Friday, September 15, 2017

State panels to hold a full-day meeting on heroin, other opioids

By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News

State officials will hold what amounts to a symposium on heroin and other opioids, at an all-day meeting of two committees in Frankfort on Wednesday, Sept. 20.

The Interim Joint Committee on Health and Welfare and Family Services and the Medicaid Oversight and Advisory Committee will meet jointly from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Room 154 of the Capitol Annex. The meeting also includes an invitation-only working luncheon that will be televised in rooms 149 and 154 for those who would like to listen to the panel discussion.

Kentucky has the third highest drug-overdose rate in the country. The Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy reported a 7.4 percent increase in overdose deaths in 2016, and of the 1,404 overdose deaths in the state, more than half involved fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times more potent than heroin, and one-third involved heroin. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that 80 percent of heroin use starts with a prescription opioid.

The number of Kentuckians who know someone who uses heroin or abuses prescription drugs in the state is growing.

The latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll on this topic found that 17 percent of Kentucky adults know someone who is using heroin, up from 9 percent in 2013 and 13 percent in 2015. It also found that 27 percent of Kentucky adults say they know someone who has abused prescription pain medications.

The House Health and Family Services Committee chair, Rep. Addia Wuchner, told Don Weber of Spectrum News that she has been evaluating treatment centers in Kentucky and surrounding states to see which model might best serve the state's growing addiction crisis.

"Some are good, some maybe not so good," said Wuchner, a Republican from Florence. "We’re putting a lot of money into it, you know; families are paying money, Medicaid is paying money, insurance companies are paying money, but what are the best practices?" she asked.

Wuchner, who is also a nurse, told Weber that the Sept. 20 meeting will look for "smart and effective" solutions, adding, "It will be a full day committee committed to just this issue."

The agenda shows a host of experts speaking throughout the day on the status and overall impact of the heroin and opioid crisis in Kentucky, including awareness and prevention programs, harm reduction programs, treatment and recovery options, and programs that affect special populations, like pregnant mothers and their infants and the justice populations. The day-long program will wrap up with a look at the progress that has been made and the work that lies ahead.

The luncheon panel includes Dr. Phillip Chang, chief medical officer at the University of Kentucky, who will discuss hospital-based efforts; Dr. Kelly Conrad, medical science director for Addiction Alkermes, who will discuss neuropsychology and opioid use disorder; and Dr. Michael Sprintz, founder and CEO of Sprintz Center for Pain and Recovery, Cellerian Health, who will discuss a physician's journey from addiction to recovery.

Here is the agenda for the main part of the meeting:

Awareness, Prevention, and Treatment of Heroin and Opioid Use, Misuse, and Abuse

I. Overview of the Epidemic and Scope of the Crisis: Introductory Remarks (10 minutes): Reps. Addia Wuchner, R-Florence, and Kimberly Moser, R-Taylor Mill

II. OPIOIDS IN KENTUCKY MORNING PANEL I (30 minutes): Status and Overall Impact of the Heroin and Opioid Crisis
a.  Status of Heroin and Opioid Crisis: Van Ingram, Executive Director, Office of Drug Control Policy
b.  Health-care Impact: Dr. Gil Liu, Medical Director, Department for Medicaid Services
c Employment and Economic Impact: Dave Adkisson, President and CEO, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

III. OPIOIDS IN KENTUCKY MORNING PANEL II (20 minutes): Awareness and Prevention
a. Children and Youth and the Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences: Dr. Allen Brenzel, clinical director, state Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities
b. Core-Life: Bonnie Hedrick, program manager/liaison, Northern Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy

IV. OPIOIDS IN KENTUCKY MORNING PANEL III (40 minutes): Special Populations Part I: Pregnant/Parenting Women and Infants
Video: "Katie’s Story"
Jennifer Hancock, president and CEO, Volunteers of America Mid-States Freedom House
Teri Wilde, nurse manager, Baby Steps Program, St. Elizabeth Healthcare
Dr. Henrietta Bada, University of Kentucky

V. Harm Reduction: Safe Drug Disposal (15 minutes)
Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr, R-Lexington

VI OPIOIDS IN KENTUCKY AFTERNOON PANEL I (20 minutes): Treatment and Recovery Options, Part I: Medication Assisted Treatment
Dr. Mark Jorrisch, president, Kentucky Chapter of the American Society of Addiction Medicine
Dr. Molly Rutherford, founder, Bluegrass Family Wellness
Dr. Allen Brenzel, clinical director, Department for Behavioral Health

VII. OPIOIDS IN KENTUCKY AFTERNOON PANEL II (25 minutes): Special Populations, Part II: Justice Population
a. Quick Response Teams: Linny Cloyd, deputy, Quick Response Team Coordinator, Boone County Sheriff’s Office; Independence Fire Chief Scott Breeze
b. Angel Initiatives: Mike Ward, Chief, Alexandria Police Department
c Jail Substance Abuse Program: Jason Merrick, Director of Addiction Services, Kenton County Detention Center

VIII. OPIOIDS IN KENTUCKY AFTERNOON PANEL III (45 minutes): Treatment and Recovery Options, Part II
a. Outpatient Treatment: David Hayden, Vice President of Clinical Operations, SelfRefind; William Carter II, CEO, The Infinity Center
b. Long-Acting Injections: Steve Cummings, Our Lady of Peace; Chris Harlow, St. Matthew’s Pharmacy
c. Residential Treatment: Mike Cox, president, Isaiah House; Tim Robinson, founder and CEO, Addiction Recovery Care
d. Comprehensive Approaches: Nancy Hale, president and CEO, Operation UNITE

IX. The Progress Made and the Work Ahead (15 minutes)
a. Current Initiatives in the Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities: Dr. Allen Brenzel, clinical director
b. Closing Remarks: Reps. Addia Wuchner and Kimberly Moser

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