Drug Overdose Prevention Information

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June 4, 2019

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

New Indiana workforce recovery employer guidelines

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To effectively address substance abuse in the workplace, Gov. Eric Holcomb signed into law HEA 1007, which authorized the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration to establish best practice guidelines for organizations whose employees test positive during a drug screening. The report details the importance of following the guidelines and outlines specific protocols for implementation. The full report can be accessed here. A video toolkit from the Indiana Wellness Council and Indiana Workforce Recovery that allows employers to explore specific subject matters can be accessed here.

Lessons from Scott County — progress or paralysis on harm reduction?

The White House has recently announced its goal of reducing HIV transmission in the United States by 90 percent in the next 10 years. However, a recent article published in the New England Journal of Medicine details the hurdles associated with reaching this goal. While there have been strides made to reduce HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) ― especially using lessons learned from Scott County, Indiana ― the authors highlight that out of the 220 counties identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the most vulnerable to HIV and HCV outbreaks, only 47 of those counties had a syringe services program. Furthermore, many of the counties identified did not have a buprenorphine-prescribing physician practicing in the county. The article also highlights the influence of stigma on harm reduction practices that prevents a more effective response. Finally, the authors urge health professionals to advocate for legal changes and to use Scott County as an example of the benefits of authorizing syringe services programs and other lifesaving interventions.

Medical schools move toward incorporating substance abuse into their curricula

Most medical schools in the United States do not fully and comprehensively address pain and addiction in the curriculum. Furthermore, most physicians have to both take an eight-hour course and apply for a waiver to prescribe buprenorphine due to an existing law that prohibits prescribing opioids without course completion. Due to these regulations, only 5 percent of physicians nationwide have the buprenorphine waiver. Massachusetts is leading the way in closing this gap by implementing curriculum in medical schools that enables medical students to learn and prescribe buprenorphine, methadone and naltrexone, the medications that treat opioid use disorder. By 2020, all medical students who studied and will practice in Massachusetts will be able to prescribe buprenorphine without taking the course or applying for the waiver.

New public education campaign to encourage safe removal of unused opioids pain from homes


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a new media campaign to address the importance of removing and properly destroying unused household prescription opioids. Many people who misuse prescription opioids report obtaining them from a friend or family member, so properly disposing opioids is a key regulatory step to combatting the epidemic. The media campaign, available in both English and Spanish, includes television, radio and print public service announcements; fact sheets; and social media graphics and posts. The video can be accessed here. The FDA also updated its website information regarding disposal, which can be accessed here.


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Webcast: Addressing the needs of substance-exposed infants

June 5, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm ET
Join the Help Me Grow National Center for a webinar examining policy research and data to improve care for substance-exposed infants. Learn how Help Me Grow affiliates can apply this information to provide support to improve the lives of families struggling with substance use. Register here!

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Webcast: Peer Support Services

June 12, 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm ET
Peer recovery support services are increasingly being offered across diverse criminal justice settings to address opioid abuse. The Community Justice Program at the University of Alabama will explain why implementing peer support is important and describe the work of peers at varying points of the justice system continuum and challenges they face in the areas of specialty court and treatment. Register here!

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22nd Indiana Rural Health Association's Annual Conference

June 18-19, 8:00 am - 3:00 pm
This annual conference brings together practitioners from the field and national experts to discuss current topics in public health and rural health. The latest information regarding the start-up and on-going management of rural health care delivery models are presented throughout the conference. Register here!
Location: French Link, IN

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22nd Annual Mental Health and Addiction Symposium

June 21, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Join Mental Health America of Indiana and the IU School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry for a one day conference focused on new and emerging data in the fields of mental health and addiction. Workshop topics include: precision pain management, mental health and the workplace, substance use and youth, and more. Register here!
Location: Indianapolis, IN

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