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January 2020 news roundup

State Opioid Response Grants Expanded to Include Methamphetamine and Cocaine

Colorado is the recipient of a State Opioid Response (SOR) Grant and the goals of the grant include:

  • Connect at least 900 people to Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT) through mobile MAT units.
  • Train 400 individuals in the CRAFT & Celebrating Families model.
  • Hire 18 more peer recovery coaches to connect people to MAT and provide support.
  • Train 425 more prescribers to provide buprenorphine, with a focus on rural areas.
  • Distribute 18,000 more Naloxone kits.

In December, Congress passed the Combatting Meth and Cocaine Act as part of the spending bill signed by the president. This act allows for use of SOR Grant funding in addressing the rise in overdose deaths due to the abuse of methamphetamine and cocaine.

State recipients of the SOR Grant, including Colorado, are awaiting further guidance from the US Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. 

Adolescent Opioid Misuse and Risky Behavior

A national analysis of adolescent opioid misuse and risky behavior data appears in the January issue of Pediatrics (Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics) conducted by a team from the University of Colorado School of Medicine with Devika Bhatia, MD, a child and adolescent psychiatric fellow as the lead author.

Utilizing national data from the Youth Risk Behavioral Surveillance Survey on almost 15,000 high Scholl students, the analysis shows that of the 14% of teens reporting ever misusing opioids, they were more likely to engage in all 22 risky behaviors asked in the survey. These youth were:

  • six times as likely to have driven under the influence
  • at least twice as likely to rarely use a seatbelt
  • about five times more likely to have had sex with at least four partners
  • more likely to use substances before sex
  • more likely to try other substances

The findings appear in: Devika Bhatia, Susan K. Mikulich-Gilberson, and Joseph T. Sakaim, “Prescriotion Opioid Misuse and Risky Behavior,” Pediatrics, January 2020. The paper is available for download as a PDF.