Opioid prevention pathway hinted by successful past efforts to reduce methamphetine overdose

By 0 Comment

A podcast was recently released covering Harvard Business School Alumni Jim Langford which describes efforts to reduce opioid abuse in Georgia. His efforts began in 2008 with methamphetamines and have applied what was learned in that process to the opioid crisis. Jim created a group called the Substance Abuse Research Alliance (SARA) to gather the best thoughts on countering the mounting deaths and exorbitant costs of opioid abuse.

Two of the recommendations for the first version of the report have been implemented by Georgia’s legislature. They include making the overdose reversal drug naloxone available over the counter and beefing up the electronic system for tracking opioid prescriptions. SARA’s latest recommendations are extensive include a marketing style campaign, including media advertising, to elevate the understanding of the risks of prescription medication as well as illegal heroin and fentanyl. One such effective ad was called “Bathtub” which showed a teenage girl who gets a frightening look at her future after becoming addicted. Such ads were effective at increasing awareness and impacting opinions about meth and will now be expanded to opioid education.

The issues around prescription medication, which represents the starting point for most opioid abusers, represents a bigger challenge but where marketing based education will be part of the solution. We can prevent opioid abuse through a public – non-profit partnerships and through studying what is working in other parts of the country.

For the latest version of SARAs White Paper, see
https://www.lakeviewhealth.com/resources/news/state-opioid-crisis-georgia/

For an article and podcast on Jim Langford’s efforts in Georgia, see
https://www.alumni.hbs.edu/stories/Pages/story-bulletin.aspx?num=6725

For the somewhat frightening meth prevention ad, the “Bathtub”, see
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9ngRDu9t_E

Another View — Ted Smith: Crafting opioid policy to protect the youngest victims

By 0 Comment

I am impressed by the post of Lincoln Police Chief Ted Smith in the July 31st op ed page of the Manchester Union Leader.   As a first line public servant in the devastating battle we face in opioid addiction, which is particularly prevalent in NH, Ted provides some excellent insight into approaches to begin to win this battle.  I also support the CARA(2) legislation that is through the House Finance Committee and is being considered in the Senate.  I have proposed an element to this bill to make non-narcotic treatments for chronic pain that are currently ineligible for coverage under Medicare potentially reimbursable.   At present, certain technologies are not considered eligible for insurance coverage even if there save money and reduce opioid dependence.  This provision would give Medicare the option of making additional pain reducing technologies available.  Like Ted, I have found the NH delegation very responsive and committed to addressing the opioid crisis.

Read article here.