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Author: Pollen Williamson

Mandatory Guidelines for Urine Testing Updated

New federal mandatory guidelines for workplace drug testing became effective on October 1, 2017, and included the authority to test for four semi-synthetic opioids: oxycodone, oxymorphone, hydrocodone, and hydromorphone. These are prescription opioid pain medications that have commonly known names such as OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet, Dilaudid, etc. These four prescription pain medications were added to the standard testing panel because data indicates that although they are prescribed, they are the prescription pain medications that are most frequently used without medical authority. However, under the revised Mandatory Guidelines, positive drug testing results that have a legitimate medical explanation (e.g., supported...

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Older Adults with Opioid Use Disorders

Addiction Treatment Forum writer, Barbara Goodheart, ELS, summarized two articles addressing older adults and opioid use disorders. In one, the recommendations explain that as the proportion of older patients receiving MMT is expected to rise, it’s important to develop clinical guidelines to help providers and patients decide whether to taper or to discontinue MMT, and if to discontinue, when to switch to an alternative, and whether the taper should be slow or quick. If continuing MMT is deemed the best clinical choice, it’s important to ensure that structural supports are in place for administering MMT under long-term care, or...

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Adolescent Substance Use Screening Tools

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has launched two evidenced-based online screening tools that providers can use to assess substance use disorder risk among adolescents 12-17 years old. These tools can be self-administered or completed by clinicians in less than two minutes.  They are being offered through the NIDAMED Web Portal. Online Screening Tools...

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NSS-2 Bridge Approved to Reduce Opioid Withdrawal

The NSS-2 Bridge, a small electrical nerve stimulator placed behind the patient’s ear w/ battery-powered chip that emits electrical pulses to stimulate branches of certain cranial nerves was approved in mid-November by the FDA. Patients can use the device for up to five days during the acute physical withdrawal phase and it is available only as prescription. The FDA reviewed data from a single-arm clinical study of 73 patients undergoing opioid physical withdrawal. Prior to using the device, the average COWS score for all patients was 20.1. Study results showed that all patients had a reduction in COWS of...

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FDA Approves Monthly Buprenorphine Injection

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Sublocade, the first once-monthly injectable buprenorphine product for the treatment of moderate-to-severe opioid use disorder (OUD) in adult patients who have initiated treatment with a transmucosal (absorbed through mucus membrane) buprenorphine-containing product. It is indicated for patients that have been on a stable dose of buprenorphine treatment for a minimum of seven days. FDA Press Release Indivior Press Release Sublocade Fact...

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