Some Families Use Consultants to Find Addiction Treatment for Loved Ones

Some Families Use Consultants to Find Addiction Treatment for Loved Ones
A small number of consultants are advising families on treatment options for addiction, The New York Times reports. Their services can be very expensive. One service charges about $10,000 a year, while another charges $5,000 to $10,000 to set up an initial plan of care, and an additional $5,000 a month for close monitoring for six months. Addiction treatment itself can cost tens of thousands of dollars a month for residential treatment, the article notes. Even people with good insurance often find they face limits on how much the insurance will cover. People seeking addiction treatment often find referrals from their doctor or psychologist, along with personal recommendations. Consultants say they offer a broader and more objective selection of programs. In some cases, they recommend specific clinicians. Sam Dresser, a principal at Clere Consulting, said his company works with a person’s extended family for as long as two years to...
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Obama Administration to Spend $94 Million to Expand Drug Addiction Treatment

Obama Administration to Spend $94 Million to Expand Drug Addiction Treatment
The Obama Administration announced recently that it plans to spend $94 million to improve and expand delivery of substance abuse services in health centers. The funding will focus on treatment of opioid use disorders in underserved populations. The funding will be distributed to 271 health centers in 45 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell said in a statement. The funding will come from grants under the Affordable Care Act, The Hill reports. The money will allow treatment providers to hire about 800 people to work with almost 124,000 new patients. “The opioid epidemic is one of the most pressing public health issues in the United States today,” said Secretary Burwell. “Expanding access to medication-assisted treatment and integrating these services in health centers bolsters nationwide efforts to curb opioid misuse and abuse, supports approximately 124,000 new patients accessing substance use treatment...
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NAATP Pioneers National Outcomes Study

NAATP Pioneers National Outcomes Study
Rigorous Study Will Provide Much Needed Industry Benchmarks The National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP) announced the addiction industry's new study to measure the efficacy of addiction treatment consisting of comprehensive national data. The study will track patient outcomes from multiple residential and outpatient addiction treatment programs. It will be conducted by NAATP, together with the research firm OMNI Institute and will provide unique cross-program comparison, compilation, and analysis. The research team will collect a large data sample of over 1000 patients, following outcomes from baseline to discharge and at five time points for one year after discharge from treatment. Outcome influences will be measured including detoxification process, patient engagement, medication, psychological and psychiatric care, education and addiction counseling received, peer and family support, economics, and twelve step activity. An initial draft of the study is expected in the second quarter of 2017. The data, derived from the instrument...
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Senate Passes CARA!

Senate Passes CARA!
Today the Senate passed the Comprehensive Addictions and Recovery Act (S.524). The legislation, known as CARA, passed with an overwhelming bi-partisan vote of 94-1 in the first stand-alone bill to pass the Senate in years. The legislation authorizes much-needed funding for evidence-based prevention, treatment and recovery programs to help Americans struggling with addiction to heroin or other opioids, and now moves on to the House for its consideration. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) praises the Senate for its approval of CARA, and we thank Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Senator Rob Portman, Senator Kelly Ayotte, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Senator Chuck Grassley, and Senator Patrick Leahy for helping to advance this important legislation. CARA authorizes $600 million for grants to address the national prescription, opioid and heroin addiction epidemics. Authorized funds could be used for treatment and recovery services, alternatives to prison for nonviolent offenders, law enforcement initiatives and...
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New Head of FDA Pledges to Support Development of Abuse-Deterrent Opioids

New Head of FDA Pledges to Support Development of Abuse-Deterrent Opioids
The new head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Dr. Robert Califf, told a panel of advisers this week that the agency will support the development of abuse-deterrent opioids, the Associated Press reports. Califf told the FDA advisers he will do “everything possible under our authority to prevent abuse, save lives and treat dependence.” He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate last week, after some senators said the FDA has not done enough to fight the opioid epidemic. “What we can do is work with prescribers, professional associations, patient advocates and state and local partners — essentially the entire country — to encourage safe use and disposal of opioid medications,” Califf said recently. He had previously stated the FDA will add stronger warning labels to the most commonly prescribed opioids. He also pledged to consult more with outside advisers. Califf said while abuse-deterrent opioids may not be 100 percent...
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Virtual Reality Tested for Heroin Addiction Treatment

Virtual Reality Tested for Heroin Addiction Treatment
Researchers at the University of Houston are testing whether virtual reality can be used to treat people addicted to heroin. They will navigate a simulated house party with stimuli that evoke drug cravings, according to Reuters . The virtual reality program includes two environments. One is a house party where heroin is snorted, and the other is a party where the drug is injected. The program uses an eight-camera infrared system. It projects life-sized 3-D avatars and environments. Participants interact with them in a chamber known as a “heroin cave,” the article notes. Details that could trigger a heroin craving include an open pizza box on the back patio, and cash on a table next to a cigarette lighter. “In traditional therapy we role-play with the patient but the context is all wrong,” said one of the study leaders, Patrick Bordnick. “They know they’re in a therapist’s office and the...
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Senate Blocks $600 Million in Additional Funding for Bill Aimed at Combating Addiction

Senate Blocks $600 Million in Additional Funding for Bill Aimed at Combating Addiction
The Senate voted against an amendment to the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) that would have added $600 million in funding. The bill would increase addiction treatment and prevention. The amendment was sponsored by Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, a Democrat. Senate Democrats said they will not block the legislation over funding, The Washington Post reports. Senate Republicans argue that there are potentially hundreds of millions available for CARA as part of the omnibus spending bill passed in late 2015, The Hill reports. Five Republicans voted along with Democrats on Wednesday for the additional funding for CARA. The Act is sponsored by Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, a Democrat, and Rob Portman of Ohio, a Republican. The bill has bipartisan support and would expand prescription drug take-back programs and establish monitoring to prevent over-prescribing of opioid painkillers. It would expand the availability of medication-assisted treatment, including in criminal...
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Mayor of Ithaca, NY Wants to Host Nation’s First Supervised Heroin Injection Facility

Mayor of Ithaca, NY Wants to Host Nation’s First Supervised Heroin Injection Facility
The mayor of Ithaca, New York says he wants his city to be the first in the United States to host a supervised injection facility for people who use heroin, the Associated Press reports. The facility would allow people to inject heroin under the care of a nurse, without getting arrested. The mayor, Svante Myrick, is the son of a man who was addicted to drugs, the article notes. Myrick lived in a homeless shelter and went to Cornell University. Four years ago he became Ithaca’s youngest mayor, at age 24. “I have watched for 20 years this system that just doesn’t work,” Myrick told the AP. “We can’t wait anymore for the federal government. We have people shooting up in alleys. In bathroom stalls. And too many of them are dying.” Myrick said the injection facility would be part of a holistic approach to drug abuse in Ithaca that...
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More Funding, Stronger Measures Needed to Fight Opioid Addiction, Officials Say

More Funding, Stronger Measures Needed to Fight Opioid Addiction, Officials Say
More funding and stronger measures are needed to fight opioid addiction, officials said recently at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee. They called for greater access to addiction treatment and more stringent rules for painkiller prescribing. Speakers at the hearing included governors, U.S. senators and law enforcement officials, according to The Wall Street Journal . They said heroin and painkiller addiction is overwhelming health care workers, police and families across the nation. In 2014, more than 47,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “I have never seen anything like this, in terms of the epidemic we are facing,” New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte told the hearing. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, also from New Hampshire, called the problem a pandemic that affects “young and old, urban and rural, rich and poor, whites and minorities.” The hearing was called in part to...
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Study Finds Systematic Efforts May Help Reduce Opioid Doses

Study Finds Systematic Efforts May Help Reduce Opioid Doses
Systematic efforts may help lower the level of opioids that patients use, a new study concludes. These steps include educating prescribers and limiting doses for patients prescribed chronic opioid therapy. The study found taking these steps also raises awareness among doctors and patients of the potential dangers of opioids, MedicalXpress reports. The study included 514 patients prescribed long-term opioid treatment. In one group of patients, an aggressive program to educate doctors, patients, and promote safe tapering of opioid doses helped 37 percent of patients taper their doses to what is considered a safer level—120 milligrams daily of “morphine equivalent.” In many cases, patient doses were cut almost in half. Women were less successful with opioid tapering, the article notes. Patients who took substantially lower opioid doses did not report higher levels of pain. The researchers noted that one year after the opioid tapering program was introduced, only a minority of...
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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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