General News

  • April 01, 2019 1:41 PM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    PCSS Discussion Forum: A Quick, Evidence-Based Resource from Clinical Experts

    If you need an answer about treating opioid use disorder, the PCSS Discussion Forum is here to help. The forum is separated into major topics, such as office practices, pain management, burprenorphine, naltrexone, and methadone, and you may find the answers you need simply by browsing the posts or using the search bar. If not, write a post and an addiction specialist typically responds within 48 hours. For example, a recent post from a clinician requested help with patients having difficulty with buprenorphine induction. Within one hour..... Read more PCSS News.


  • March 22, 2019 1:40 PM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    (CNN) -- Deaths from the synthetic opioid fentanyl skyrocketed more than 1,000% from 2011 to 2016, according to a report released Thursday.

    The number of fatalities related to the drug held fairly steady between 2011 and 2012, hovering around 1,600 deaths in both those years. In 2013, the number increased to just over 1,900 fatalities.

    Beginning in 2014, though, fentanyl-related deaths began to double each year. In 2014, fentanyl was involved in 4,223 deaths. In 2015, it was 8,251 deaths. And in 2016, fentanyl-related deaths had jumped to 18,335.

    The report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also analyzed who had been hardest hit by the fentanyl epidemic.

    The researchers, who are part of the National Center for Health Statistics, found that while men and women had similar rates of fentanyl-related deaths from 2011 through 2013, that began to shift. By 2016, the rate of men dying from fentanyl overdoses was nearly three times that of women.

    And while there were increases in fentanyl-related fatalities in all age groups, the largest rate increases were among younger adults between the ages of 15 and 34. The rate of 15- to 24-year-olds who died from fentanyl overdoses increased about 94% each year between 2011 and 2016, and about 100% each year for 25- to 34-year-olds.

    Researchers also found that while whites had the highest overall rates of fentanyl fatalities, death rates among blacks and Hispanics were growing faster. Between 2011 and 2016, blacks had fentanyl death rates increase 140.6% annually and Hispanics had an increase of 118.3% annually.

    A National Center for Health Statistics report released in December found fentanyl to be the drug mostly commonly involved in overdose deaths. In 2016, the drug was responsible for nearly 29% of all drug overdose deaths, making it the deadliest drug in America.

    Researchers analyzed death certificate information that included mentions of fentanyl and fentanyl analogs. Previous analysis had not looked specifically only at fentanyl, but overall synthetic opioids.

    Americans are now more likely to die from a drug overdose than a car accident. In 2017, drug overdoses killed more than 70,000 Americans, and opioids are the leading driver in US drug overdose deaths. Opioids are a class of drugs that includes illicit fentanyl and heroin, as well as commonly prescribed painkillers, such as oxycodone and morphine.

    ·        By Nadia Kounang, CNN


  • March 22, 2019 9:56 AM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    As federal lawmakers consider Fiscal Year 2020 Labor-HHS appropriations bills this Spring, we need them to prioritize funding for the following two new programs that would help address our nation’s substance use disorder (SUD) treatment workforce shortage:

    (1) the Loan Repayment Program for the Substance Use Disorder Treatment Workforce, authorized in the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act; and

    (2) the Mental and Substance Use Disorder Workforce Training Demonstration Program, authorized in the 21st Century CURES Act.

        
    Funding these programs would allow more students and healthcare professionals to pursue and afford education and training in the prevention and treatment of addiction and would significantly increase the number of qualified experts available to help the more than 20 million Americans in need of treatment for SUD.

    Members of Congress can publicly demonstrate their commitment to funding these programs by signing “Dear Colleague” letters of support before noon on March 25. It is essential that Members of Congress hear from the addiction treatment community about the importance of funding both of these programs.

    Click the link below to log in and send your message:
    https://www.votervoice.net/BroadcastLinks/NDMNLwyWKARPzz_Tb9tbwA 


  • March 15, 2019 10:03 AM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) is investigating the restoration of a certification pathway which would provide an opportunity for osteopathic and allopathic physicians to obtain certification in the subspecialty of Addiction Medicine. Physicians who complete an AOA or ABPM approved fellowship in Addiction Medicine or demonstrate their qualifications via clinical pathway requirements, will be eligible to sit for the initial certification examination. 

    The AOA and the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine (AOAAM) respectfully request your participation in this short survey aimed at gauging interest in an Addiction Medicine certification. Your responses will inform the process of establishing a program that will afford certification opportunities in Addiction MedicineThe deadline to participate in the survey is April 7, 2019.

    Please feel free to forward the link to the Addiction Medicine survey to your physician colleagues who practice in this field.

    If you have any questions, contact the AOA at certification@osteopathic.org. Thank you in advance for your input.



  • March 14, 2019 6:29 PM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    PCSS has seen a huge increase in the number of MAT waiver courses in recent months, presenting numerous opportunities to address the opioid crisis. Only six months into the third year of the grant, already 416 waiver trainings have been conducted—slightly more than what was conducted for all of the second year of the grant. 

    With the average training hosting 20 participants, PCSS potentially could train more than 14,000 clinicians this year alone—and this does not include those clinicians who take the course online. More than 12,800 clinicians have taken PCSS’s online course since May 2017, when PCSS began offering online courses. When the grant was first funded, the number of trainings per year was projected to be 94 [ Read more ]

    Read More PCSS News

  • February 28, 2019 2:28 PM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    We present good news regarding the status of an osteopathic Addiction Medicine CAQ.                                                                          

    As you recall, Dr. Margaret Kotz (AOAAM delegate), Dr. Stephen Wyatt (AOAAM alternate) and Nina Vidmer attended the AOA House of Delegates (HOD) meetings in Chicago July 16-22, 2018.  AOAAM submitted Resolution H215, which would allow for DOs who completed AOA-approved fellowships in Addiction Medicine to take the Addiction Medicine CAQ exam, and also to create a pathway for all qualified DOs to sit for the exam and become certified. Resolution H-215 was ultimately forwarded to the Finance Committee.

    AOAAM leadership has been working with the AOA since the 2018 HOD July 2018 to move this matter forward.  This week Dr. Julie Kmiec, AOAAM president; Dr. Margaret Kotz, past president; and Nina Vidmer, executive director attended the AOA Mid-Year Meeting for a status update. Today the AOA Board of Trustees voted on the resolution that:

    RESOLVED, that AOA allow DOs who have completed an AOA-approved fellowship in Addiction Medicine to take the CAQ exam in Addiction Medicine; and, be it further

    RESOLVED, that AOA reopen a practice pathway for a period of time to be determined, and in discussion with AOAAM; and, be it further

    RESOLVED, that AOA approach AOAAM for an investment towards shared financial responsibility for the reopening of the Addiction Medicine CAQ that could be paid back over a period of time assuming we have candidates that will take advantage of this exam; and, be it further

    RESOLVED, that AOA set a price point that is comparable to ABPM, and determine the ROI.

    The AOA Finance Committee will meet on April 24, 2019 to make their final recommendations, which will be based on the fiscal impact of creating this pathway and exam.

    The AOA/AOAAM will be sending out a survey to determine the level of interest in taking the exam – watch for this and please participate!  Updates will follow as more news becomes available.

    Best regards,

    Julie Kmiec, DO
    AOAAM President

    Download a copy of the resolution.


  • February 05, 2019 10:36 AM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    Medical school loan repayment program (LRP) with a February 21 application deadline.  

    If you have a primary care or psychiatry specialty and are working part-time or full-time in addiction medicine, you could qualify for up to $75,000 in medical school loan repayment. 

    This program in being offered by HRSA through the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) in support of physicians who are or will be working to support patients with opioid use disorder, as well as other substance use disorders. Venues of service include not only clinics and other sites, yet also private practices. Due to the targeted scope of this program, applicants may qualify for LRP awards even if they are working at sites with Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) scores that would ordinarily be too low to qualify for NHSC LRP funding.  

    If you are interested, additional information and an application can be found here:  

    https://nhsc.hrsa.gov/loan-repayment/nhsc-sud-workforce-loan-repayment-program.html

    (Please be advised that HRSA advises that applicants allow a few weeks to complete this application.  Thus, if you are interested, consider applying now.) 


  • February 05, 2019 10:32 AM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    WASHINGTON –The Justice Department today reached a settlement agreement with Selma Medical Associates Inc. (Selma Medical), a privately owned medical facility located in Winchester, Virginia, that provides primary and specialty care to patients.

    The settlement agreement resolves a complaint under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that Selma Medical refused to accept a prospective new patient for an appointment because he takes Suboxone, a medication used to treat opioid use disorder. The Justice Department’s investigation concluded that Selma Medical regularly turned away prospective new patients who lawfully take controlled substances to treat their medical conditions.

    Under the agreement, Selma Medical will not deny services on the basis of disability, including opioid use disorder, or apply standards or criteria that screen out individuals with disabilities. The agreement also requires Selma Medical to adopt non-discrimination policies, train staff on its non-discrimination obligations, and report on compliance. Selma Medical will also pay $30,000 in damages to the complainant and a $10,000 civil penalty to the United States.

    “This agreement ensures that people in recovery from an opioid use disorder do not face discriminatory barriers to health care services,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division. “Unlawfully denying services to individuals with disabilities because of their medical conditions subjects these individuals to unwarranted stigma and harm, and will not be tolerated by the Department of Justice.”

    People interested in finding out more about the ADA or this settlement agreement can call the toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TDD), or access the ADA website at http://www.ada.gov.


  • February 04, 2019 10:30 AM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    On January 31, 2019,  Jim Carroll, the newly sworn-in Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), released the Administration’s National Drug Control Strategy, which establishes the President’s priorities for addressing the challenge of drug trafficking and use.

    To read the report, use this link: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/NDCS-Final.pdf

  • December 20, 2018 2:49 PM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    Program Offers Free Help With Prevention, Treatment, Recovery

    December 19, 2018 02:51 pm Chris Crawford – The State Targeted Response Technical Assistance (STR-TA) Consortium is now ready to assist family physicians with addressing chronic pain, opioid use disorders (OUDs) and delivery of medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

    The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration awarded a two-year grant to the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP) to bring together a coalition of 22 health care organizations, including the AAFP, to collaborate with individuals (including family physicians), communities, states and territories to address the OUD crisis in the United States.

    The coalition has fielded technical assistance teams composed of treatment, prevention and recovery consultants covering each state and territory. The Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC), a core partner of the STR-TA Consortium, has identified a technology transfer specialist for each state and territory, as well. The ATTC is working closely with the single state agency/STR grantees and individuals to help identify and provide oversight for technical assistance requests and manage each state's or territory's team.

    After the program officially launched on May 2, Kathryn Cates-Wessel, CEO of the AAAP, told AAFP News that this resource is not only for states with STR grants, "but also for individuals, clinical practices, community groups, and prevention and recovery programs looking for help in learning more about how to address the opioid crisis in their community with local resources and expertise."

    Response So Far

    Since its launch, the STR-TA program has had more than 400 requests, according to Jane Goodger, manager of outreach and communications for the AAAP.

    Story Highlights

    §  The State Targeted Response Technical Assistance (STR-TA) Consortium is now ready to assist family physicians with addressing chronic pain, opioid use disorders (OUDs) and delivery of medication-assisted treatment.

    §  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration awarded a two-year grant to the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP) to bring together a coalition of 22 health care organizations, including the AAFP, to collaborate with individuals, communities, states and territories to address the nation's OUD crisis.

    §  Since launching in May, the STR-TA program has had more than 400 requests for assistance, said Jane Goodger, manager of outreach and communications for the AAAP.

     
    "It's been pretty amazing, considering we haven't marketed the initiative that much so far," Goodger told AAFP News. "Every time I tell somebody about this initiative, they're amazed at the types of things that we've been doing."

    Goodger said submitted requests have varied greatly and include many people wanting training and others who seek to start projects such as developing opioid prevention curriculum for middle and high schools.

    Specific examples of submitted requests include one from a businessman and father of a woman in recovery in Kansas City, Mo., who sought input on creating a recovery-focused high school.

    "We also had a grandmother who wanted to offer a support system for other grandparents who suddenly find themselves caring for children of parents affected by the opioid crisis," Goodger said.

    "We have had an incredible variety of requests that cover treatment to recovery to prevention," she added.

    As for feedback from requestors, Goodger said: "They have been thrilled with this program and it's almost too good to be true to them because a lot of these people are lost -- they don't know how to solve their problems. When they come to the STR-TA, they are always happy that somebody is listening and working to help them get to wherever they need to be."

    Goodger said the STR-TA program can help address almost any opioid-related issue that a family physician needs to tackle, including dealing with Medicaid and second-party payers. The program also is flexible in that it can bring a consultant in from another state if they best fit the needs of a particular request.

    "We can provide treatment models for their clinics or training for their staff," she said. "Almost anything they can dream up having to do with treating opioid use disorder, preventing it and recovery, we can gather the resources to help."

    Participating Family Physician's Thoughts

    As a member of the STR-TA Consortium, the AAFP recruited family physicians to participate in the STR-TA program who had expertise and/or experience in OUDs and use of medications to treat them or who were interested in obtaining a waiver to prescribe medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

    Darlene Petersen, M.D., of Roy, Utah, is one such family physician who was assigned to an STR-TA team that serves her home state.

    Petersen has been board-certified in addiction medicine for five years and has been treating patients with OUDs using MAT in an outpatient setting for the past 11 years.

    "I treat patients every day affected by opioid misuse who are in various stages of recovery," she said.

    Petersen said she decided to join the STR-TA program to assist colleagues and others because Utah has consistently ranked in the top 10 states with the highest incidence of opioid misuse and she wanted to help combat the issue.

    "We are here to provide assistance, from initiating treatment to (working with) special populations (i.e., pregnant women, teens, those with a dual diagnosis)," she said. "Depending on the request, the goal is to match you with a person who has the most expertise in the area that you have a question on."

    Petersen said the STR-TA program is valuable to all family physicians, including solo clinicians such as herself, as a free resource that can be used as a "curbside consult" on specific patients or for training on providing MAT and the inevitable challenges and questions related to that, including about patient intakes, workflow, drug testing and instituting medication counts.

    "As family physicians, we are in a unique position to identify patients with opioid dependence and provide treatment to them in a setting where they are already engaged in care," she said.

    Submitting a Request

    Family physicians interested in requesting assistance from the STR-TA program can visit the initiative's website and submit a request online.(getstr-ta.org)

    "Within one business day, someone will schedule a call with the person to find out more about their request," Goodger said. "It's simple and easy to use, and importantly, it's free, no matter what the request. We might not be able to build a website for someone, but we can help find someone to help build a website for them.

    "We've had plenty of requests, but we always have room for more."

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The mission of the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine is to improve the health of individuals and families burdened with the disease of addiction.

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