AAAP Area 2 Meeting Video Recap: Opioid Use Disorder: Is Engaging the Receptor Necessary for Treating the Patient?

Opioid Use Disorder: Is Engaging the Receptor Necessary for Treating the Patient?

Maria A. Sullivan, M.D., Ph.D.

Video: Click here to watch the video recap!

At this year’s annual Area 2 meeting of the AAAP, held May 28, 2014 at the Columbia University Faculty House, the topic for discussion was: What should be the first-line treatment for opioid use disorder?  The goals of the Area 2 meeting are to allow members to share clinical and professional information and to encourage prospective members to join AAAP.

This Area 2 workshop was designed to provide members with an update on the current state of medication-assisted treatments for opioid use disorder, describing the strengths and limitations of each treatment approach. Building on the experience of clinicians working with several medications, a panel of three physicians sought to elicit clinical experience-based input from the audience with a goal to assess the need of developing a more formal opioid use disorder treatment guidelines that clinicians may find useful in their practice. Many practitioners find it challenging to determine which strategy – agonist, antagonist, or non-medication-assisted – should be the first-line treatment for patients with opioid use disorder.

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Office of National Drug Control Policy Newsletter


ONDCP Newsletter — March 2015

Welcome to the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) E-Newsletter Update. In this issue:

  • Roadside survey shows increase in drugged driving
  • Webinars on the dangers of synthetic drugs
  • International drug policy professionals visit ONDCP
  • ONDCP ‘Power session’ a highlight of CADCA forum
  • ‘Culture card’ enhances cultural competence in AI/AN communities
  • 4th Annual RX Drug Abuse Summit Coming in April

Roadside Survey Reveals Increase in Drugged Driving

Decades-long efforts to combat drunk driving continue to be effective at keeping alcohol-impaired drivers off America’s roadways, but the number of drivers who test positive for drugs has risen in recent years, according to results of a survey by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The latest version of NHTSA’s Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Use by Drivers found that the percentage of weekend nighttime drivers with breath alcohol content of 0.08 grams per 210 liters of breath or above—at or in excess of the legal limit—had declined by nearly one-third since 2007 and by 80 percent since the first Roadside Survey in 1973. However, the study also found evidence of increased drugged driving. In the 2014 survey, about one-in-four each of weekend nighttime drivers and weekday daytime drivers tested positive for at least one drug (illicit or medication) that could affect highway safety.

To read the press release, click here

To read the Research Note, click here

Webinars to Focus on the Dangers of Synthetic Drugs

Mary Lou Leary, ONDCP’s Deputy Director for State, Local, and Tribal Affairs, will host two webinars in March to outline the dangers of synthetic cannabinoids (“Spice”) and cathinones (“Bath Salts”), and to provide details on Federal and local efforts to confront these threats.

Webinar 1 will serve as an introduction to New Psychoactive Substances. The discussion will focus on the manufacture, distribution, and health risks associated with these drugs as well as Federal regulatory provisions and enforcement actions. Featured participants will include representatives from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Webinar 2 will summarize local efforts to prevent the use and distribution of synthetic drugs, showcasing specific community reduction initiatives.

Webinar 1 will take place on Thursday, March 19, from 1-2 p.m. ET. To register, click here.

Watch for details on Webinar 2 in the next issue of ONDCP’s E-Newsletter Update.

ONDCP Hosts International Visitors

ONDCP recently hosted four drug policy professionals from Argentina, Peru, and Ecuador who were selected to come to the United States to meet with agency officials and discuss U.S. drug control policy. The four are participants in the International Visitor Leadership Program, which provides opportunities for current and emerging foreign leaders in a variety of fields to experience our policies and programs firsthand and build strong working relationships with their American counterparts. Many program participants eventually take leadership positions back in their home countries. The meetings reflect the participants’ professional interests and support the overall foreign policy goals of the United States.

To learn more about the International Visitor Leadership Program, click here.

ONDCP ‘Power Session’ a Highlight of CADCA National Leadership Forum

Top officials from ONDCP joined 2,600 leaders from the prevention field earlier this month at the Community Anti-Drug Coalition’s (CADCA’s) 25th Annual National Leadership Forum, held near Washington, D.C.

A highlight of the event was the Federal Partner Power Session, during which Director Michael Botticelli led a discussion by panelists that included David K. Mineta, ONDCP Deputy Director for Demand Reduction; Mary Lou Leary, Deputy Director for State, Local, and Tribal Affairs; and Jim Olson, Acting Deputy Director for Supply Reduction. Among the panel’s topics were the National Drug Control Strategy’s balanced approach to drug policy and efforts underway by the Administration and our partners to reduce youth substance use and its consequences. Panelists also discussed the role of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) and Drug-Free Communities programs in combating substance use disorders, as well as best practices for collaboration among groups.

Also explored during the Power Session was current international collaboration between the U.S. Government and the governments of Colombia and Peru in the effort to reduce the demand for illegal drugs. The final topic was an overview of the White House initiative “My Brother’s Keeper,” a holistic cradle-to-college and career program that aims to ensure all children enter school cognitively, physically, socially, and emotionally prepared to succeed throughout their journey to post-secondary education and into their careers.

To view slides used in the Federal Partner Power Session, click here.

Native American and Alaska Culture Cards

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has developed a free handbook designed to enhance cultural competence among Federal disaster responders and others who may be called upon to provide services in American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities.

The American Indian and Alaska Native Culture Card: A Guide to Build Cultural Awareness covers issues such as regional differences, cultural customs, spirituality, communications styles, the role of veterans and the elderly, and health disparities, such as suicide. The target audience is primarily non-Indian service providers and disaster responders, but the Culture Card is used much more broadly. Since its release in 2009, nearly 325,000 copies have been requested and distributed across the country.

To download or request a free copy of the Culture Card, click here.

4th Annual National Rx Drug Abuse Summit Coming in April

The Fourth Annual National Rx Drug Abuse Summit – the largest national collaboration of professionals seeking to address prescription drug abuse, misuse and diversion – will include educational tracks tailored to provide stakeholders timely and relevant information for their particular field, including Clinical Integration, Education & Advocacy, Law Enforcement, Pharmacy, Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs), Third-Party Payer, Treatment, and Trending Topics. The Summit will take place April 6-9 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Organizers have pulled together more than 180 thought leaders from across the country to lead discussions using evidence-based data. General Session keynote speakers this year will include: Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, ONDCP Director Michael Botticelli, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden, National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins, National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Dr. Nora Volkow, former U.S. Representative Patrick J. Kennedy (RI-1st), and Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-5th), Chair of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee.

But there is much more. The Rx Summit will feature a Forum with Members of the U.S. Congress; 14 Vision Sessions examining innovative programs and strategies designed to educate, mitigate, and resolve issues; Pre-Summit Workshops on Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Thought Leader Roundtable discussions; and, in partnership with Smart Approaches to Marijuana, an all-day summit addressing marijuana education (separate registration required).

Most of the sessions will qualify for Continuing Education credits. Please check the Summit website at for more details as they become available.

The Appalachian Regional Commission – an economic development agency comprising all or parts of 13 states, including north Georgia – has served as the Summit’s Education Partner from the beginning. The HIDTA program, which currently has 28 regional offices covering approximately 60 percent of the U.S. population, has signed on as the Summit’s Law Enforcement Partner.

Summit dates: April 6-9

Location: The Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia

For information about registration, please contact Cheryl Keaton at 606-657-3218 or email

For more information about the Summit, visit

American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry Partners with Boston University School of Medicine to Promote Safe Opioid Prescribing Practices




PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island – The American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP) has formed a collaborative partnership with Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) to make continuing education in safe opioid prescribing more accessible to its members. Through the partnership, members will have access to BUSM’s SCOPE of Pain (Safe and Competent Opioid Prescribing Education) online training and live conferences.
Nearly every community across the U.S. has been touched by the rise in opioid abuse. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, death rates from opioid overdoses quadrupled from 1999 to 2010.

Representing those on the front lines of battling opioid addiction, the AAAP recognizes educating prescribers is an important part of the solution. AAAP is recommending that all of its members who prescribe opioids take advantage of SCOPE of Pain educational opportunities.

“A major effort is required to address the opioid overdose epidemic, which is why AAAP is pleased to work with Boston University and the SCOPE of Pain project,” said AAAP President Laurence Westreich. “AAAP brings to the project the expertise of a cadre of addiction, psychiatry, and pain experts who have trained thousands of health care providers on cutting edge, evidence-based treatments on the safe and effective use of opioids for treatment of chronic pain and opioid use disorder.”

Boston University School of Medicine launched SCOPE of Pain ( in 2013 to address the challenges of opioid prescribing.

Program Director Dr. Daniel P. Alford said, “While opioids may not be the solution for everyone who suffers from chronic pain, they can improve quality of life for some. Access to proven tools related to effective opioid prescribing and monitoring will enable prescribers to continue to help those patients who can benefit from this type of treatment while mitigating the risks.”

SCOPE of Pain is part of a national effort spearheaded by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to combat the abuse of extended-release, long-acting opioid (ER/LA) analgesics.

Led by national experts in pain management and addiction, it educates prescribers through live seminars held throughout the country, as well as a Web-based educational series based on real-world, case-based patient scenarios. Some of the topics covered include assessing misuse risk through a systematic approach, patient counseling, monitoring for misuse after prescribing, the importance of clear documentation, multi-dimensional care, using universal precautions for all patients, and dealing with patients who show signs of misuse/addiction.

To date, Boston University School of Medicine has educated more than 20,000 prescribers across the country about safe opioid analgesic prescribing practices.

Editor’s Note: For additional information on SCOPE of Pain opioid facts and education, please refer to the following infographic;

About Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM):

A leader in medical education and research, BUSM bu( resides at the hub of a modern urban academic health center that provides an exceptional environment for students interested in basic science, clinical investigation, or public health- and health services-oriented research.

Integrated since 1864 and co-educational since 1873, BUSM has almost 700 medical degree students and more than 800 masters and doctorate degree students who are pursuing the study of medicine and the biomedical sciences. For more than 130 years, BUSM faculty have consistently ranked among those on the frontiers of scientific and medical knowledge. BUSM has been sponsoring Continuing Medical Education (CME) activities since 1973. Over the last five years, it has educated more than 179,000 health care professionals. For more information, visit

About the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry:
The American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP), headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, is the professional membership organization for learning and sharing about the art and science of Addiction Psychiatry research and clinical treatment. Its 1,500 members nationwide are psychiatrists, faculty, medical students, residents and fellows, non-psychiatrists and related health professionals helping those with substance use disorders and mental health disorders. For more information, visit