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Eight Things to Know About the New Federal Substance Use Disorder Privacy Rule
NATIONAL LAW REVIEW (01/23) - A final rule published on January 18 implements the first major revisions to the federal regulations governing the confidentiality of substance-use disorder patient records (Part 2) since 1987...Here are eight key takeaways from the Final Rule. Read more
Another Big Health Insurer Loosens Rules for Covering Addiction Treatment
NPR (02/15) - Aetna, one of the nation's largest insurance companies, says that starting in March it will remove what's been a key barrier for patients seeking medication to treat their opioid addiction. The change will apply to all its private insurance plans, an Aetna spokeswoman confirmed. Aetna is the third major health insurer to announce such a switch in recent months. Specifically, the company will stop requiring doctors to seek approval from the insurance company before they prescribe particular medications ― such as Suboxone ― that are used to ease withdrawal symptoms. Read more
Evaluation Findings from Huge SAMHSA SBIRT Program
ADDICTION (02/2017) - A series of new reports compiled by SBIRT heavyweights Thomas Babor, Jeremy Bray, and Frances Del Boca analyzed the early stages of SAMHSA's SBIRT program, which has now screened more than a million patients. The reports address SBIRT implementation, sustainability, and patient outcomes. They show that SBIRT reduced patients' substance use by almost every measure at six-month follow up. Together, the reports make up a special issue of the scientific journal Addiction and are free for a limited time. Read more
ACA Repeal Seen Thwarting State Addiction Efforts
THE HUFFINGTON POST (02/06) - In the three years since the Affordable Care Act took effect, its federally funded expansion of Medicaid to low-income adults has become the states’ most powerful weapon in the battle against the nation’s worsening opioid epidemic. Now, as Congress and President Donald Trump debate potential replacements for the law, governors, health care professionals and advocates for the poor are cautioning that any cut in federal funding for addiction treatment could reverse much of the progress states have made. Read more
Teens Use E-cigarettes for 'Dripping,' Study Says
CNN (02/07) - One in four teens who vape say they've used e-cigarettes for an alternative technique known as "dripping," new research finds. Dripping produces thicker clouds of vapor, gives a stronger sensation in the throat and makes flavors taste better, according to a study, published Monday in the journal Pediatrics. Read more
Voluntary Drug Rehab More Effective than Mandatory Drug Rehab in Preventing Recidivism, Study Shows
ADDICTION NOW (02/13) - Mandatory drug rehab isn’t as effective as voluntary treatment in preventing criminal recidivism, a recent systematic review published in the International Journal of Drug Policy found. Researchers analyzed nine studies that evaluated mandatory drug rehab programs, including drug detention facilities, inpatient treatment, community-based treatment, outpatient treatment and prison-based treatment, and found that some studies showed potential harms associated with mandatory drug rehab. Read more
New Adult SASSI-4: Exciting Features
Rx scale that accurately identifies individuals likely to be abusing prescription medications. Screens for multiple levels of SUD severity. Enhanced SUD identification through subtle items added. Distinguishes likely SUD from other psychological disorders. Additional face valid items to identify symptoms represented in the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria. TRAINING AVAILABLE - NAADAC CEUs
Emerging Trends in Alcohol Binge and Use Disorders Among Older Adults
SOCIAL WORK TODAY - Alcohol is the most commonly used psychoactive substance among older adults, and this group can have unique risks associated with alcohol consumption—in even lower amounts—compared with younger persons. "Older adults have particular vulnerabilities to alcohol due to physiological changes during aging, including increasing chronic disease burden and medication use," says Benjamin Han, MD, MPH.... Read more
Addiction Treatment Grew Under Health Law. Now What?
NEW YORK TIMES (02/10) - ...As the debate over the fate of the health law intensifies, proponents have focused on the lifesaving care it has brought to people with cancer, diabetes and other physical illnesses. But the law has also had a profound, though perhaps less heralded, effect on mental health and addiction treatment, vastly expanding access to those services by designating them as “essential benefits” that must be covered through the A.C.A. marketplaces and expanded Medicaid. Read more
Awash in Overdoses, Seattle Creates Safe Sites for Addicts to Inject Illegal Drugs
THE WASHINGTON POST (01/27) - Officials in Seattle on Friday approved the nation’s first “safe-injection” sites for users of heroin and other illegal drugs, calling the move a drastic but necessary response to an epidemic of addiction that is claiming tens of thousands of lives each year...The sites — which offer addicts clean needles, medical supervision and quick access to drugs that reverse the effects of an overdose — have long been popular in Europe. Now, with the U.S. death toll rising, the idea is gaining traction in a number of American cities, including Boston, New York City and Ithaca, N.Y. Read more
Addiction Treatment Barriers for People with Co-Occurring Disorders
ADDICTION NOW (02/14) - The two main obstacles to addiction and mental health treatment for people with co-occurring disorders are personal characteristic barriers, such as psychosis, and structural barriers, such as finances, an integrative review published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment found. Read more
It’s COA Awareness Week: So Let’s Look Into What Happens to Children of Addiction When They Grow Up?
THE HUFFINGTON POST (02/09) - Much attention and most governmental funding streams have been and continue to be focused on the addict. The addict has the problem; the addict needs to get better. The country is still however, only beginning to catch on to the devastating and long-term impact that growing up with addiction has on children, and what that experience does to the most vulnerable and dependent among us. Read more
Scant Opportunities to Learn about Substance Use in Pre-Service Educational Programs
ATTC MESSENGER (02/2017) - Most physicians, nurses, social workers, psychologists, and other health professionals receive sparse formal education or supervised pre-professional clinical work related to substance use disorders (SUDs). Read more
The Need for Non-Opiate Painkillers in the NFL Pushes Cannabis into the Spotlight
FORBES (02/13) - Every week, NFL players experience a wide array of injuries that cause them to suffer severe pain. Players equate the impact of play on the field to getting into multiple car accidents in one afternoon. Currently, the most commonly prescribed painkillers are opiate based. Clearly, opiates are addictive and have led to a nationwide epidemic. Over the years, I’ve had players become addicted to opiate-based painkillers. Seeking to avoid that tragedy makes it necessary to look for non-addictive alternatives. There has been a longstanding debate on whether marijuana should be allowed as a form of pain relief in the NFL. Read more
Surprising Link Between Athletics and Addiction
SCIENCE DAILY (02/13) - While investigating the idealized benefits between sport and addiction, researchers found that the prevalence of substance abuse in some sports communities, in fact, creates a greater risk of addictions for people already vulnerable to them. Surprised by the number of participants, researchers interviewed a range of subjects including a gymnast, a rower, a martial artist and a significant number of athletes involved in team sports -- especially hockey. Read more
Drug Detox with Follow-Up Treatment During Pregnancy Reduces Fetal Health Risks
ADDICTION NOW (02/10) - Many pregnant women fear that the changes they may undergo while detoxing from opioids could cause harm to their unborn babies. However, recent research published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology found that opioid detoxification during pregnancy coupled with inpatient addiction treatment or intense outpatient follow-up management lowered the rate of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). Read more
Why Sex Addicts Feel Lonely on Valentine’s Day (and Might Act Out): Experts Explain
MEDICAL DAILY (02/14) - For us singletons, which includes more than half of the United States, according to Entrepreneur, Valentine’s Day can feel like America's loneliest holiday...But it might not be singles who have the hardest time on the holiday. Relationship expert Robert Weiss says that for sex addicts, Feb. 14 can be especially challenging...Dr. Stefanie Carnes, Ph.D and President of the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals, agrees with Weiss. Read more
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