a Health Canada authorization." No policy governs medical marijuana use by jurors in British Columbia, but the issue is on the ministry's radar for future discussion.

Read more:

Legal Experts Address Marijuana Legalization in Ohio
Tracey Read, The News-Herald
October 3, 2015

On November 3, Ohio residents will vote on Issue 3, or the Marijuana Legalization Initiative, that would create 10 facilities with exclusive rights to commercially grow marijuana. Residents will also vote on Issue 2, the Ohio Initiated Monopolies Amendment proposed by lawmakers in response to ResponsibleOhio's campaign to legalize marijuana. Issue 2 would require the Ohio Board of Trade to determine whether Issue 3, which permits only 10 pre-identified and spatially separated vendors, sets up a monopoly. If it does, residents would vote separately on legalizing marijuana and amending the state constitution to permit a ballot initiative that sets up a monopoly run by the petitioners who proposed the initiative, with affirmative votes on both issues required for state marijuana law to change. Mary Jane Trapp, an attorney with Thrasher Dinsmore and Dolan, said legalized marijuana would not necessarily affect the workplace, as long as it remains illegal under federal law. If only Issue 3 passes, employers and human resource professionals will need to review their employee handbooks to ensure their drug use policies are clear about recreational and medical marijuana. Joseph Roman, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, suggests employers get involved in the campaign to defeat Issue 3 and support Issue 2. He is concerned about workforce sobriety.

Read more:

$24M Medical Research Center Hinges on Ohio Legalizing Marijuana
Barrett J. Brunsman, Cincinnati Business Courier
October 7, 2015

The International Cannabinoid Institute Research Foundation plans to build a $24 million medical marijuana research center near Columbus if voters approve legalizing marijuana on November 3. The foundation claims to be an independent group of researchers, medical professionals, technology experts, engineers, and patient advocates committed to the discovery of advanced treatments using medicinal marijuana. Twelve unnamed donors would reportedly pay for the 40,000-square-foot medical marijuana research center. The 35-acre site would be owned by Dr. Suresh Gupta, who has a checkered legal history and is an investor in a group that will have the right to operate one of 10 marijuana farms in the state if Issue 3 is approved.

Read more:

Public Gets First—and Only Look—at Medical Marijuana Dispensary
Ben Hohenstatt, NewsTribune
October 5, 2015

The public got its first and last extensive look at the PharmaCannis Health and Wellness Center in Ottawa, Ill. The dispensary held an open house and launch party, but once the medicinal cannabis dispensary opens its doors, only patients and caregivers will be allowed in the building. There will be two security guards, and patients will need to present identification and their medical cannabis cards. Products are shipped pre-weighed, pre-measured and pre-sealed to the store. Patients must wait until they get home to open the childproof bags. The dispensary plans to open mid-November.

Read more:

Doctors Pioneer Pot as an Opioid Substitute
Chris Villani, Boston Herald
October 4, 2015

Dr. Gary Witman of Canna Care Docs, a network of facilities that issue medicinal marijuana cards in seven states, says he has treated about 80 patients who were addicted to opioids, muscle relaxers, or anti-anxiety medication with cannabis using a 1-month tapering program. More than 75 percent of these patients stopped taking hard drugs. Dr. Harold Altvater of Delta 9 Medical Consulting says he has also seen success with medical marijuana as a substitution therapy. Other doctors note the process is not as simple as substituting cannabis for opioids. Dr. Anil Kumar of the Advanced Pain Management Center is wary of giving medical marijuana to opioid addicts without extensive follow-up. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has no official position on using medicinal marijuana as an alternative for opioids.

Read more:

'Basic Information' Lacking on Medical Marijuana as a Treatment, Doctor Says
CBC News
October 7, 2015

Tim O'Callahan, president of the Essex County (Canada) Medical Society, does not have enough information about treatment to recommend medical marijuana to his patients. Dr. O'Callahan said as a primary care doctor, he has no idea how to appropriately screen patients to decide who is a good candidate for medical marijuana and who is not. He thinks the Canadian Cannabis Clinics office is "an interesting option" for doctors who may not personally feel comfortable prescribing marijuana to patients.

Read more:

Hemp Embassy Slams Plan to Triple Roadside Drug Tests in NSW
Darren Coyne, Echo NetDaily
October 6, 2015

The Victorian government is set to be the first state to approve medical cannabis, but it must first change some laws. New South Wales (NSW) police announced they will triple the number of roadside drug tests to 97,000 annually and are rolling out dedicated drug-testing vehicles in every NSW region. The Hemp Embassy advocacy group said the roadside drug testing regime has already had an impact on people who use cannabis as medicine.

Read more:


New Drug and Alcohol Testing Laws from 16 October
Chloe Taylor, Human Resources Director Magazine
October 6, 2015

Beginning October 16, amendments to the Australian Building Code 2013 will require contractors on publicly funded construction sites to have a policy in place for mandatory drug and alcohol testing. Human Resources Director Magazine interviews Claire Brattey, associate director at People + Culture Strategies, about what employers might consider following the legislative change. The Australian Drug Foundation has estimated drug and alcohol use costs Australian businesses $6 billion per year in lost productivity and absenteeism.

Read more:

Nova Scotia Doctor Says Physicians Bear Some Duty to Prevent Addictions
Elizabeth Chiu, CBC News
October 4, 2015

Peter MacDougall, a Nova Scotia pain management specialist, says doctors bear some responsibility in preventing pain reliever addiction among patients. MacDougall recommends monitoring patients to see how a medication is working, assessing any side effects, and determining if they are developing any other illnesses. He believes addressing addiction starts with doctors understanding their role in preventing dependency issues.

Read more:

Cape Breton Drug Users Will Get Kits of Opioid Overdose Drug Naloxone
Elizabeth Chiu, CBC News
October 7, 2015

Cape Breton and Halifax will receive $120,000 in provincial funding for 1-year pilot projects to address opioid overdose deaths. Agencies will distribute about 300 naloxone kits as part of the project. The funding will also pay for education and training. Drug users will learn about harm reduction, how to spot signs of an overdose, and how to safely administer the antidote. Cape Breton has the highest rate of overdose deaths per capita in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Read more:

Northeast/Mid-Atlantic News

Governor's Task Force to Take Measures Against Opioid Overdose
Hana Park, The Brown Daily Herald
October 8, 2015

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo formed a 32-member task force, including law enforcement and health officials, to address the opioid overdose epidemic. The Department of Health hopes to achieve several goals with a related grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to 1) make the prescription drug monitoring program more accessible and increase program registration, 2) ramp up education on opioid prescribing and making naloxone more available, 3) provide more community interventions for those at risk of overdose, 4) evaluate laws, policies, and regulations, including quantifying the impact of the now-expired Good Samaritan Law, and 5) implement a "rapid response project" that includes providing more data about overdoses in the state and making smaller grants available to community-based organizations.

Read more:

Suffolk County Legislature Votes to Sue Drug Makers
Cassandra Basler, WSHU
October 8, 2015

The Suffolk County, N.Y., Legislature has voted to hire attorneys and sue drug companies that make opioid-based pain relievers. The lawsuit will ask drug companies to reimburse the county for higher healthcare costs and police services related to the opioid misuse epidemic. Purdue Pharma said the company has trained 400 law enforcement officers and healthcare providers in Suffolk to combat opioid misuse and that it is a shame the county did not choose a more collaborative approach.

Read more:

Open House? Keep an Eye on Those Prescription Drugs
CBS News
October 8, 2015

Realtors in Norfolk County, Mass., will provide resealable plastic bags to homeowners to safeguard their prescription drugs before holding an open house. Sellers' open houses attract prescription drug thieves.

Read more:

South News

Herring Reports Progress and Continuing Crisis at One Year Mark of His Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Plan
Commonwealth of Virginia, Office of the Attorney General
October 7, 2015

Virginia Attorney General Herring reported first-year milestones for his Five Point Plan to Combat Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse. Although progress has been made in every segment of the plan, heroin and prescription drug fatalities continue to rise. In 2014, 728 Virginians lost their lives to heroin and prescription drug overdoses—up from 661 in 2013. In the past 5 years, fatal overdoses have increased by 57 percent, and nearly 3,000 Virginians have lost their lives. Herring's team has prosecuted 28 state and federal cases involving more than 95 kilograms of heroin, won passage of three lifesaving anti-overdose bills, held professionals accountable for making prescription opioids illegally available, and launched several prevention and education initiatives, with more coming in the months ahead.

Read more:

Survey Reveals Increased Marijuana, Prescription Drug Use
Courtney Schultz, South Charlotte Weekly
October 9, 2015

The 2015 Youth Drug Survey showed more Charlotte–Mecklenburg high school and middle school students are using marijuana and prescription medication compared with 2010 results. Higher percentages of students in 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th grades reported using prescription drugs compared with 2004 results.

Read more:

LCSO to Hold Series of Technology Safety and Drug Awareness Classes for Parents
Sharon Reed, Ashburn Patch
October 7, 2015

The Loudoun County (Va.) Sheriff's Office and Public Schools and Drug Enforcement Administration will begin a series of courses on Technology Safety and Drug Awareness at area schools. Two-part courses will help introduce Virginia parents to basic Internet safety and the dangers of heroin, synthetic, and prescription drug misuse. This article lists upcoming courses.

Read more:

Midwest News

Seventy-Four Overdoses in 72 Hours: Laced Heroin May Be to Blame
Jeremy Gorner, Peter Nickeas, and Rosemary Regina Sobol, Chicago Tribune
October 2, 2015

Officials reported that nearly 75 people overdosed in Chicago in 72 hours from dangerous batches of narcotics—possibly heroin laced with fentanyl. The drugs were purchased primarily from two West Side locations. The Drug Enforcement Administration is working with the Chicago Police Department to find the drugs' source. All recent overdose victims were stabilized with a single dose of Narcan® but required additional doses after arriving at the hospital.

Read more:

Lawmakers Target Prescription Drug Monitoring Program in Fight Against Opioid Epidemic
Wisconsin Health News
October 6, 2015

Joint Finance Committee Co-Chair Representative John Nygren and an injury prevention expert said reforms to the Wisconsin prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) could help combat the opioid epidemic. Nygren discussed four bills during the Wisconsin Society of Addiction Medicine's annual conference. One would require law enforcement to update the PDMP when they find prescription medication at the scene of an overdose. Two would collect data relating to methadone clinics and increase oversight of pain clinics. The final bill would require doctors to update the PDMP by midnight of the following business day after prescribing a new medication. Lawmakers are working with the Department of Safety and Professional Services on updating the PDMP and hope to get a new vendor by 2017.

Read more:

Adena Program Combats Drug Addiction in Babies
Sara Nealeigh, Chillicothe Gazette
October 3, 2015

Centering Pregnancy, a program offered at Ohio's Adena Medical Center, began in 2013 to supervise the safe, medically assisted detox of women experiencing addiction during pregnancy, while safely delivering and managing withdrawal symptoms in infants. The program is still seeing an increase in the number of babies born who test positive for drugs such as heroin. Throughout 2014, Adena delivered 1,035 babies: 100 tested positive for drugs, and 26 were treated with pharmacological interventions after birth. Between January and June, the hospital treated 22 babies—more than double the number treated during the same time last year.

Read more:

West News

Brown Signs Bills to Reduce Rx Use Among Foster Children
California Healthline
October 8, 2015

Governor Jerry Brown signed three bills aimed at reducing the amount of psychiatric medication prescribed to children in California's foster care system. SB 238 will require the state to provide more data on the number of children in foster care who are prescribed psychotropic drugs (and other medications that might cause harmful interactions); SB 319 will establish a system for public health nurses to monitor children in foster care taking psychotropic medications; and SB 484 will establish treatment protocols and state oversight of psychotropic drugs in group-home settings.

Read more:


National Survey on Drug Use and Health 2014 Results
Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network
October 22, 2015, 2–3:30 p.m. (EDT)

Ms. Jonaki Bose, National Survey on Drug Use and Health branch chief, will provide an overview of the 2014 survey results.


Grant Awards

Maryland Releases $608,000 More to Combat Opioid Epidemic
Josh Hicks, The Washington Post
October 7, 2015

Maryland awarded $608,000 in grants to address heroin and prescription pain reliever addiction. The City of Baltimore and eight counties will receive $35,000 each to educate residents about heroin paraphernalia and help conduct criminal investigations. Somerset County will receive $130,000 for gang-investigation training and investigative equipment.

Read more:

Grant Announcements

Workplace Wellness Grant Program
Wisconsin Department of Health Services
October 2, 2015

Grants are now available to Wisconsin small businesses with fewer than 50 employees to create workplace wellness programs.

Read more:

NJHI 2016: Building a Culture of Health in New Jersey—Communities Moving to Action, Round 2
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Deadline: January 14, 2016

New Jersey Health Initiatives (NJHI) will support up to 10 multisector, community-focused coalitions across the state to make sustainable systems changes and develop policy-oriented, long-term solutions for healthier living. This 4-year initiative expands the learning and action network of coalitions improving population health.

Read more:

2016 Grant Funding Cycle
Community Action Coalition
Deadline: October 16, 2015

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

NIDA Translational Avant-Garde Award for Development of Medication to Treat Substance Use Disorders
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health
Deadline: December 3, 2015

Take-Back Events

DEA'S Prescription Drug Take-Back Effort—A Big Success
United States Drug Enforcement Administration
October 1, 2015

WI DOJ Prescription Drug Take Back Day October 17
DeWitt Media (Wisconsin)
Accessed October 9, 2015

Ridgefield Police Participate in Drug Take Back Program on October 17 at Rite Aid
Captain Jeff Kreitz, HamletHub (Connecticut)
October 8, 2015

Prescription Drug Disposal Event Oct. 17
The Reporter (California)
October 7, 2015

Rx Drive-Thru Medicine Drop-Off Held in Hillsborough, Oct. 24
Carly Kilroy, Hillsborough Patch (New Jersey)
October 9, 2015

11 Tons of Prescription Drugs Removed in Take-Back Effort
CBS St. Louis (Illinois)
October 2, 2015

Over Three Tons of Unwanted Drugs Collected
Bob Glissman, World-Herald News Service (Nebraska)
October 4, 2015

'Drug Round-Up' Collects 160K Pills in Washoe County
MyNews4 (Nevada)
October 1, 2015

National Crackdown on Prescription Drug Abuse Proves Successful in Mich.
October 5, 2015

Police Collect 18,400 Pounds in Unwanted Prescription Drugs
WISH-TV (Indiana)
October 7, 2015

Kentucky Turns In 9,497 Pounds of Prescription Drugs
The Daily Independent (Kentucky)
October 6, 2015

DEA: Minn. Collects 5,600 lbs. of Drugs in Nat'l Prescription Drug Take-Back Day
CBS Minnesota
October 5, 2015

2,000 Pounds of Prescription Medication Collected in Bergen County Drug Take-Back Day
Katie Chi, WRCR (New York)
October 2, 2015

Take-Back Day Collects 1,199 Pounds of Drugs
Mike Emery, Pal-Item (Indiana)
October 4, 2015

Weld Cops Collect 1,000 Pounds of Prescriptions for Drug Take-Back, Hazardous Waste Facility Nets 9,000 Pounds
Joe Moylan, Greeley Tribune (Colorado)
October 2, 2015

Drop Boxes

Jackson PD Brings Back Prescription Drug Collection Bin
Don Frazier, WBRC (Alabama)
October 6, 2015

Police Drop Boxes Keep Old Pills Out of Wrong Hands
Hannah Ball, Tri-County Times (Michigan)
October 2, 2015

Local Groups Install Drop Box for Unwanted Meds
Cesar G. Rodriquez, Laredo Morning Times (Texas)
October 3, 2015

Upcoming Conferences and Workshops

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


Prescription Drug Abuse Summit
State of Arkansas
November 3, 2015
Hot Springs Convention Center
134 Convention Boulevard
Hot Springs, Arkansas

This summit aims to reduce deaths and addictions caused by prescription drug misuse by raising public awareness through partnerships with educational, medical, prevention, and treatment entities. The general public may also attend and will have the opportunity to hear from experts on prescription drug abuse prevention and treatment.

Read more:


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
Palm Springs, California

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.