FDA to Allow Drug Companies to Sell Wider Range of Opioid Addiction Treatments

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will allow drug companies to sell medications that reduce opioid cravings, even if they do not fully stop addiction, The New York Times reports. In a speech at the National Governors Association, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar noted only one-third of specialty addiction treatment programs offer medication-assisted treatment (MAT). “We want to raise that number — in fact, it will be nigh impossible to turn the tide on this epidemic without doing so,” he said. Azar added the FDA intends “to correct a misconception that patients must achieve total abstinence in order for MAT to be considered effective.” The FDA will encourage development of medications that can help patients function better and can be helpful when used in combination with therapy and other social support, even if the medications don’t completely end addiction, an agency official told the newspaper.
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SPOTLIGHT: Pasadena, CA Affiliate’s Treatment, Referral and Prevention Programs

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The Pasadena Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (PCADD), a program of Social Model Recovery Systems (SMRS), offers adult and adolescent treatment for alcohol and other drug problems. In addition, SMRS offers education, training, and consulting services for alcohol and other drug recovery treatment programs. PCADD Programs Outpatient Program The treatment program is designed to meet the needs of people suffering from alcoholism and drug dependence. Included are assessment and evaluation; treatment planning and access to other resources; supervised implementation of the plan; monitored 12-step meeting attendance; education on addiction topics and issues; facilitated recovery support groups, and weekly individual counseling and case management. The Aftercare program provides on-going recovery and treatment support for up to a year after completion of the program. Available to adolescents as well as adults, families are also considered and included in the recovery process offered by this program. Information and Referral Every month PCADD...
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DEA Announces Step to Increase Opioid Addiction Treatment

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The United States Drug Enforcement Administration announced a deregulatory measure that will make it easier for residents of underserved areas to receive treatment for opioid addiction. As published in the Federal Register, nurse practitioners and physician assistants can now become DATA-Waived qualifying practitioners, which give them authority to prescribe and dispense the opioid maintenance drug buprenorphine from their offices. Prior to the enactment of the Drug Abuse Treatment Act of 2000, only physicians could treat opioid addicts and had to register with DEA as both physicians and operators of Narcotic Treatment Programs. Waiving this second registration prompted more physicians to offer treatment services. The Federal Register notice is available here: This action brings DEA regulations into conformity with the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act passed by Congress and signed into law in 2016. Because the vast majority of DATA-Waived physicians prior to CARA served urban areas, rural parts of the...
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APA Releases New Practice Guideline on AUD Pharmacotherapy

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The American Psychiatric Association (APA) recently released a new practice guideline for the pharmacological treatment of alcohol use disorder (AUD). Despite the high prevalence of AUD and its significant public health consequences, patients with this disorder remain undertreated. The guideline aims to increase physician and public knowledge on the effectiveness and risks of the five medications that may be used for the treatment of AUD: acamprosate, disulfiram, gabapentin, naltrexone, and topiramate. Of these five, naltrexone and acamprosate have the best available evidence related to their benefits, and both have minimal side effects. As such, they should be considered the preferred pharmacological options for patients with moderate to severe AUD who want to reduce drinking or achieve abstinence. However, acamprosate should be avoided in patients with significant renal impairment, and naltrexone should be avoided in patients with acute hepatitis or liver failure, or in patients currently taking opioids or who may...
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FDA Approves First Monthly Injection to Treat Opioid Addiction

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The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first ever buprenorphine injection for the treatment of moderate-to-severe opioid use disorder (OUD) in adult patients. The new injection is the medication-assisted treatment (MAT) option, Sublocade, which provides a new treatment option for patients in recovery from opioid addiction who may value the benefits of a once-monthly injection, compared to other forms of buprenorphine treatment. MAT is a comprehensive approach that combines approved medications (currently, methadone, buprenorphine or naltrexone) with counseling and other behavioral therapies to help provide effective treatment and long-term recovery in patients with OUD. “Given the scale of the opioid crisis, with millions of Americans already affected, the FDA is committed to expanding access to treatments that can help people pursue lives of sobriety. Everyone who seeks treatment for opioid use disorder deserves the opportunity to be offered the treatment best suited to the needs of each individual patient,...
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Are Teens with Opioid Addiction Getting the Treatment They Need?

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Today’s opioid crisis knows no boundaries, especially when it comes to age. The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that “prescription and over the counter drugs [including prescription opioids] are among the most commonly abused drugs by 12th graders, after alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco.” Over the past 15 years, the number of children and teens hospitalized due to opioid poisoning has nearly doubled and it has been widely cited that most adults in treatment for opioid addiction started using illicit substances before the age of 18. These statistics make it clear that there is a need to effectively identify and treat addiction to opioids among young people in order to prevent the consequences of this disease from following them into adulthood, or worse — cutting their lives short. Unfortunately, young people are not receiving the opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment path most strongly recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics:...
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Patients Treated with Naloxone Continue to be at High Risk of Overdose: Study

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A new study finds 10 percent of people saved by the opioid overdose antidote naloxone die within a year of treatment. “Patients who survive opioid overdoses are by no means ‘out of the woods,'” lead study author Scott Weiner, MD, Director of the Brigham Comprehensive Opioid Response and Education Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, said in a news release. “These patients continue to be at high-risk for overdose and should be connected with additional resources such as counseling, treatment and buprenorphine.” The study, presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Emergency Physicians, found half of patients who died within a year of naloxone treatment died within one month of treatment, HealthDay reports.
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Study Highlights Unmet Treatment Needs Among Adults With Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders

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Despite current treatment guidelines, fewer than 10 percent of adults with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders receive treatment for both disorders, and more than 50 percent do not receive treatment for either disorder. The findings highlight a large gap between the prevalence of co-occurring disorders and treatment rates among U.S. adults and the need to identify effective approaches to increasing treatment for those with these conditions. An analysis of data from U.S. adults with both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder indicates that only 9.1 percent of those adults received both types of care over the past year, and 52.5 percent received neither mental health care nor substance use treatment. The study, based on data collected from the 2008-2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, reports that 3.3 percent of the adult U.S. population, or some 7.7 million individuals, suffers from both a mental...
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NIAAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator Helps Find Quality Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder

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Described as a “game-changer” by individuals in the alcohol treatment community! An important new online resource is now available to help people recognize and find high quality treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD), which affects more than 15 million adults in the United States. The NIAAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator helps individuals and their loved ones negotiate the often-complicated process of choosing treatment for alcohol misuse by telling them what they need to know, and what they need to do, to recognize and choose quality care. The landmark Navigator website is comprehensive, yet easy-to-use -- guiding users through a step-by-step process to find highly-qualified treatment professionals. It helps create informed consumers by describing AUD and the various treatment options available, explaining the importance of “evidence-based” practices, providing tips on how to recognize five signs of quality care, and recommending specific steps to find quality treatment, including 10 questions to ask potential...
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New Recommendations to Prevent and Treat Substance Use Disorders Issued

New Recommendations to Prevent and Treat Substance Use Disorders Issued
A comprehensive set of public policy recommendations for the prevention and treatment of substance use disorders were recently issued by the American College of Physicians (ACP). The findings were published in Annals of Internal Medicine . Drug overdose deaths, particularly from opioids such as prescription pain relievers and heroin, is a rising epidemic. ACP says that substance use disorders are treatable chronic medical conditions, like diabetes and hypertension, that should be addressed through expansion of evidence-based public and individual health initiatives to prevent, treat, and promote recovery. However, access to care for substance use disorders is limited. In 2014, 22.5 million people in the U.S. needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol use problem but only 18 percent received any treatment, far below treatment receipt rates for those with hypertension (77 percent), diabetes (73 percent), or major depression (71 percent). According to  Medical News Today , in order to...
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Facing Addiction and The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) are proud to announce the merger of our organizations – creating a national leader in turning the tide on the addiction epidemic.
The merged organization will be called:

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