Drug Overdose Prevention Information

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

PDO email header

March 26, 2019

Here are your weekly opioid epidemic updates from the Indiana State Department of Health:

Northwest Indiana drug overdose deaths were down in 2018

After a record-setting 2017, drug overdose deaths were down last year in Northwest Indiana (Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties), and local officials are cautiously optimistic that the opioid epidemic is slowing down. Experts attribute the decline to the widespread use of the overdose-reversal drug naloxone, an increase in treatment availability and more awareness about the crisis, among other reasons. Though deaths involving heroin in the region were down in 2018, cocaine and methamphetamine use are both on the rise.

The number of first-time opioid prescriptions is halved over the last 5 years

prescription pills

A new study published by the New England Journal of Medicine found that between 2012 and 2017, the rate of first-time opioid prescriptions declined by 54 percent. The study examined 86 million people covered by private insurance. Researchers hope that a large number of providers are moving toward safer prescribing with low doses and short duration. Though hopeful, researchers raised concerns that the decrease in prescriptions might have had the adverse effect of not addressing the degree of pain for all patients.

New publication provides guidance for behavioral health professionals

SAMHSA new guidance

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released a publication to assist community-based behavioral health providers in clinical and case management practice for people with mental and substance use disorders who are involved with or have a history of involvement in the adult criminal justice system. The guide is composed of eight guiding principles, frequently asked questions, resources for further reading, and a glossary of terms for behavioral health providers and criminal justice professionals. The information provided is intended to be used in practice, and is therefore appropriate for any staff providing direct services in community settings.

Advocacy group raises concerns over effects of CDC’s opioid guidelines

More than 300 healthcare experts that comprise the Health Professionals for Patients in Pain published a statement to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that the agency’s guidelines for the use of opioids against chronic pain are harming patients who suffer from long-term pain and benefit from the prescription narcotics. The CDC guidelines, issued in 2016, assert there is little evidence for the use of opioids against pain beyond 12 weeks. However, many patients have claimed that long-term use of the drugs is all that stands between them and unrelenting pain, and that they can take the medication without becoming dependent or addicted. The CDC said the 2016 guidelines do not “endorse mandated or abrupt dose reduction or discontinuation. The guideline recommendation on high-dose prescribing is to avoid or carefully justify increasing opioid dosages above this threshold.”


Follow us! @INDTrauma


Check out our website

world wide web logo
light blue divider


light blue divider

Webcast: The Impact of the Opioid Crisis on Hospitals

Employer Opioid Strategy – Event Series

March 28, 2:00pm EDT
Purdue University Extension is hosting a webinar that will focus on the nurses' perspective of the impact of the opioid crisis on hospitals. The webinar will cover data, and will focus on both the ER and the hospitalized patient. Prior registration is not required.

light blue divider

Webcast: Eight Guiding Principles for Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice

March 28, 3:00pm EDT
This webcast will focus on SAMHSA’s Eight Guiding Principles for Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice, which provide a foundation for realizing a quality, community-based behavioral health treatment system that is  critical to effective community-based behavioral healthcare for justice-involved populations. Register here.

Webcast: Get to Know the Great Lakes PTTC

April 2, 12:00pm EDT
Join this webinar to learn more about the Great Lakes Prevention Technology Transfer Center (PTTC) - a new five-year initiative funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to provide free training and technical assistance to the substance use prevention workforce in 6 Midwest states: IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, and WI. Register here.

light blue divider

Employer Opioid Strategy - Event Series

Workforce recovery

April 3, 8:00am-3:00pm EDT
The Indiana Chamber of Commerce and the Wellness Council of Indiana are hosting several events across Indiana to empower the business community to play a lead role in fighting the opioid epidemic. The events hope to educate and guide employers through the steps they can take to support prevention, early identification, treatment and recovery of opioid use disorder in their employees. The events began in January and will last through April. Register here.

light blue divider

Webcast: The NIH Response to the Opioid Crisis

April 3, 3:00pm EDT
This webinar will present an overview of the opioid crisis, how addiction is a chronic brain disease, and how the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is addressing the issues through research. Register here.

light blue divider

Webcast: Smoking Cessation for Smokers with Opioid Use Disorder

April 9, 2:00pm EDT
This webinar will offer evidence-based behavioral and pharmacological tobacco cessation treatment, describe strategies to address tobacco use among persons with opioid use disorder, and discuss cessation treatments to enhance efficacy among persons with opioid use disorder. Register here.