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  • February 16, 2022 5:06 PM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    The Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking, established under Section 7221 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, was charged with examining aspects of the synthetic opioid threat to the United States—specifically, with developing a consensus on a strategic approach to combating the illegal flow of synthetic opioids into the United States. This final report describes items involving the illegal manufacturing and trafficking of synthetic opioids, as well as the deficiencies in countering their production and distribution, and includes action items directed to appropriate executive branch agencies and congressional committees and leadership.

    Read the report.

  • February 14, 2022 3:14 PM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    The CDC draft Clinical Practice Guideline for Prescribing Opioids (update to the 2016 Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain) has posted in the Federal Register and the 60-day public comment period begins today. Public comment provides valuable insight from the populations that we serve. Please note that the 60-day public comment period will end on April 11, 2022. 

    CDC is committed to supporting safe and effective pain care options for patients. CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) is in the process of updating the 2016 CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. Both healthcare professionals and members of the public who experience acute or chronic pain have expressed interest in understanding the recommendations outlined in the draft updated Guideline, and CDC highly values public and partner engagement and feedback in this process.

    <Visit the Federal Register to provide your comments on the draft Guideline update> 

    Please see our webpage detailing the process of updating the Guideline. Encourage people you know who have direct experience with the role of opioids in pain care and the importance of the patient-clinician relationship to visit the Federal Register, review the draft update to the Guideline, and add their perspectives to the Federal Register Notice.  

    Submitting a Comment

    See below for instructions to submit a comment during the public comment period. More detailed instructions can also be found on the Federal Register Notice (FRN) webpage and in the FRN for this document.  

    To locate the FRN and view the draft of the updated Guideline, you can either:   

    To submit a comment to CDC, please view the methods outlined in the FRN under the "Addresses" heading and select which option you prefer:

    • Electronic comments via the website 
    • Go to and search for "CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids"
    • A comment button on the top left of the page will allow you to submit your comments via a webpage with step-by-step instructions
    • Mail
    • Directions for how to submit a comment through the mail are provided in the "Addresses" section of the FRN on

    To ask a question, click on the “For Further Information Contact” heading in the FRN for the agency official contact information. 

    General information about the process to provide a public comment can be found at the following links:  

  • January 24, 2022 1:52 PM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    New RI Program will Divert Individuals with Substance Use Disorders from Incarceration and into Treatment

    Training, education and implementation efforts provided by the Opioid Response Network (ORN) has helped to establish a new program in Woonsocket, RI. This program, championed by RI Superior Court Judge Kristin Rodgers, will divert individuals with an opioid or other substance use disorders who have been arrested away from jail and into treatment and recovery support services. An estimated 70 to 100 people arrested every year could qualify to participate in this program, which was recently awarded the funding needed to get it off the ground.

    U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressman David Cicilline have announced a three-year $819,109 U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance grant for the Woonsocket Police Department (WPD). Working with the non-profit Community Care Alliance, this will fund the Law Enforcement Assisted Deflection, Engagement, and Retention (LEADER) in Treatment program. ORN, a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration-funded initiative, will continue providing WPD with education and training support as needed. Read more.

    If an opportunity listed below sparks interest but you have questions or are not quite sure how it could fit into your own plans, email We can help! All ORN trainings are provided at no cost. To coordinate a tailored training with an ORN consultant to meet your specific needs, submit a request at

    New Course: Improving Clinical Practice with Patients who have Stimulant Use Disorder 
    Performance in Practice and Self-Assessment Activity

    This new course is designed to improve the competence, performance, and patient outcomes of physicians, physician assistants, nurses, nurse practitioners and other healthcare professionals. Learners will determine individual practice gaps and address them through a performance improvement plan. Learners will assess and evaluate performance techniques used in their practices. This ORN course was developed by ORN lead organization the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry. Read more.

    Live Training: Certified Addiction Registered Nurse Exam Review for RNs/NPs - PART ONE: February 7, 2022

    This ORN-funded training from the Boston Medical Center is an exam review course for RNs and NPs working in the addiction field who have an interest in becoming a Certified Addictions Registered Nurse (CARN) or a Certified Addictions Registered Nurse - Advanced Practice (CARN-AP). This course is intended to support nurses studying for the CARN and CARN-AP exam by reviewing material the exam will cover. Read more.

    PLEASE NOTE: This is a two-part training. You must attend both parts to receive continuing education credits. See here for information on PART TWO.

    Live Training: Treating Stimulant Use Disorder
    February 9, 2022

    This ORN-funded training from the Boston Medical Center is designed to be a guide for addiction providers interested in providing and caring for people who use stimulants including cocaine and methamphetamines. The training will review the basic science of addiction related to stimulants as well as evidence-based treatment for people who use stimulants. The session will also talk about the practical implementation of evidence-based treatment for patients who use stimulants in the office-based addiction treatment setting. Read more.

    Live Training: Recovery Community Organization Bootcamp
    February 22 - 24, 2022

    This ORN-funded, Faces & Voices of Recovery activity is a 13-hour free training for new and emerging Recovery Community Organization (RCO) directors, program managers and board members. The training covers all the basics to help build the capacity of small non-profit organizations. Breakout sessions focus on RCO start-up, governance, sustainability, policies and procedures, strategic planning, staff development and more. Read more.

    On Demand Trainings: New Webinars Presented by Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses 

    New ORN-funded webinars from the American Psychiatric Nurses Association have been posted and are available to all at no cost. These include:

    ·     What’s in Grandma’s Medicine Cabinet? – Understanding Substance Use Disorders in Older AdultsExplore how age-related physiological and social changes present unique challenges for the identification and treatment of this disorder.

    ·     Substance-Exposed Pregnancies: What to Know As They Grow Discover how substance use during pregnancy impacts maternal/fetal development and increases the neurological vulnerabilities of the neonate.  

    ·     A Primer on Stimulant Use Disorder: A Growing Concern Examine neuroscience changes as a result of a substance use disorder, along with the signs and symptoms that often present with the diagnosis as well as potential treatment options.

    Read more.

    Tailored Trainings: Providing Peer Based Recovery Support Services for Pregnant and Parenting Families

    This ORN-funded training opportunity developed by the Addiction Technology Transfer Center prepares participants to meet the diverse needs of pregnant and parenting families in early recovery. Recovery and parenting both occur in the context of relationships. Trainings are designed to help participants build skills to support/ strengthen families as they grow and develop in their roles as nurturing parents. Submit a request for this training topic at Your local ORN Technology Transfer Specialist will connect with you to learn more about your specific needs and help facilitate a tailored, localized training on this topic. 401-270-5900

  • December 22, 2021 12:05 PM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    America is confronted with surging overdose deaths in historically and continually marginalized communities. How will we respond?

    December 21, 2021, East Providence, RI --Recent data analysisi bears truth to previously anecdotal reports of surging overdose deaths. This research is also exposing how ongoing structural racism is resulting in disproportionately high rates of overdose deaths within historically and continually marginalized communities. The Covid-19 pandemic is exacerbating this reality.

    The research (Friedman & Hansen, 2021): Black overdose mortality overtook that of White overdose mortality in 2020 for the first time since 1999. Rates were 16.3% higher for Black individuals than White individuals in the same period. American Indian and Alaska Native individuals experienced the highest rate of overdose mortality in 2020. Rates for this populations were 30.8% higher than the rate for White individuals. Why? Health disparities resulting from structural racism spur increased drug overdose mortality within Black and Native communities.ii


    Addressing opioid and stimulant use disorders within Black and Native Communities can't be achieved with a one size fits all approach. To this end, the Opioid Response Network, funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), relies on its expansive, diverse array of consultants and workgroups.

    "There has always been a severe gap in efforts to reach Black communities to address substance use disorders. This is alarming in the face of evidence that rates of overdose deaths in these communities outpace other populations. However, just reaching Black communities is not sufficient in-and-of-itself. Engagement must be tailored to meet individual and community identified needs. Working together we can identify and address health disparities and change the direction of these frustrating statistics."

    Opioid Response Network Black Communities Workgroup Co-Chairs: Tracie Gardner, Senior Vice President of Policy Advocacy, Legal Action Center, and Myra Mathis, MD Senior Instructor of Psychiatry, Addiction Psychiatrist, Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester

    "For over 500 years, Native communities have been faced with relocation, forced assimilation, and attempts at genocide resulting in generations of historical trauma. This set the stage for the current opioid and stimulant epidemics and the increasing rate of mortality from overdose in Native communities that new research has exposed. Recognizing that conventional efforts to address this have been compromised from issues including disparities in healthcare access, it is clear new strategies are needed that center solutions within Native communities and provide consultation and resources to support these efforts. Through culturally informed education and training delivered in partnership with diverse Native communities, we can make a difference."

    Opioid Response Network Indigenous Communities Workgroup Co-Chairs: Holly Echo-Hawk, MSc (Pawnee), and Aimee Campbell, PhD, Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatric Social Work, Columbia University Irving Medical Center

    "LGBTQ+ people face intersecting racism, discrimination, and stigma that can lead to elevated rates of substance use and mortality from overdose. LGBTQ+ people also often face health disparities as a result of structural racism, which is a key factor in increasing mortality rates in Black and Native communities. Culturally informed education and training, which the Sexuality and Gender Diversity Workgroup supports, is key to addressing increasing overdose mortality rates and for all people with substance use disorders."

    Opioid Response Network Sexuality and Gender Diversity Workgroup Co-Chairs: Jeremy Kidd, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Columbia University Irving Medical Center & New York State Psychiatric Institute, and Margaret Paschen-Wolff, DrPH, MSW Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatric Social Work, Columbia University Irving Medical Center & New York State Psychiatric Institute

    To supplement efforts taking place across the country and U.S. territories to address opioid and stimulant use disorders and the overdose crisis, the Opioid Response Network's coalition of national organizations and individuals is providing no cost education and training. To ensure cultural responsivity and acknowledging and actively working to dismantle the structures which uphold health disparities, Opioid Response Network's workgroups advise on all activities facing historically and continually marginalized communities. Visit for more information and to submit a request for training and education to enhance your efforts and meet your needs. Email with questions.

    About the Opioid Response Network

    The Opioid Response Network (ORN) was established through Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration funding awarded to the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry working collaboratively with the Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network, at the University of Missouri - Kansas City, Columbia University Division on Substance Use Disorders and 40 national organizations. ORN provides education and training in the prevention, treatment and recovery of opioid and stimulant use disorders at the local level and at no cost.

    For more information, contact:
    Nicholas Canning
    Sr. Project Manager
    Opioid Response Network | 401-270-1173

  • December 20, 2021 3:00 PM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    Treating HIV and Substance Use Disorders in Gay Black Men

    Opioid Response Network (ORN) trainings that help others address racism and homophobia for better outcomes

    Benjamin Nguyễn, MSW, ASW, CPH, is ORN’s representative for the American Southwest. If you’re in New Mexico, Arizona or Nevada and seek out ORN for education and training, it’s Ben on the other end of the line. Recently, Ben received a request for training from the Nevada Pacific AIDS Education and Training Center. “They were preparing for their annual conference for HIV care providers and were looking for a speaker on best practices for substance use disorder treatment and recovery with a focus on the LGBTQ+ community and racial disparities. It was a perfect fit for ORN,” said Ben.

    For the job Ben worked closely with ORN Advanced Implementation Scientist Larry Bryant, PhD, MPH, BSW, RRT. Dr. Bryant crafted a training to share immediate actions and long-term strategies to apply to their work. This included affirmative language to use when communicating with patients; education on how to structure specific situations so that LGBTQ+ patients feel comfortable in sharing private information; and how best to engage this population in treatment. “It was also largely a discussion on common life experiences that often influence the behaviors of gay Black men. Providers need to understand where these patients are and then meet them there in order to effectively address their treatment and recovery needs,” shared Dr. Bryant. Read more.

    Training and education from ORN is designed to be culturally intelligent. To help improve practice standards, ORN established several workgroups including the Sexuality and Gender Diversity Workgroup and Black Communities Workgroup. Would you like to learn about how these multi-disciplinary teams can help your efforts? Email with a specific question.


    If an opportunity listed below sparks interest, but you have questions or are not quite sure how it could fit into your own plans, email We can help! Stay tuned to ORN's evolving events page for upcoming opportunities. All ORN trainings are free.

    TAILORD ON DEMAND TRAININGS: Making Sense of the Federal Health Privacy Laws

    Free training opportunities for individuals and networks that provide or administer substance use disorder services

    Multiple federal laws, including HIPAA and 42 CFR Part 2, protect the confidentiality of substance use disorder treatment information. These laws permit sharing patient records in certain circumstances — however, it can be hard to understand when they apply, what information should be kept private, what can be shared, with whom, and when. With funding from ORN, ORN partner organization CAI will be conducting a limited number of free virtual trainings regarding health privacy laws. These tailored trainings will address common questions about health privacy laws and their application in practice. See here for more information and information on how to request a training. 

    TAILORD ON DEMAND TRAININGS: ToxIC Novel Opioid and Stimulant Exposures

    Free training opportunities with medical toxicologists for individuals and organizations

    The American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT) is a professional, nonprofit association of approximately 800 physicians with recognized expertise in medical toxicology. Medical toxicologists are specially trained physicians who diagnose, treat, manage, and prevent human poisonings, such as overdoses from prescribed or illicit drugs, including opioids and novel psychoactive substances. As an ORN partner organization, ACMT is providing tailored trainings about novel opioid cases through the use of the Toxicology Investigators Consortium (ToxIC) Core Registry, a multi-center surveillance network that includes cases submitted by medical toxicologists after formal consultation of patients who presented in the acute care setting with an overdose or toxic exposure. Do you have questions? For more information or to coordinate your own tailored training, email Dr. Kim Aldy at

    Upcoming Training and Training of Trainers:
    Peer Support for Pregnant and Parenting Families

    Training scheduled for January 4 and 5, 2022
    Training of Trainers scheduled for January 25 and 26, 2022

    This ORN-funded training developed by the Addiction Technology Transfer Center will prepare Peer Recovery Support Specialists to meet the diverse needs of pregnant and parenting families in early recovery. Recovery and parenting both occur in the context of relationships. This training is designed to help participants build skills to support/ strengthen families as they grow and develop in their roles as nurturing parents. The Training of Trainers will prepare the participants to teach the Providing Peer Based Recovery Support Services for Pregnant and Parenting Families curriculum. More information can be found here.

    Faces & Voices of Recovery Learning Community
    Begins January 5, 2021 (note multiple events)

    This free Virtual Learning Community (VLC) is funded by ORN and developed and coordinated by Faces & Voices of Recovery. The VLC features a series of six 1-hour sessions with subject matter experts on a bi-weekly basis. Series for Cohort One begins Jan. 5, 2022. The format for each session includes a brief presentation on the topic and then a discussion and Q&A session with the presenter. Register once for the entire series; attendance at all 6 sessions is highly encouraged.

    See here for more information and to register.

    Training: Stimulants 101
    January 12, 2021

    The ORN-funded training from the Boston Medical Center is designed to provide an overview of stimulant use disorder for all healthcare organization staff including providers, nurses, counselors and other non-clinical staff. The training reviews stigma, identifying stimulant overdose, managing acute stimulant intoxication, de-escalation techniques, and evidence-based treatment for people who use stimulants. See here for more information and to register. 

    Training: Initiation of Medications for Opioid Use Disorder
    January 14, 2021

    The final session in National Alliance for HIV Education and Workforce Development's Bridging HIV, HCV, & SUD: Innovations in the Field 7-part webinar series, Initiation of Medications for Opioid Use Disorder, will be on Friday, January 14th, at 12 pm ET. In order to effectively end the HIV epidemic in the United States, providers who care for people with or at-risk for HIV need to be equipped to effectively identify and treat opioid use disorder. This ORN funded presentation will provide practical guidance on the use of medications for opioid use disorder. See here for more information and to register. 401-270-5900

  • December 13, 2021 3:30 PM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    From the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:

    The US Food and Drug Administration’s Controlled Substances Program is holding a virtual information session on research funding to improve scientific understanding of psychedelics. 

    During the session, we will provide information about FDA’s recent activities regarding psychedelics, and we will share how the upcoming research funding opportunity fits into our work. We will also give a brief overview of the Controlled Substances Program, which aims to promote the public health by minimizing risks associated with problematic use of controlled substances while enabling appropriate access for medical use.

    The session will take place on Friday, December 17th at 11.05 AM EST. RSVPs will be accepted to on a first-come, first-served basis no later than 12/15/21. If you are unable to attend but would like to learn more, please email to receive a recap email after the information session. 

  • November 04, 2021 1:36 PM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    Demonstrating the Value of Recovery Housing: Expert Panel Findings

    In January 2021, the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, with funding from ORN, hosted a technical expert panel to explore ways to best demonstrate the value of recovery housing in the United States. Recovery housing refers to safe, healthy, alcohol and drug-free living environments that support individuals in recovery from substance use disorders. The panel reviewed the current recovery housing landscape and identified areas for improvement. They discussed:

    • What's missing from the current recovery housing framework?
    • What strategies can be implemented to bridge the cultural divide between the social model (recovery housing) and the medical model (treatment)?
    • What are the current opportunities and limitations in the funding of recovery housing? What is an ideal funding model for recovery housing?
    • What policies and systems should be implemented to create a more cohesive recovery housing ecosystem?

    At the conclusion of the panel, recommendations were identified and next steps proposed to strengthen the system in an effort to build the recovery housing network and demonstrate the value of the service. The report developed as a result identifies key strategies and recommendations. Request access for it (asking for the Demonstrating the Value of Recovery Housing: Expert Panel Findings Report) by submitting a request at It just takes a minute and your local ORN Technology Transfer Specialist can share it (at no cost to you) and provide you with additional educational resources and training to meet your needs and enhance your work as it relates to services for people in recovery from opioid and stimulant use disorders.

    Training: Advancing Racial Equity in the Substance Use Field

    ORN is committed to supporting the integration of racial equity across substance use disorder prevention, treatment, recovery and harm reduction, and offers workshops, education, training and consultation for all your diversity and racial equity capacity building efforts. ORN funded racial equity trainings focused on the substance use field include:

    1. Developing a Shared Language For Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (90 minutes)
    2. Systemic Racism and Substance Use Disorder: Anti-Racist Strategies (2 hours)
    These two trainings are available live (in person or online) and/or offered as a (pre-recorded) self-pace workshop you can do individually, as a team, or across your organization. Learn more.

    Training: Waiver Trained: Now What? The Nuts and Bolts of Addiction Treatment

    This ORN funded training from Boston Medical Center, an ORN partner organization, will provide waivered prescribers with the skills needed to implement office-based addiction treatment into an ambulatory practice setting. Additionally, this talk will provide expert, concrete tips to facilitate the provision of care for patients with substance use disorders utilizing medications in their treatment. Intended audience: Prescribers who have recently obtained their X-Waiver (or who are contemplating getting their waiver) and are looking to increase provision of care for patients with substance use disorder in an outpatient setting. Register here.

    Training: Bluegrass Care Clinic: Coordinated Team-Based Approach to Opioid Treatment with HIV Primary Care 
    Friday, November 12, 2021 at 12 PM EST

    The 5th session in the National Alliance for HIV Education and Workforce Development's Bridging HIV, HCV, & SUD: Innovations in the Field 7-part webinar series will be held on Friday, November 12, 2021 at 12 PM EST. Bluegrass Care Clinic: Coordinated Team-Based Approach to Opioid Treatment with HIV Primary Care will share the steps the team took to identify gaps in care related to the opioid epidemic and discuss successful approaches. Register here. Funded by ORN.

    Toolkit: Working with People with Intellectual and Development Disabilities who Struggle with Substance Use Disorders

    Upcoming: The Working with People with Intellectual and Development Disabilities who Struggle with Substance Use Disorders toolkit is the result of a roundtable discussion that brought together professionals from the substance use disorder services and intellectual/developmental disabilities services fields in Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas. During the roundtable professionals shared ideas and identified gaps in communication and services for people living with both a substance use disorder and an intellectual and developmental disability. This toolkit provides resources and tools to serve individuals living at this intersection in your community. It was developed with ORN funding and in partnership with the Mid-America Addiction Technology Transfer Center and the Institute for Human Development. The toolkit will be available soon. Request access by submitting a request at using the toolkit's name. 

    Read more

  • October 20, 2021 11:31 AM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    Reminder: Virtual Meet and Greet with the Opioid Response Network Sexuality and Gender Diversity Workgroup

    ORN's Sexuality and Gender Diversity Workgroup (formally called the LGBTQ+ Workgroup) virtual meet and greet will be held on October 22, 2021 at 12:00 PM EST.This Friday! Members will be sharing how the workgroup supports ORN’s mission to help you help others reach LGBTQ+ communities facing opioid and stimulant use struggles and how to access ORN as a free resource. Learn more and register for the meet and greet. 

    One Way to Overcome Substance Use Disorder as a Barrier to Financial Aid for Working Families


    Dear Opioid Response Network Community: The Child Tax Credit in the American Rescue Plan provides the largest Child Tax Credit ever and historic relief to the most working families ever. This program is reaching most American families with automatic monthly payments without them having to take any action and it is a key strategy to lift many out of poverty. Reaching even more families continues to be a national priority and awareness is critical, especially in reaching families who have not filed taxes recently and therefore need to sign up themselves to receive payments. Today, we ask for this community’s support in sharing this message with your members, within your practices and at all junctures where our work directly reaches individuals and families impacted by substance use disorders. Let's reach and help more families. 

    Research shows us that poverty can lead to substance use disorders, including opioid and stimulant use issues. Research also shows that drug-related death rates have been seen to be significantly higher in poorer areas and in areas with high levels of family distress. To this end, programs like the Child Tax Credit offer an important strategy to address a key social determinate of health for individuals who are at risk for opioid or stimulant use and their families. Assisting families in obtaining resources such as early childhood education, welfare benefits and adult education has been a frequent call to action during many Opioid Response Network training events. But addressing barriers for non-filers (individuals who have not filed taxes recently) in particular presents clear challenges. We ask that you share these outreach materials as broadly as possible. Together – we can make a difference!

    Upcoming Trainings and New ORN Educational Resources

    Harm Reduction Through a Prevention Lens

    Learning Collaborative in Session: Integrated Treatment for Individuals with Co-Occurring Substance Use Disorders and Serious Mental Illness

    The American Psychiatry Association, an ORN partner organization, is hosting an ORN-funded online learning collaborative called Integrated Treatment for Individuals with Co-Occurring Substance Use Disorders and Serious Mental Illness, which is being led by Ken Minkoff, MD, Senior System Consultant, ZiaPartners, Inc., Part-time Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School. Open now through November 21, 2021, this collaborative serves as a virtual community for participants working in settings serving people with serious mental illness (SMI) to understand how to implement the routine delivery of integrated mental health/substance use disorder services to individuals with SMI, co-occurring substance use conditions (with a particular focus on co-occurring opioid use disorder), and other complex needs, within their own practice, their own program, and their own agency.

    Harm Reduction Through a Prevention Lens

    New resource within the ORN's repository: Harm Reduction Through a Prevention Lens. This one-page information sheet, developed by the Prevention Technology Transfer Center, provides a brief overview of harm reduction and its connection with prevention. It also includes basic harm reduction strategies for commonly used substances and viral infections that are a heightened risk for people who use substances. Submit a request today for access at Your local Technology Transfer Specialist can not only provide access, but, as your local champion, provide you with a range of related education and training support. 

    Substance Use Disorders in the LGBTQ Population

    New presentation within the ORN's repository: Substance Use Disorders in the LGBTQ Population. This presentation tool examines understanding of why sexual minorities are at increased risk for substance use disorders; epidemiology of substance use disorders with a focus on methamphetamine use; recommendations for substance use disorder treatment in the LGBTQ population; and more. If you would like a similar, but tailored training, for your community, staff, etc., submit a request today at and your local Technology Transfer Specialist will be in touch within one business day. 401-270-5900

  • September 24, 2021 4:40 PM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

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    Providing Affirming Care for LGBTQ+ People in Substance Use Treatment Settings

    In the last addition of the Bulletin we shared that Columbia University Department of Psychiatry Division on Substance Use Disorders has created a one-of-a-kind, web-based training funded by ORN that will help substance use disorder treatment providers deliver more affirming care to their LGBTQ+ clients. This course has since launched and is available to access, and benefit from, at no cost. Authors: Margaret Paschen-Wolff, DrPH, MSW; Jeremy D. Kidd MD, MPH; Avery DeSousa, BA; Theresa V. Navalta, BA; and the Community Advisory Board. Duration: 1 - 1.5 hours. Access here.

    How else can ORN support your efforts in delivering affirming care for LGBTQ+ people? ORN's Sexuality and Gender Diversity Workgroup (formally known as the LGBTQ+ Workgroup) is coordinating a virtual “Meet and Greet” aiming to introduce you and your organization to the workgroup's members and share how the workgroup supports ORN’s mission to help you help others reach LGBTQ+ communities facing opioid and stimulant use struggles. Learn how to access ORN as a free resource to receive support in providing affirming, culturally intelligent and evidence-based education and trainings around substance use. Register here for the Meet and Greet. 

    Deadly Adulterants: Another Threat from the Opioid Epidemic

    The American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT) Toxicology Investigators Consortium (ToxIC) is identifying and reporting on novel and emerging opioid and stimulant exposures for ORN every quarter. ACMT is an ORN partner organization. The latest in the series of reports is titled "Deadly Adulterants: Another Threat from the Opioid Epidemic."

    Adulteration and contamination of illicit drugs has long been a potential hazard for people who use both sporadically and chronically. Over the centuries, clusters of illness tied to specific adulterants can be found in historical descriptions. For example, in 1982 four young adults living around San Jose, CA developed Parkinson’s like movements after intravenous illicit opioid drug use. The substance was tested and found were byproducts of the production of a synthetic “street heroin” that was newly emerging in northern California at the time. Read the full report here. Past reports here.

    Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Data Spotlight

     The increased accessibility to prescription pain medications over the last 20 years has made it easier for adolescents to engage in opioid misuse and, subsequently, be at heightened risk for opioid use disorder and related adverse outcomes. As a result, it is important to identify risk factors for opioid misuse to inform prevention and treatment efforts among children and adolescents. Recent research has highlighted a significant relationship between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and subsequent opioid misuse among adolescents. Specifically, findings show that adolescents who are exposed to five or more ACEs are 15 times more likely to report recent opioid misuse. In total, over 70% of recent opioid misuse is attributed to previous childhood adversity.

    Past Month Opioid Misuse Among Adolescents, by Number of ACEs

    [Source: Swedo, E. A., Sumner, S. A., de Fijter, S., Werhan, L., Norris, K., Beauregard, J. L., ... & Massetti, G. M. (2020). Adolescent opioid misuse attributable to adverse childhood experiences. The Journal of Pediatrics, 224, 102-109.]

    How is ORN Responding? ORN responds to technical assistance requests from individuals, organizations (and anyone!) specific to ACEs both in-person and virtually. These requests and subsequent action result in training, educational materials, and strategic planning which spans prevention, treatment and recovery. For example, ORN conducted a webinar on the association between ACEs and criminal justice involvement. This presentation highlighted the extent to which ACE trauma has been linked to challenges with brain development in adults and subsequent behavioral health issues. For example, a study of California’s prison population reported that over half of inmates had experienced ACEs. For access to this resource (all at no cost) or to coordinate your own training submit a request at

    This data spotlight is part of a series brought to the Bulletin by ORN partner organization, RTI International.

    Upcoming Education and Training Opportunities

    Medication for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) Implementation Guides for Probation and Parole

    Justice System Partners, in a partnership with the Brown University School of Public Health, and with ORN funding, is developing a suite of resources and practical tools for implementing MOUD in criminal justice settings. A series of guides for community corrections work are now available. The series is for individuals trying to ignite (or re-ignite) an interest in using or expanding the use of MOUD within communities, and specifically within probation and parole. Contact your local ORN representative by submitting a request at for access to the guides - provided at no cost.
  • August 30, 2021 12:55 PM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)


    The overdose epidemic has taken a toll on far too many Americans and their loved ones.  Addiction is a disease that touches families in every community, including my own.  The epidemic is national, but the impact is personal.  It is personal to the millions who confront substance use disorder every day, and to the families who have lost loved ones to an overdose. 

    During Overdose Awareness Week, we recommit to taking bold actions to prevent overdoses and related deaths, and enhance our support for individuals with substance use disorders.

    In recent years, we have seen synthetic opioids, such as illicitly manufactured fentanyl, drive many overdose deaths with cocaine- and methamphetamine-related deaths also increasing at alarming rates.  The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the overdose epidemic, as necessary pandemic restrictions made it harder for individuals with addiction to receive the treatment and support services they need.  These factors contributed to the more than 93,000 drug overdose deaths in 2020.  As a Nation, we need a strong response to America’s overdose epidemic and an investment in prevention, harm reduction, treatment and recovery services, as well as strategies to reduce the supply of illicit drugs.  

    While drug overdose and addiction affect many different communities across the United States, we also recognize the longstanding inequities experienced by people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ+, formerly incarcerated individuals, people experiencing homelessness, and others.  For too many years, these communities have faced disparate access to health care, differential treatment in the criminal justice system, and poorer health outcomes. 

    My Administration is committed to addressing addiction and the overdose epidemic with evidence-based strategies.  In April, to ensure that the Federal Government is promoting evidence-based public health and safety interventions, the Office of National Drug Control Policy released my Administration’s first year drug policy priorities.  These include expanding access to prevention, treatment and harm reduction efforts, reducing youth substance use, reducing the supply of illicit substances, advancing recovery-ready workplaces, and expanding the addiction workforce and access to recovery support services for all Americans.  My Administration is also committed to eliminating racial disparities in responding to the overdose epidemic as well as reviewing the overall approach to drug policy.

    This effort requires significant investments in our health care infrastructure.  In my American Rescue Plan, we provided crucial funding for substance use disorder treatment and harm reduction, including a nearly $4 billion investment in our Nation’s behavioral health infrastructure.  This includes $30 million for a new Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grant program to support community-based efforts aimed at preventing overdoses and reducing harm associated with substance use. 

    We also recognize that many of our brave veterans recovering from service injuries may be vulnerable to opioid addiction.  I signed the Dispose Unused Medications and Prescription Opioids Act to ensure that Veterans Affairs facilities provide locations to dispose controlled substances in a safe, secure and supportive environment. 

    Agencies across the Federal Government are also making significant strides in supporting individuals with substance use disorders.  The Department of Health and Human Services continues to work on expanding access to evidence-based treatment, including a new policy to expand access to buprenorphine, a medication for the treatment of opioid use disorder.  The Drug Enforcement Administration also issued a new rule that allows more opioid use disorder treatment programs to operate mobile components to better serve rural and underserved communities.  These actions are only the beginning.  My Administration will be taking additional actions to reduce barriers to life-saving treatment and expand access to prevention, harm reduction, and recovery support services.

    Overdose Awareness Week provides us an opportunity to recommit ourselves to addressing this epidemic.  By enhancing our support for individuals facing substance use disorder we can save lives. 

    NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim August 29 through September 4, 2021, as Overdose Awareness Week.  I call upon citizens, government agencies, organizations, healthcare providers, and research institutions to raise awareness of substance use disorders to combat stigma, to promote treatment and celebrate recovery, and to strengthen our collective efforts to prevent overdose deaths.  August 31st also marks Overdose Awareness Day, on which our Nation mourns the lives lost to the drug overdose epidemic.  

    IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-seventh day of August, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-sixth.



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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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