Opioid Policy and News Updates: April 2020

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Each week the Collaborative for Effective Prescription Opioid Policies (CEPOP) produce an opioid policy and news update. This report compiles resources related to federal and state legislative and other news on the opioid epidemic. In this blog post, we share a few highlights from their latest edition and thank CEPOP staff for their hard work.

Update on National Drug Take Back Day
The annual National Drug Take Back Day, sponsored by the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For the past 10 years, these events have offered a way to anonymously get rid of medicines that could be stolen or dangerous to another family member in the home. DEA and its partners have collected almost 12.7 million pounds of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications. 

New Reports Released
A new study in the March issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) looked at the role of family members’ opioid prescriptions on overdose in youth and adolescents. This cohort study looked at 72,040 adolescents and young adults and found that “exposure to family members with opioid prescriptions was associated with a 2-fold increase in the risk of overdose, and youth’s own prescriptions were associated with a more than 6-fold increase in risk.” This work echoes the need for education to families on the dangers of opioids. CSIP continues to work with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids to reach families and communities with education and outreach. 

In October, the Forum on Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held its inaugural workshop in Washington, DC. The goal of the workshop was to “explore key policy challenges that impede efforts to improve care for those individuals with mental health and substance use disorders. “Of those with a substance use disorder, approximately 60 percent also have a mental health disorder.” The workshop proceedings are now available to view and download as a PDF.

Major Federal Legislative Update
At the end of March, Congress passed the two trillion dollar Coronavirus Aide, Relief, and Economy Security (CARES) Act. It includes large amounts of support for small businesses, the unemployed, and more. As more and more companies lay off workers there is great concern about the distress (both financially and emotionally) facing Americans and their families. In particular, we are concerned for those struggling with opioid addiction being able to access the treatment they need.

CSIP and all organizations working to protect our communities from the dangers of opioids and other drugs, will continue to share information as we receive it. Stay tuned to our website, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. 

About the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP)
The Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP), a non-profit organization founded in 2011 by the White House, represents the technology sector and commerce intermediaries including Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Oath, UPS, PayPal, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and .Health.  CSIP’s mission is to promote industry best practices as it relates to illegal online pharmacies, and educating consumers about safe purchasing of prescription drugs.