General News

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  • February 22, 2021 1:56 PM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    Suspected Opioid Overdoses Increased During the Pandemic

    Suspected opioid overdoses reported from over 2,600 agencies across the United States showed an increase in the months following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. From March to May 2020, 62 percent of agencies in counties that provided data reported an increase in suspected overdose submissions.

    Source: Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program (ODMAP)

    ODMAP submissions January 1, 2020 to March 18, 2020 compared to March 19, 2020 to May 19, 2020 

    How Has ORN Responded?

    One example: Early in the pandemic, the Opioid Response Network (ORN) identified urgent need for education and training regarding changing regulations and guidance concerning the use of telehealth/telemedicine in the management of substance use disorders to help combat a suspected increase in overdoses. One response came from ORN partner, the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine, which created a telehealth webinar series. Over 4,000 individuals registered to learn about: federal telehealth regulations; strategies for conducting group and individual sessions; and management of opioid use disorder in the context of social distancing, stay at home, and shelter in place orders. Access the webinars here and other ORN COVID-19 resources here.

    This data spotlight is the first in a new monthly series brought to the Impact Bulletin by ORN partner organization, RTI International. Stay tuned for more.

    About the Opioid Response Network (ORN):

    ORN provides free, localized training and education for states, communities, organizations and individuals in the prevention, treatment and recovery of opioid use disorders and stimulant use. Learn more and submit a request at www.OpioidResponseNetwork.org.

    References:

    Alter, A. 2020. COVID-19 impact on US national overdose crisis. Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program. Retrieved from here.

    Funding for this initiative was made possible (in part) by grant nos. 1H79TI083343 and 6H79TI080816 from SAMHSA. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.


  • January 14, 2021 9:37 AM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    One of the benefits of AOAAM membership is the opportunity to earn CME. Members can receive 3 AOA Category 1-B CME credits as a peer reviewer for manuscripts submitted to the Journal of Addictive Diseases for publication consideration. If you are interested in this opportunity please send a short email to R. Gregory Lande, DO at JAD@aoaam.org  describing your interest and experience reviewing manuscripts along with your CV. If you have limited experience with peer reviewing we can provide guidance and support to facilitate your contributions to academic publishing.



  • January 14, 2021 9:35 AM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    We are pleased to announce that the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine is a National Advocacy Partner for the 2021 Addiction Medicine Advocacy Conference to be held on March 22-March 23.

    We are excited to join the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and the other National Advocacy Partners for this two-day virtual advocacy event. We look forward to advancing addiction medicine together by advocating for legislative objectives that support addiction prevention and treatment and the professionals working every day to save patient lives.

    The deadline to register is March 1, 2021. Attendance is for ASAM members only.  To become an ASAM member, click here.  ASAM members can register for the2021 Addiction Medicine Advocacy Conference by clicking here.

    We value your participation in this year’s advocacy conference and look forward to an active collaboration in 2021 on behalf of the millions of people who need and deserve evidence-based addiction prevention and treatment.

    Hope to “see” you in March!


  • October 19, 2020 5:15 PM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    We want to make you aware of an upcoming event on Thursday, October 22, 2020, at 2pm EST. CDC's upcoming Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) webinar on this date will feature subject matter experts from CDC, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the American Society for Addiction Medicine (ASAM) to highlight existing resources and exceptions for clinicians who prescribe medications for opioid use disorder, increase awareness of existing community-based linkage to care resources, and discuss the outpatient telemedicine experience from a front-line provider perspective. You can find more information about this call, including the webinar link and dial-in numbers, at this link: https://emergency.cdc.gov/coca/calls/2020/callinfo_102220.asp

    Many of you who have been attending our monthly external stakeholder listening sessions have expressed the importance of increasing awareness on these topics among providers and identifying additional resources for the communities you serve. We are excited about the forum this call will provide and hope that it can spurn additional conversations through our recurring listening sessions. Our next session is scheduled for October 30th at 1pm, and we hope you all can join us as we continue to discuss opportunities to enhance resources and linkage to care among persons who use drugs or have substance use disorder.

    Many thanks for the incredible work you all do.

    Best,

    Amy Board, Unit Lead
    Persons Who Use Drugs or Have Substance Use Disorder
    Disproportionately Affected Populations Team
    Community Interventions and Critical Populations Task Force
    CDC COVID-19 Response

    ocg3@cdc.gov


  • August 06, 2020 7:03 PM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    Registration Now Open

    Addiction Medicine Board Certification Review Course

    Virtual Conference

    Saturday, October 3 - Sunday, October 4, 2020

    The AOAAM Addiction Medicine Board Certification Review Course is now open for registration.  This course has been specifically designed to assist physicians who have qualified to take the American Osteopathic Association’s subspecialty certification exam in Addiction Medicine. Those planning to take the OCC (Recert) examination will also find this course immensely useful.

    Details:

    • The virtual live course will be presented on Saturday, October 3 and Sunday, October 4.
    • The on-demand portion of the course will include recordings of the virtual program, as well as additional presentations expected to best prepare physicians seeking to pass the AOA board subspecialty certification initial or OCC examination.
    • Two live webinars, scheduled in late October and November, will feature a presentation on exam-taking skills and a general Q&A session.
    • Course price:
    • AOAAM Members - $449 (after 9/13/2020 - $575)
    • Non-members - $599 (after 9/13/2020 - $724)
    This two-day course will showcase the vast and in-depth knowledge of top experts who will cover content related to Addiction Medicine - from neurobiology and genetics to opioids, substance use disorders, medical marijuana, benzodiazepines, medical co-morbidities, psychosocial treatments, prevention and more. The course includes 27 hours (live and on-demand) CME. Learn more.

    The initial exam for AOA Addiction Medicine certification is scheduled for December 7-13, 2020. The OCC (Recert) Addiction Medicine Examination is also scheduled at this time

    View more details on the AOA website.

    News from the AOA:

    AOA responds to opioid crisis by offering clinical practice pathway for AOA Addiction Medicine certification

    Eligible DOs can obtain the certification after spending 1,000 practice hours on Addiction Medicine over a two-year period.

    Wednesday, August 5, 2020

    To help increase the number of physicians who are certified addiction specialists—which the nation needs more of as it battles an opioid epidemic—AOA Certifying Board Services recently began offering a clinical pathway to AOA board certification in Addiction Medicine.

    This certification is available to DOs who are AOA or ABMS board-certified in a primary specialty. To be eligible for the certification’s clinical pathway, they must have spent a minimum of 1,000 practice hours over a two-year period on Addiction Medicine. The two years of practice do not need to be continuous; however, they must have taken place in the five-year period prior to application.

    At least half of the practice hours must be devoted to direct patient care. The other half can include activities such as published research, teaching activities within an accredited medical school or ACGME residency, and live or recorded live CME activities.

    Urgent need

    In 2018, over 67,000 people died from drug overdoses in the U.S., a significantly higher number than died in car accidents that year. Now, experts fear that the COVID-19 pandemic is worsening the opioid epidemic, with some areas reporting dramatic increases in the number of opioid-related deaths.

    The nation has a shortage of physicians who are certified addiction specialists, according to a 2017 White House report. In 2009, it was estimated that the nation needed at least 6,000 such specialists, the report noted. In 2017, there were only 4,400 certified addiction specialists in the U.S., and demand would have been even greater than in 2009 due to the worsening opioid epidemic.

    To assist patients with substance use disorder in accessing high-quality health care, the AOA is committed to credentialing physicians who have specialized knowledge of addiction medicine, says AOA President Thomas L. Ely, DO.

    “Many communities across the country are reeling from the double blows of the opioid epidemic and the COVID-19 pandemic,” he says. “Each has been devastating for countless families and stretched many public health departments to the breaking point.

    “Increasing the pool of physicians who are certified in addiction medicine is necessary to provide greater access to high-quality treatment among patients with substance use disorders. Our DOs are eager to address substance use disorders using a whole-person approach to care.”

    Availability

    The clinical pathway will be available for three years following the first administration of the initial exam.

    During this period, AOA Addiction Medicine certification will also be available to DOs who have completed an AOA- or ACGME-accredited fellowship in Addiction Medicine, DOs with active American Board of Addiction Medicine certification, and DOs who completed an American College of Academic Addiction Medicine fellowship within the five years prior to applying.

    Following the end of the three-year period, physicians will only be able to qualify for AOA subspecialty certification in Addiction Medicine by completing an ACGME-accredited addiction medicine fellowship.

    The AOA Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists is currently reviewing eligibility criteria for MDs to obtain AOA subspecialty certification in Addiction Medicine.

    The initial exam for AOA Addiction Medicine certification is scheduled for Dec. 7-13, 2020. View more details on the exams page.

    More information about the certification, eligibility and required documentation is available in this FAQ.


  • August 04, 2020 1:23 PM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    R Gregory Lande

    Abstract

    The American Civil War resulted in massive numbers of injured and ill soldiers. Throughout the conflict, medical doctors relied on opium to treat these conditions, giving rise to claims that the injudicious use of the narcotic caused America’s post-bellum opium crisis. Similar claims of medical misuse of opioids are now made as America confronts the modern narcotic crisis. A more nuanced thesis based on a broader base of Civil War era research suggests a more complex set of interacting factors that collectively contributed to America’s post-war opium crisis.

    Learn more

  • June 09, 2020 2:16 PM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    The American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine (AOAAM) would like to acknowledge the violent and traumatic events against our Black community.  The killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others illustrate the racially driven brutality and violence in our society.  Systemic racism has not only impacted the criminal justice system, but also access to housing, employment, education, and healthcare.  The marginalization of Black individuals results in higher rates of chronic and acute illnesses, along with higher mortality rates from these illnesses.  We see this through the disproportionate numbers of Black Americans who developed and died from COVID-19 infection. Lastly, the impact of prejudice and discrimination on Black individuals affects their psychological well-being and may contribute to substance use.  The AOAAM supports the end of prejudice, racism, and violence perpetrated against our Black community and will do our part to help enact meaningful social reforms.

  • April 22, 2020 12:57 PM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    Reminder: the Opioid Response Network has accumulated a list of resources and trainings that may be useful to you during this public health crisis. Resources can be found here.

    The Opioid Epidemic and COVID-19: How Social Determinants of Health Create Differential Impacts

    The Opioid Response Network is also developing appropriate educational materials related to COVID-19 and updating other virtual resources specific to substance use disorder prevention, treatment and recovery with a focus on special populations and addressing social determinants of health. Please read and share this material on how social determinants of health create differential impacts.

    ORN Enhances Staff Skills at Leading Outpatient Center

    Valley Health Associates (VHA) in Salinas, CA, reached out to the Opioid Response Network when looking for support to build capacity and sustainability for the organization’s medication assisted treatment and recovery programs. Amy Bravo, Executive Director, VHA, asked ORN to play a part in building up the skills of her substance use disorder staff. ORN provided local training and technical assistance for VHA on many fronts. More than 200 staff participated in six separate trainings during the summer of 2019. Read the full story here.

    Community Collaborations in Monroe, Louisiana

    Through 2019, ORN planned and executed eight community collaborations across the country. In December, ORN partnered with the Northeast Delta Human Services Authority and the Louisiana Department of Health to facilitate strategic discussions around addressing substance use disorders and the opioid epidemic in the Delta region.

    More than 20 people attended the two-day event. Topics covered included evidence-based approaches to prevention, treatment and recovery; effective approaches for youth and adolescents; family-centered care; and stigma reduction approaches. A significant part of the meeting focused on hearing about the impactful work happening across the Northeast Delta region and Louisiana and identifying strategies that can support the state's ongoing initiatives to more effectively address the opioid epidemic.

    ORN received an increase in requests within Louisiana to support capacity building. Communities across the country can plan similar meetings by submitting a technical assistance request here.

    Educational Video Series to Support Substance Use Disorder Treatment

    The Boston Medical Center’s Office Based Addiction Treatment Training and Technical Assistance team has launched a video series aimed at providing clinical care teams with education on topical issues in the field of addiction treatment. The videos were produced by 1623 Studios out of Gloucester, MA and are accessible in the Opioid Response Network repository and here.

    American Indian/Alaska Native Technical Assistance Support

    To help address the opioid crisis in tribal communities, SAMHSA provided ORN with supplemental funding in 2018 to increase access to culturally appropriate and evidence-based education and resources. The ORN American Indian/Alaska Native workgroup, which was born as a result, has developed presentation slides to illustrate the support it can provide. The slides are intended for those audiences whose providers or community are Tribal, or work with Tribal communities and can be found

    here.

    Intimate Partner Violence and Child Abuse Considerations During COVID-19

    From SAMHSA: As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Americans are required to stay home to protect themselves and their communities. However, the home may not be safe for many families who experience domestic violence, which may include both intimate partners and children. To help families and communities address intimate partner violence and child abuse health concerns, please read the following, which contains resources.

    FY 2020 Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant and Substance Abuse Site-Based Program

    From the Bureau of Justice Assistance: The Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program (COSSAP) was developed as part of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) legislation. COSSAP’s purpose is to provide financial and technical assistance to states, units of local government, and Indian tribal governments to develop, implement, or expand comprehensive efforts to identify, respond to, treat, and support those impacted by illicit opioids, stimulants, and other drugs. The closing date is May 21, 2020. More here.


  • April 22, 2020 12:52 PM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

      

    Join our LIVE Webinar
    April 27, 2020 at 5:00 PM EDT

    Register Now

    Speakers

    Laura R. Lander, MSW, AADC

    Emily Chilko, LICSW

    This is the second webinar in the telehealth series for the Opioid Response Network (ORN).

    Learning Objectives:

    • Define teletherapy
    • Review federal regulations regarding provision of teletherapy during COVID-19 national emergency
    • Identify HIPAA compliant teletherapy platforms
    • Describe strategies for conducting both group and individual teletherapy sessions
    • Discuss management of OUD in the context of social distancing, stay at home, and shelter in place orders
    • Coding/billing for teletherapy visits
    • Access resources regarding teletherapy and OUD

    This webinar, hosted by the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine through a Opioid Response Network STR-TA grant, will present ways to incorporate telemedicine into treatment programming for substance use disorders, including how to evaluate and expand access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) using telemedicine, types of telehealth provider settings, implementation of PCSS best practices and evolving barriers. Billing codes will also be addressed.

    Funding for this initiative was made possible (in part) by grant no. 6H79TI080816 from SAMHSA. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.


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The mission of the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine is to improve the health of individuals and families burdened with the disease of addiction.

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