Mental Health and Substance Abuse

CSG Midwest
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed 11 bills into law in July that seek to address myriad facets of the state’s opioid crisis. The bills were the product of a special session held earlier in the year.

Since 1999, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription opioids and heroin) has quadrupled, accounting for six out of every 10 drug overdose deaths. Current estimates show that 91 Americans die each day from an opioid overdose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC. Opioid deaths are increasing at alarming rates across the states. And while state policies to reduce the availability of prescription opioids are working to reduce overdose deaths, heroin and synthetic opioid overdoses are beginning to climb.

Over the years, substance abuse trends in the states have shift from one drug to another as new policy solutions make previously abused drugs more scarce. Over the past decade, gabapentin has emerged as a drug of concern. Gabapentin, the generic for Neurontin, is a medication that was approved by the FDA in 1993 and is approved to treat epilepsy and nerve pain caused by shingles. The IMS Institute...

On June 8, 2017, the Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, publicly requested that Endo Pharmaceuticals remove their drug, Opana ER, from the market. The agency stated that the benefits of the medication no longer outweighs the risks. According to the FDA, there has been a shift in abuse that has seen an increase in crushing, snorting and injecting the medication. This increase in injection abuse has also seen an increase in HIV and Hepatitis C...

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, estimates that 91 Americans die each day from an opioid overdose. The opioid epidemic is one of the biggest public health challenges in the United States today, leading to higher drug abuse rates, increasing health care costs and imposing additional stress on state budgets. Three new reports released in June 2017 demonstrate the growing need for solutions.

Earlier this week, I spoke with Ohio Rep. Al Landis about a media campaign he has started to bring attention to the opioid crisis in his legislative district and spread a message about prevention. He calls it #gotyourback.  He asks people to post on his own personal Facebook page a picture of themselves back to back with a friend and the words “I’ve got your back! It’s what friends do. Help your friends say no to drugs.”

The campaign springs from his growing alarm about the opioid crisis in Ohio.

CSG Midwest
Over the course of a two-week period in late March and early April, the rules for prescribing painkillers were tightened in Ohio, an improved drug-monitoring system was unveiled in Michigan, and nine bills to prevent opioid abuse won passage in the Wisconsin Assembly. The flurry of activity in those three states illustrates just how big the opioid problem continues to be in many parts of the Midwest, as well as how much of a priority legislative leaders have placed on finding new ways to address it.
Near the top of that priority list is better controlling how prescription drugs are dispensed, prescribed and used.

Six Questions County Leaders Need to Ask
by Risë Haneberg, Dr. Tony Fabelo, Dr. Fred Osher, and Michael Thompson

Not long ago the observation that the Los Angeles County Jail serves more people with mental illnesses than any single mental health facility in the United States elicited gasps among elected officials. Today, most county leaders are quick to point out that the large number of people with mental illnesses in their jails is nothing short of a public health crisis, and doing something about it is a top priority.

Over the past decade, police, judges, corrections administrators, public defenders, prosecutors, community-based service providers, and advocates have mobilized to better respond to people with mental illnesses. Most large urban counties, and many smaller counties, have created specialized police response programs, established programs to divert people with mental illnesses charged with low-level crimes from the justice system, launched specialized courts to meet the unique needs of defendants with mental illnesses, and embedded mental health professionals in the jail to improve the likelihood that people with mental illnesses are connected to community-based services.

 

As states are battling heroin and opioid epidemics, they are doing so in the remnants of an economic recession that saw an estimated $5 billion cut from state mental health budgets. With less than two cents of every state and federal dollar allocated toward substance abuse and addiction spent on prevention and treatment, government at all levels, as well as private

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WHEREAS, states and communities across the nation are overwhelmed by the current epidemic of opioid abuse and addiction and they are struggling to respond and to ameliorate the problem; and

WHEREAS, the number of drug overdose deaths in 2014 exceeded the number of deaths due to traffic accidents; and

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