January 11, 2016
Source: NPR – JACK RODOLICO
January 11, 2016
Source: NPR – JACK RODOLICO
October 21, 2015
Heading to a region grappling with the scourge of drug abuse, President Barack Obama planned to announce new steps to improve doctor training and ease access to drug treatment as part of an effort to help communities battling “epidemic” heroin and prescription painkiller abuse, White House officials said Wednesday.
Obama planned to detail the moves, along with a new public awareness campaign, on a day trip to Charleston, West Virginia. He was due to meet with law enforcement officials, drug counselors and advocates at a community center to show “a sense of urgency that we at the federal level can do more to address this issue,” Michael Botticelli, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, told reporters.
West Virginia has the highest rate of overdose deaths in the U.S. — more than twice the national average, according to a report by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
State officials say the problem is damaging the economy, depressing the workforce and overwhelming social services.
Officials stressed the problem is a national one. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released in July found the number of people who reported using heroin within the past year had nearly doubled from 2002 to 2013. Heroin use was up among nearly all demographic groups, but showed particular spikes among women and non-Latino whites.
Researchers found that most users reported using at least one other drug in combination with heroin, a factor that contributes to high overdose rates. Between 2002 and 2013, the rate of heroin-related overdose deaths nearly quadrupled, and more than 8,200 people — by some estimates, one in every 50 addicts — died in 2013, according to the CDC.
“We cannot separate the heroin epidemic from the prescription drug epidemic,” Botticelli said. “Dealing with the heroin epidemic really compels us to deal with heroin drug use issues.”
Botticelli said too few prescription drug health care providers are properly trained in safely prescribing painkillers, while access to medication-assisted treatment for addicts is too difficult.
Obama’s visit comes as politicians are grasping for a policy response. But with a budget stalemate in Congress, Obama had only modest initiatives to offer.
Before departing the White House, Obama ordered federal agencies that employ health care providers to offer training on prescribing painkillers. He also ordered them to review their health care insurance plans and address policies that might prevent patients from receiving medication as part of their treatment.
The administration has said it wants to expand access to Suboxone, a drug that can ease the transition off other opioids. It also has pushed to expand availability of naloxone, a drug that can reverse overdose.
Obama also planned to highlight a new public awareness campaign. CBS, Turner Broadcasting, ABC, The New York Times and Google, have committed more than $20 million in advertising space to run public service announcements.
Presidential candidates in both parties also have put forward proposals — a response, in part, to the frequent concerns raised in New Hampshire town halls.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has laid out a $10 billion plan that promotes treatment over incarceration.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie repeatedly visited drug rehabilitation centers and talked up his work in his state to create drug courts that mandate treatment over jail time for non-violent offenders.
Sources: Washington Post – Kathleen Hennessey
July 13, 2015
Organized diet and exercise programs can stave off diabetes for those at risk, according to a new recommendation.
The Community Preventive Services Task Force, an independent, unpaid group of public health and prevention experts who develop recommendations for community health, commissioned a review of 53 studies describing 66 combined diet and physical activity promotion programs. The studies were done between 1991 and 2015.
The Task Force found strong evidence that these programs are effective at reducing the number of new cases of diabetes, according to a report in Annals of Internal Medicine.
July 1, 2015
Since the late 1980s, policymakers have debated the question of how society should deal with the problem of women’s substance abuse during pregnancy. In 2014, Tennessee became the only state to specifically criminalize drug use during pregnancy. However, prosecutors have attempted to rely on a host of criminal laws already on the books to attack prenatal substance abuse. The Supreme Courts in Alabama and South have upheld convictions ruling that a woman’s substance abuse in pregnancy constitutes criminal child abuse. Meanwhile, several states have expanded their civil child-welfare requirements to include prenatal substance abuse, so that prenatal drug exposure can provide grounds for terminating parental rights because of child abuse or neglect. Further, some states, under the rubric of protecting the fetus, authorize civil commitment (such as forced admission to an inpatient treatment program) of pregnant women who use drugs; these policies sometimes also apply to alcohol use or other behaviors.
– June 17, 2015
A bill allowing pregnant women to enroll in New York State’s health exchange unanimously passed the Assembly Wednesday night and now heads to Governor Andrew Cuomo for his signature.
The bill, which the Senate unanimously approved earlier Wednesday, would make New York the first state to classify pregnancy as a “qualifying event” for enrollment in the state’s health exchange.
During a state Assembly hearing in Manhattan on Monday, city officials and medical experts expressed their support for legislation that would require any drink that contains added sugar and is sold in New York State to come with a label warning of the potential health risks, including diabetes and high blood pressure.
On Thursday, April 16, City Council Member Corey Johnson introduced legislation to create an Office of Drug Strategy to oversee New York City’s myriad and sometimes contradictory approaches to the problems associated with drug use.
Hillary Clinton delivered the first important speech of the 2016 presidential campaign in New York on Wednesday, kicking off what she pledged would be an honest conversation about race and justice in America, and, beyond that, a period of meaningful reform.
On Wednesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo revealed a “blueprint” to end AIDS that aims to significantly reduce the number of new cases in the state by 2020.