Weekend Round Up: House Passes Opioid Legislation, Analyzing the Opioid Epidemic, A Frank Conversation Around Addiction Treatment

By: Jody Lutz

Reading Time: 5 minutes

With opioid prescribing regulations being updated, national policy announcements, state guidelines as well as daily commentary regarding the opioid epidemic flooding news outlets, the AffirmHealth Weekend Round Up looks at the top headlines that caught our team’s eye. From controlled substance protocols to research focusing on pain management, addiction medicine, the ER and more provided to you in an easy to access summary. News you can use. Welcome to the Weekend Round Up.


NATIONAL NEWS: Opioid Epidemic

June 22, 2018

House Passes Comprehensive Bill To Combat Growing Opioid Epidemic

Source: abcnews.go.com

AffirmHealth Key Take Away:

The House of Representatives passed a bipartisan, comprehensive bill Friday that aims at curbing the country’s growing opioid epidemic.

By a vote of 396-14, the House passed H.R. 6, the SUPPORT for Patients Communities Act, which is the collective product of the lower chamber’s extensive effort this year to combat the opioid crisis.

The bill contains several Medicaid, Medicare, and public health reforms, such as adding a review of current opioid prescriptions and screening for opioid use disorder as part of the Welcome to Medicare initial examination. It also aims at reducing the trafficking of Chinese fentanyl into the United States by giving law enforcement new tools to detect suspicious packages in the mail.

Find the Full Article Here: House Passes Comprehensive Bill To Combat Growing Opioid Epidemic


NATIONAL NEWS: Opioid Epidemic

June 22, 2018

House Approves Massive Opioids Legislation

Source: cnn.com

AffirmHealth Key Take Away:

The House of Representatives on Friday passed the most expansive legislation Congress has taken to date to address the opioid crisis, approving a bipartisan package that combines 58 bills passed in the last two weeks.

Provisions in the final package address a wide range of issues related to the crisis that is wreaking havoc across the country, such as expanding access to treatment and recovery services, coming up with opioid alternatives for pain treatment, intercepting illegal opioids at mail facilities and combating use of fentanyl. In a time of sharp partisan divides and vitriol, the 396-14 bipartisan vote underscored the reach and scope of the crisis on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers and staff say the issue has become one of, if not the, top issues they hear about from constituents in their states and districts.

With the crisis continuing to see widespread deaths, opioids are an issue that has touched most, if not all, in the states, cities and towns represented on Capitol Hill. During 2016, there were more than 63,600 overdose deaths in the United States, including 42,249 that involved an opioid, according to the Centers for Disease Control. That's an average of 115 opioid overdose deaths each day.

The bill, titled the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act, builds onto other efforts by Congress in recent years to tackle the epidemic, including $4 billion in funding earlier this year in a large spending bill. In 2016, the House passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act and the 21st Century Cures Act.

All told, Rep. Greg Walden -- chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, one of the committees that dealt with opioids legislation — described the combination of bills as "one of the most significant congressional efforts against a drug crisis in our nation's history."
Find the Full Article Here: House Passes Massive Opioids Bill

NATIONAL NEWS: Opioid Epidemic

June 22, 2018

Opioid Epidemic Requires A New Perspective on Addiction Treatment and New Solutions

Source: USA Today

AffirmHealth Key Take Away:

In the decades since the crack epidemic, our country has learned an important lesson: there is no arresting our way out of drug addiction. The failed “War on Drugs” put too many people in jail instead of treatment, a mistake that cost us countless lives and taxpayer dollars. Now, we’re facing a new drug crisis — and this time, we have to do better.

By now, the devastation of the opioid epidemic is all too familiar. Opioid overdoses claimed the lives of more than 42,000 Americans — including more than 4,000 Ohioans— in 2016 alone. In Montgomery County, where Dayton sits, our county coroner’s office saw more than 100 accidental opioid overdose deaths in just the first 33 days of 2017 — an average of nearly five deaths every day. The epidemic has ushered mass trauma into communities and wreaked havoc on economies.

To stop this crisis, we need to start treating addiction like the disease that it is.

Find the Full Article Here: Opioid Epidemic Requires a New Perspective on Addiction Treatment and New Solutions



June 23, 2018

Analyzing the Opioid Epidemic

Source: Gallipolis Daily Tribune

AffirmHealth Key Take Away:

OHIO VALLEY — More than 500,000 years of life expectancy were lost in Ohio during a seven-year period, according to a study conducted by The Ohio Alliance for Innovation in Population Health (OAIPH) — a collaborative initiative formed by Ohio University’s College of Health Sciences and Professions and the University of Toledo’s College of Health and Human Services.

As opioid overdose continues to increase as a cause of preventable mortality in the state, the OAIPH set out to examine how opioid overdose deaths contribute to increased mortality and to shine a light on the effect of the epidemic on the lifespan of Ohioans at the state and county level.

“This data gives us a picture of the profound impact of opioid related deaths,” said Rick Hodges, director of OIAPH. “These are people in the prime of life during their most productive years. The data also tells a story about families and communities.”

The years of life lost (YLL) was calculated from data abstracted from the Ohio Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Ohio Death Certificate File for the years 2010-2016. YLL due to premature death were calculated at the state and county level and patterns of opioid overdose mortality were mapped geographically and monitored over time.

Find the Full Article Here: Analyzing the Opioid Epidemic


STATE NEWS: Virginia

June 22, 2018

Drug Enforcement Increase in Central Virginia Amid Opioid Epidemic

Source: The News & Advance

AffirmHealth Key Take Away:

Drug and narcotic offenses increased in the Lynchburg area by nearly 42 percent between 2016 and 2017, according to an annual Virginia State Police crime report.

The surge in drug offenses outpaces a statewide increase of 16 percent and comes amid a nationwide opioid epidemic. Drug offenses can range anywhere from simple possession to manufacturing to felony distribution.

Find the Full Article Here: Drug Enforcement Increases in Central Virginia Amid Opioid Epidemic

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