Latest News

  • October 26, 2018 11:26 AM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)
    The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.

    National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is Saturday, October 27, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. National Take-Back Day is a safe, convenient, and responsible way to dispose of unused or expired prescription drugs.

    Learn more about Drug Take-Back Day in Wisconsin, and find a location near you to safely drop off your unwanted or unneeded prescription painkillers and other drugs. 

  • October 26, 2018 11:11 AM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    Oct. 25, WMS Medigram

    A statewide summit on fighting opioid and meth abuse drew more than 500 attendees from across Wisconsin earlier this week in Milwaukee. Hosted by Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel and U.S. Attorneys for Wisconsin Scott Blader and Matthew Krueger, the summit coincides with Drug Take Back Day, which is this Saturday, Oct. 27.

    The summit, “Making Progress through Collaborations,” brought together
    local public health agencies, law enforcement, first responders, hospital personnel and other health care professionals, social services, prevention and intervention workers, victim advocates, teachers, community groups, faith-based leaders, government officials and others—all focused on fighting opioid and meth abuse.

    Attendees kicked off national Drug Take Back Day by bringing unused and unwanted medications to temporary drug disposal units at the summit.

    This Saturday, in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), 300 local law enforcement agencies throughout Wisconsin will participate in Drug Take Back Day. Held every October and November, this event provides a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposal of both prescription and over-the-counter medications, while also educating the community about the potential abuse and consequences of improper storage and disposal of these medications.

    Since 2015, Wisconsinites have disposed of over 400,000 pounds of unused and unwanted medications, and the state has been a national leader in the DEA’s drug disposal program. To find a Drug Take Back location, click here.

  • September 18, 2018 4:36 PM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    Sept. 18, MedPage Today

    The FDA said Tuesday that it is broadening its Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) for opioids to include immediate-release agents prescribed for outpatients, and will cover all "providers who are involved in the management of patients with pain" -- not just those writing prescriptions.

    But although the agency is requiring opioid manufacturers to create new training modules for nonprescribers, and that cover immediate-release products, the training will remain voluntary for professionals.

    The broadened REMS will also apply to extended-release and long-acting (ER/LA) opioids for outpatient use, for which the FDA first imposed a REMS in 2012. The agency noted that Tuesday's action raises the number of individual products subject to the opioid REMS from 62 to 347.

    "Our aim is to make sure the medical community can take advantage of the available education on pain management and safe use of opioid analgesic products," said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, in announcing the changes.

    "At the same time, we're also taking new steps to advance the development of evidence-based, indication-specific guidelines to help further guide appropriate prescribing of opioids. The goal is that these guidelines will provide evidence-based information on the proper number of opioid doses that should be dispensed for different medical conditions for which these drugs may be indicated. The aim is to reduce overall dispensing as a way to further reduce exposure to these drugs," Gottlieb added. He did not give a timeline for when these more specific guidelines would be released.

    The FDA noted that the new training -- components of which were outlined in a "blueprint" document -- must be made available to nurses and pharmacists, for example, in addition to those authorized to prescribe opioids. "The new REMS also requires that the education cover broader information about appropriate pain management, including alternatives to opioids for the treatment of pain. The agency is also approving new product labeling containing information about the health care provider education available through the new REMS," the agency said.

    That labeling about education will now appear as part of the boxed warnings and other sections on "warnings and precautions."

    Previously, the opioid REMS ordered manufacturers of ER/LA opioids to develop training materials for prescribers, with the aim of minimizing risks of overuse and abuse. However, the FDA stopped short of requiring prescribers to undergo special training. REMS requirements for many other types of medications do include mandatory training, and the agency said opioids could eventually be added to that list.

    "The FDA's Opioid Policy Steering Committee continues to consider whether there are circumstances when the FDA should require some form of mandatory education for health care providers and how the agency would pursue such a goal," according to the Tuesday announcement.

  • September 13, 2018 6:05 PM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    The American Society of Addiction Medicine is seeking nominations for:

    • The 2019 John P. McGovern, ASAM Annual Award, and 
    • The ASAM Media Award

    Awards will be presented at the ASAM 50th Annual Conference in Orlando, FL in April 2019. Members are encouraged to nominate deserving individuals for these awards.

    Nomination submissions are being accepted through the ASAM Online Portal on or before October 31st . To be eligible for consideration, all nominations must be submitted electronically.  A separate nomination form for each nominee and/or award is required.

  • August 27, 2018 11:26 AM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    August 27, Wisconsin Health News

    Drug overdoses increased about 7 percent in Wisconsin from 2016 to 2017, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 1,200 died in the state last year from overdoses. 

    Nationally, nearly 72,000 died of drug overdoses in 2017, a more than 6 percent increase from the year before.

  • August 27, 2018 11:24 AM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    August 27, Wisconsin Health News

    The Department of Health Services has awarded almost $600,000 to 70 community coalitions fighting the opioid epidemic.

    The grants range from $500 to $22,300 and will support organizations that promote awareness about opioid misuse, hold community drug take-back events and provide an anti-overdose drug and training on its use, according to a statement from last week.

    All of the recipients are members of the Alliance for Wisconsin Youth, which is made up of organizations focused on substance abuse prevention. They're expected to complete their projects by April.

    The money comes from $7.6 million in federal grant money received by Wisconsin, the second round of funding provided by the federal government.

  • August 20, 2018 6:36 PM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    Healthcare is poised to play a central role in the 2018 state and federal elections, and the results could reverberate across Wisconsin.

    Democrats are hoping a blue wave will put the brakes on President Trump’s attack on the Affordable Care Act, but if Republicans retain control of Congress, it may seal the law’s fate. Meanwhile, the races for Governor and the Legislature are certain to shape the future of healthcare for years to come.

    A panel of the state’s top healthcare lobbyists will analyze what’s at stake for the Badger State and preview their priorities for the coming year. Panelists:

    • Eric Borgerding, CEO, Wisconsin Hospital Association
    • ​Dr. Bud Chumbley, CEO, Wisconsin Medical Society
    • ​Stephanie Harrison, CEO, Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association
    • ​John Sauer, CEO, LeadingAge Wisconsin
    • ​Nancy Wenzel, CEO, Wisconsin Association of Health Plans
    The event is Tuesday, September 11 at the Madison Club (11:30am – 1pm).  Register here.
  • August 15, 2018 9:50 AM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    UW Madison will host a day-long workshop on Suicide Bereavement Clinician Training, presented by national experts Drs. Jack Jordan and Nina Gutin, on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 at the Pyle Center in Madison.

    This unique opportunity in the arena of suicide post-vention and prevention coincides closely with the conclusion of National Suicide Prevention Week. Few clinicians have been properly trained to understand and respond to the complicated features of grief associated with suicide loss. The workshop is designed to prepare clinicians for working with individuals who are grieving the loss of someone to suicide. 

  • August 08, 2018 11:13 AM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    August 8, Wisconsin Health News

    Fourteen offenders have completed a Department of Corrections’ opioid addiction treatment program, bringing the total number of graduates from the program to 58, according to a Tuesday statement.

    The program got its start with $1.6 million from Gov. Scott Walker’s 2015-17 biennial budget. It received an additional $1.6 million this biennium.

    The program provides medication-assisted treatment over a yearlong period, providing naltrexone to treat inmates with opioid dependency.

    It targets inmates with a history of opioid dependency being released into Brown, Calumet, Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Outagamie, Waupaca and Winnebago counties.

    “The treatment offered through this program and drug courts across Wisconsin can transform lives and loosen the opioid epidemic’s hold on Wisconsin,” Attorney General Brad Schimel said in a statement.

    After finishing the program, participants receive additional AODA treatment through the Department of Corrections or a medical provider. 

  • August 02, 2018 11:23 AM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    August 2, Wisconsin Health News

    The University of Wisconsin and UW Health are offering a new hotline allowing primary care doctors and other providers in the state to consult with addiction experts to treat patients.

    The Department of Health Services awarded a $500,000 grant for the hotline, which can be renewed for an additional year. The service, which UW believes is the first of its kind in the nation, will provide counsel about a range of addictions during weekdays.

    Seventy percent of Wisconsin’s rural counties lack a provider who is certified to provide medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders, according to Dr. Randall Brown, who oversees the program team for the services.

    “The goal of this project is to offer real-time support and expertise from specialists in addiction medicine, addiction psychiatry, psychology and AODA counseling,” he said in a statement last week. “I am confident that we can reduce the enormous suffering substance abuse produces in this state.”

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