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Month: November 2017

Data Days Series Planned for December 13 to Share Information about Available Data Sources in NC

The State Epidemiological Overdose Workgroup (SEOW) is pleased to have Mr. Alex Asbun and Mr. Scott Proescholdbell presenting on prescription drug prescribing and overdose monitoring as a part of our Data Days series. Data Days are intended to share information about data sources available across the state to increase the use of data driven decision making and monitoring. Mr. Asbun and Mr. Proescholdbell will be presenting December 13th from 10am to Noon at the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, 109 E Jones Street, Raleigh. Alex Asbun, Drug Control Unit Manager, Division of Mental Health, will be presenting on the Controlled Substance Reporting System (CSRS), specifically prescribing trends, use of the CSRS by prescribers and dispensers, and CSRS policies and practices intended to reduce prescription medication misuse. Scott Proescholdbell, Epidemiologist, Injury and Violence Prevention Branch, Chronic Disease and Injury Section, Division of Public Health will be presenting on the opioid crisis, specifically the latest overdose data and trends over time, and the state response to date including the NC Opioid Action Plan. In person attendance is encouraged and preferred, but a webinar will be available for those at a distance (registration coming soon). Check back here at for...

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Reducing Opioid Use While Managing Chronic Pain

A $9 million study, led by RTI International, aims to provide strategies for reducing opioid use among patients who are not benefitting from it while ensuring access to those who are benefitting. RTI will collaborate with the Mid-South Clinical Data Research Network which is centered at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and includes Duke University Health System and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. More than 1,000 patients from North Carolina and Tennessee, states with high opioid use rates, will be enrolled in the study. Researchers will compare two interventions to evaluate their effect on opioid dosage, physical functioning and...

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Governor’s Institute Partners with NC Medical Board to Offer LIVE Opioid Training Across the State

These free CME panel sessions are designed for controlled substances prescribers to complete up to two hours of the required education in opioid prescribing. A one hour online training is recommended before the live training. Together they fulfill the three hour requirement. Topics include managing acute and chronic pain, identifying when patients are misusing opioids, and what to do about patients who have developed a substance use disorder. The Governor’s Institute has partnered with the North Carolina Medical Board to help bring these educational panel sessions to communities across the state. Controlled Substance Prescribing: What Every Provider Needs to Know –...

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Concurrent Use of Opioids and Benzodiazepines

Researchers analyzed laboratory data (Quest Diagnostics) from over 140,000 patients prescribed opioids with reported medication lists to assess co-occurrence of substances and medications. Among the findings, more than 20% were positive for both opioids and benzodiazepines and 19% of those testing positive for heroin were also positive for illicit fentanyl. The study excluded data from addiction specialists and treatment centers. Study Abstract  ...

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State Distributes 40K Doses of Naloxone

North Carolina is making nearly 40,000 more units of life-saving medication available to help fight the opioid epidemic, Governor Roy Cooper announced today. The state has purchased naloxone, which can reverse opioid overdose, to help reduce the number of unintentional opioid-related deaths in North Carolina. To date there have over 8000 reversals in NC. In addition, individuals with opioid use disorders will now have better treatment options thanks to a decision to remove the North Carolina Medicaid program’s prior approval requirement for Suboxone film, allowing physicians to start this treatment immediately when indicated. Read...

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