Summit Track Overview


Sessions at the 2016 National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit are organized into 10 educational tracks tailored to provide stakeholders timely and relevant information for their particular field. (Updated 2-16-16)
 
Advocacy  |  Clinical  |  Federal  |  Heroin  |  Law Enforcement  |
Pharmacy  |  PDMP  |  Prevention  |  Third-Party Payer  |  Treatment

 

Advocacy

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Drug overdose deaths are the leading cause of injury death in the United States, ahead of deaths from motor vehicle accidents and firearms, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment. In 2013, the most recent year for which data is available, 46,471 people in the U.S. died from a drug overdose, and more than half of those were caused by Rx painkillers and heroin. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc., (NCADD), drug abuse costs employers $81 billion annually, proving the devastation is both personal and societal. To fight this epidemic, advocates influence laws and policies to reduce Rx drug and heroin abuse. The Advocacy Track will consider which changes are being advocated and how this is occurring at the local, state and federal levels. Topics will include recommendations for which laws and policies to change, lessons learned by jurisdictions that have tried new laws and policies, best practices for advocates and advocacy coalitions, and engaging stakeholders, such as elected officials, law enforcement, medical professionals, pharmacists and persons in recovery.
 
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Clinical

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that U.S. healthcare providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for painkillers in 2012, enough for every American adult to have a bottle of pills, and higher prescribing is associated with more overdose deaths. Clinicians are looking for ways to prescribe opioids appropriately so that they manage patients’ pain successfully and mitigate risks for abuse and harm. At the same time, clinicians are responding to public health crises associated with Rx drug and heroin abuse, such as HIV infections, Hepatitis C infections and neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). The Clinical Track will equip physicians, dentists and other healthcare professionals to employ the latest federal prescribing guidelines and coordinated care plans for chronic pain, consider alternative prescribing practices and chronic pain treatments, engage patients in treatment following overdose reversal, and work with special populations. Attendees will hear from clinicians, researchers and public health officials about strategies that are being proven effective or showing great promise.
 
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Federal

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Whether on the frontlines in the fight against Rx drug and other opiate abuse, or serving as an elected or appointed official seeking solutions, stakeholders nationwide are unified in their desire to raising public awareness of the impacts of this dangerous epidemic. Working to identify trends, examine possible solutions, provide early intervention to individuals at risk of abuse, and caring for those already addicted can be a daunting task when acting alone. The Federal Track will examine a number of initiatives at the community, state and national levels designed to enhance collaboration among advocates, healthcare and law enforcement professionals. Attendees will hear from leaders of national organizations, medical directors, state attorneys general, and top federal officials who are tasked with developing and implementing innovative strategies, as well as enforcing policies and laws.
 
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Heroin

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There was a five-fold increase in the total number of U.S. overdose deaths related to heroin from 2001 to 2013, based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data reported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Nearly 80 percent of recent heroin initiates reported using Rx opioids prior to heroin, according to NIDA. While implications of this devastating heroin trend will be covered in all tracks of the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit, the Heroin Track will delve deeper into this scourge. Presentations will explore the forces driving the heroin crisis, with an eye toward identifying effective solutions. Attendees will learn from the outcomes of national, state and local responses that have been implemented on the policy, public health and law enforcement fronts.
 
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Law Enforcement

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There were 1.5 million arrests for drug abuse violations in 2014 — more than any other category of crime — according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program. Law enforcement officials are developing new approaches to traditional and community policing in response to greater possession and trafficking activities, as well as drug-related homicides. From the frontline of the opiate epidemic, law enforcement officials play a critical role in prevention, and their community policing efforts will be discussed. On March 29, presentations in the Law Enforcement Track will focus on investigating and prosecuting crimes related to Rx drug abuse and heroin, with topics including case studies of homicides by prescribing doctors, new approaches by national opioid initiatives, and using advanced analytics to identify drug-seeking behavior and identity fraud. On March 30, the track will feature community policing topics, including drug-endangered children, overdose fatality review teams and Drug Court models.
 
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Pharmacy

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The number of opioid prescriptions dispensed annually by retail pharmacies grew by 48 percent from 2000 to 2009, when the total reached 257 million, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Pharmacy professionals can play a pivotal role in combating Rx drug abuse — including educating patients about proper usage and storage of their medications, identifying potential misuse and diversion of controlled substances, and collaborating with physicians in spotting and resolving concerns. As pharmacists rise to meet those opportunities, they also must respond to liability concerns due to heightened scrutiny from law enforcement agencies and security threats due to greater criminal activity. The Pharmacy Track will explore the responsibilities and challenges of pharmacy professionals and identify the industry’s best practices in responding to these challenges. Topics will include corresponding responsibility, diversion prevention, electronic prescribing systems, drug deactivation, pharmacy-based naloxone, and pharmacy burglaries and robberies, as well as an update on federal regulations.
 
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Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs)

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State prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) are essential tools in responding to Rx drug abuse. A wide variety of stakeholders use PDMP data to reduce misuse, abuse and diversion of Rx drugs, reduce Rx drug overdoses, and improve patient care. The PDMP Track will feature innovations gleaned from national reviews of PDMP programs and the experiences of state PDMP operators. Topics will include features to include in a PDMP program, optimizing prescriber utilization of PDMP data, partnerships to disseminate data widely, and recommendations for using PDMP data to achieve a variety of goals, such as reducing morbidity, mapping areas with low or no treatment options, and identifying risky behaviors in patients, prescribers and pharmacists.
 
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Prevention

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The cost of illicit drug use totaled more than $193 billion in a 2011 report by the National Drug Intelligence Center, which included direct and indirect crime, health, and productivity costs. In contrast, every $1 invested in prevention can save $2 to $20, according to the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA). The Prevention Track will consider how to prevent Rx drug and heroin abuse, as well as their associated harms, such as overdose deaths, HIV and Hepatitis C infection, and neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). Presentations will include the latest data/trends related to prevention efforts, best practices for using digital media as a prevention tool, and effective strategies targeting youth, expectant mothers and the workplace.
 
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Third-Party Payer

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Third-party payers are grappling with the rising usage and costs of Rx drugs. In workers’ compensation insurance, for example, the average number of narcotics prescriptions per claim grew from 0.56 in 2003 to 0.79 in 2011, according to the National Council on Compensation Insurance. That trend translated into higher costs of narcotics prescriptions per workers’ compensation claim, with a rise from $39 in 2003 to $59 in 2011. Third-party payers are working to mitigate those costs and to limit exposure to potentially addictive Rx drugs to avoid unwanted outcomes, lengthened disability and additional medical concerns for patients. Topics in the Third-Party Payer Track will include ensuring access to quality treatment for substance use disorders, identifying and helping at-risk patients, promoting safe prescribing practices, and reviewing state responses, such as establishing workers’ compensation formularies and Medicaid lock-in programs.
 
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Treatment

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More than 1.3 million people aged 12 or older received treatment for Rx pain reliever or heroin use during their most recent substance-use treatment in the past year, according to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Unfortunately, that survey found that less than one in five of the 22.5 million people who needed treatment for alcohol or illicit drug use actually received it. Increasing treatment is key for easing the personal and societal toll of Rx drug and heroin abuse. Treatment is particularly important among the incarcerated population, as part of the National Drug Control Strategy to break the cycle of drug use, crime and incarceration. Topics in the Treatment Track will include the five-year recovery standard, recovery ready ecosystems, best practices in treating the criminal justice population, closing gaps in treatment within the criminal justice and healthcare systems, treatment of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), and minimizing buprenorphine diversion.
 
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