This Week's News in Substance Use: 7/28/17

The Senate Agreed to Debate a Health Care Bill. Now What? USA Today

“It’s hard to tell what the end product will be, or whether it can pass. But many Republican lawmakers have started talking about a “skinny repeal.” Basically, that means a narrow bill to repeal certain parts of Obamacare, such as the individual mandate, but not all of it.

"The likely outcome is that we go through the amendment process ... at the end you end up in a situation where you vote on the lowest common denominator for passage," said Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.”

Recovery Coaches at ERs Try to Help Opioid [Misusers] Avoid Another Overdose, The Washington Post

“Recovery coaches — sometimes called peers, peer professionals, outreach workers or people with lived experience — are not new. They’ve been working with people with mental illness and drug addiction for decades, and they have proved to be highly effective at gaining patients’ trust and engaging them in programs designed to improve their health and long-term survival.

More than 33,000 Americans died of an opioid overdose in 2015. With the advent of fentanyl and other powerful synthetic opioids in the illicit drug supply, the number of deaths is increasing dramatically, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

Police Programs That Help Drug Users Get into Rehab Catching On, Chicago Tribune

“Users walk into a police station, surrender whatever drugs and paraphernalia they have and ask for help (people caught while committing a crime aren't eligible). In return, police dispose of the narcotics without pressing charges and fast-track the users into rehab.”

FDA Panel: Not Enough Data to OK "Abuse-Deterrent" Opioid, Los Angeles Times

“Panelists voted overwhelmingly against approving Intellipharmaceutics International's generic version of extended-release Oxycontin, a key drug in the U.S. opioid addiction epidemic. The FDA usually follows its advisers' advice.

Doctors and scientists raised many concerns about the dye's safety for intended patients, and its effectiveness in deterring opioid [misusers]. Most said the company hadn't done enough studies of the drug.”

North Carolina Police Chief Helps [People] Beat Opioid Addiction, CNN

“The conversation began on how this small town of 5,400, where everyone knows their neighbors, could get ahead of the [opioid] problem. The HOPE initiative, modeled after the innovative "Angel" program in Gloucester, Massachusetts, which opens the way for [people with addiction] to get police assistance and medical help without fear of arrest, is a way of rethinking law enforcement's role in responding to this growing epidemic.

‘They walk into the front door, if they have drugs or paraphernalia on them at any time, they can turn it in to us at that time, and have no charges filed. And we facilitate them into recovery,’ Bashore said.”

Here’s How a Key Part of the Opioid Legislation is Not Working, The Boston Globe

“As originally proposed by Governor Charlie Baker, the law would have required those taken to the emergency room after an overdose to be held involuntarily for up to 72 hours to receive treatment.

But hospitals across the state report that a large majority of eligible patients — anywhere from 50 to 90 percent — decline the evaluation, according to a dozen emergency medicine doctors contacted by the Globe. The result: Patients are often discharged no closer to receiving treatment than they were before their overdose."

Fixing the broken treatment system starts now

Fixing the broken treatment system starts now

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