MTPR

Opioids


  Montana received almost $4 million in federal funds for addiction recovery and treatment this week.


The federal Indian Health Service has failed to meet its own standards for prescribing opioids. That’s the takeaway from a federal audit released last week, by the inspector general of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department.

For the first time ever, federal Farm Bill grants for medicine are being aimed at treating opiod addiction. $188 thousand for that is heading to the Bighorn Valley Health Center in Southeast Montana.

Proposed Opioid Drug Tax Would Fund Treatment Courts

Mar 20, 2019
Rep. Zach Brown, D-Bozeman.
Montana Legislature

HELENA — According to a study from the state health and human services department, more than 700 Montanans have died from an opioid overdose since 2000.

“And the number one recommendation from that study was that we need to invest in treatment courts,” said Rep. Zach Brown, D-Bozeman.

Alcohol, drug and suicide (combined) deaths per 100,000 people in 2017.
National Center for Health Statistics, CDC

A new analysis of the latest federal health statistics says that Montana had the second highest rates of deaths from alcohol in 2017, and substantial growth in its suicide rate that year as well.

Released Tuesday, the “Pain in the Nation Update” from the non-profits Trust for America’s Health and Well Being Trust says that when it came to growth in the number of deaths from drugs, alcohol and suicide combined, Montana and New Jersey led the nation in 2017. Each state saw a greater than 15-percent increase in such deaths.

Hospitalizations and ER visits for alcohol or drug use, primary or secondary diagnosis. Montana 2010 - 2014.
Montana Department of Justice

A Senate bill that aimed to make it easier to get substance abuse treatment in Montana is likely dead. The Senate adjourned Wednesday a few days before Saturday’s deadline to move bills on to the House.

Doctors groups, including the Montana and American Medical Associations, say that now, people who need help may have to wait two years for the next legislative session to cut through what they say is red tape keeping Montanans from accessing recovery options like medication-assisted treatment.

A Senate bill that aimed to make it easier to get substance abuse treatment in Montana is likely dead.
iStock

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A pharmacy on Montana's Flathead Indian Reservation has been fined $95,000 for failing to account for 2,500 oxyodone tablets from March 2017 to March 2018.

The Drug Enforcement Administration conducted an inspection of the tribal pharmacy in St. Ignatius after learning about the missing opioids. Inspectors found pharmacy staff were not adequately tracking controlled substances. The pharmacy also failed to report to the DEA that oxycodone was missing. 

U.S. Representative Greg Gianforte.
U.S. House of Representatives

The U.S. House of Representatives is on recess, and that means Montana’s lone Republican Congressman Greg Gianforte is back home campaigning. I caught him on the phone between events in Kalispell and Havre Wednesday.

Morphine pills.
Eric Norris (CC-BY-2) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The Trump administration this week released almost $500 million to combat the nation’s opioid crisis. 

Montana’s share of that federal funding from Health and Human Services is $2 million, the same amount it received last year.

The Montana Pain Conference takes place April 5 - 6 at the University of Montana in Missoula.
https://www.mtpain.org/

Like the rest of the country, Montana is struggling with an epidemic of abuse of opioid drugs, both prescription painkillers and illegal narcotics like heroin and fentanyl. At the end of this week, physicians and other health care providers and counselors are getting together in Missoula to learn about potential solutions.

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