Opioid Crisis





AUCD'S UCEDD Resource Center Announces Awardee for Training Initiative Addressing Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome for the National Network of UCEDDs

The Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) sought a lead UCEDD to build the capacity of the national network of UCEDDs to address the impact of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) through collaborative implementation of best and promising practices across federally-funded networks to support child, caregiver, and family outcomes in the local communities. Federally-funded networks include those funded by AIDD, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).



The US Opioid Crisis: Addressing Maternal and Infant Health

CDC released the first-ever multi-state analysis of trends in opioid use disorder (OUD) in labor and delivery. These data indicate the number of pregnant women with OUD at labor and delivery more than quadrupled from 1999 through 2014, with significant increases in every one of the 28 states with available data.



The Opioid Crisis: A Child's Fight and a Mother's Gain

Robin Adams tells of the challenges and joys of adopting a baby affected by his birth mother's opioid use. The drug test came back positive for opioids and the needle puncture sites in the young, pregnant woman's arms were infected. At just 92 pounds, neither she nor her unborn child were benefiting from any nutritional intake. She returned to her OB/GYN six weeks later, keeping few prenatal appointments in total. When she returned, she was prepared; she had another person's urine in her purse. But she fooled no one, and her physician offered to help her find treatment and recommended a facility where she could receive medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and medical care. She denied her drug use and rejected the referral.



NIH Leadership Outlines Interdisciplinary FY2018 Research Plan for HEAL Initiative

In a Viewpoint published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, National Institutes of Health leadership detail components of a newly released research plan for the Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) Initiative. The HEAL Initiative is a trans-NIH effort launched in April 2018 to advance national priorities in addressing the opioid crisis through science. With a focus on two primary areas - improving treatments for opioid misuse and addiction, and enhancing strategies for pain management - the plan describes a multifaceted program encompassing pre-clinical, clinical, drug repurposing, and community-based approaches.



SAMHSA Announces $196 Million Funding Opportunity for Opioid Treatment Grants to Hardest-hit States and Tribes

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is now accepting applications for $196 million to treat opioid use disorder through its Targeted Capacity Expansion: Medication Assisted Treatment-Prescription Drug Opioid Addiction grant program.



Wyoming Institute for Disabilites Launches New ECHO Network to Address Opioid Use in Wyoming (WY UCEDD)

Wyoming Institute for Disabilities, Wyoming's UCEDD at the University of Wyoming, launched a new ECHO integrated care network in February designed to address issues related to opioid use in Wyoming. UW ECHO in Behavioral Health is a collaboration with the Wyoming Department of Health and Mountain Plains Addiction Technology Transfer Center and brings together professionals from behavioral health, primary care, law enforcement as well as treatment and recovery providers, peer specialists and pharmacists. By sharing promising practices and evidenced-based care, the network provides participants with an opportunity to participate in an online professional community dedicated to preventing opiate addiction and fostering recovery.





Integrating Infectious Disease Prevention and Treatment into the Opioid Response

The opioid crisis in the United States is devastating the lives of millions of Americans. Perhaps overshadowed by the alarming rise in overdoses and deaths is the accompanying numbers of injection-related infectious diseases. Opioid overdose deaths increased fivefold from 1999 to 2016, and new hepatitis C infections more than tripled from 2010 to 2016.



CDC Grand Rounds: Public Health Strategies to Prevent Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) is a drug withdrawal syndrome that most commonly occurs in infants after in utero exposure to opioids, although other substances have also been associated with the syndrome (1). NAS usually appears within 48-72 hours of birth with a constellation of clinical signs, including central nervous system irritability (e.g., tremors), gastrointestinal dysfunction (e.g., feeding difficulties), and temperature instability (1) (Box 1). Opioid exposure during pregnancy might result from clinician-approved use of prescription opioids for pain relief; misuse or abuse of prescription opioids; illicit use (e.g., heroin); or medication-assisted treatment (MAT) of opioid use disorder (2) (Box 2).



Help, Resources and Information on the National Opioids Crisis from HHS

Increased prescription of opioid medications has led to widespread misuse of both prescription and non-prescription opioids before it became clear that these medications could indeed be highly addictive. This webpage offers help, resources and information on the national opioid crisis.



Treatment Resources for Opioid Use Disorder from SAMSHA

SAMHSA works with federal partners, states, and community stakeholders to develop and coordinate a comprehensive response to the opioid epidemic. SAMHSA addresses opioid use and misuse through approaches such as informing and guiding opioid prescribing practices, the expansion of medicationassisted treatment (MAT), and individual-provider decision making tools.



CMS Guidance: Addressing Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

Medicaid services can play a critical role in helping ensure access to treatment for these vulnerable infants who have Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) is a postnatal drug withdrawal syndrome that occurs primarily among opioid-exposed infants shortly after birth. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services CMS released guidance aimed at building on our commitment to partner with states to ensure that they have flexibilities and the tools necessary to combat the opioid crisis.



CMS Leverages Medicaid Program to Combat the Opioid Crisis

States provided guidance in designing treatment options for Opioid Epidemic

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services CMS released guidance aimed at building on our commitment to partner with states to ensure that they have flexibilities and the tools necessary to combat the opioid crisis. This new guidance provides information to states on the tools available to them, describes the types of approaches they can use to combat this crisis, ensures states know what resources are available, and articulates promising practices for addressing the needs of beneficiaries facing opioid addiction. Notably, CMS released an Informational Bulletin that provides states with information they can use when designing approaches to covering critical treatment services for Medicaid eligible infants with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). Additionally, CMS issued a letter to states on how they may best use federal funding to enhance Medicaid technology to combat drug addiction and the opioid crisis.



Every day, more than 115 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids.1 The misuse of and addiction to opioids-including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl-is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare. This page will highlight news items, resources and events regarding the opioid crisis.