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 NationalRxDrugAbuseSummit.org 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 ckeaton@centertech.com.

For more information about the Summit, visit NationalRxDrugAbuseSummit.org.