A new book by Dr. Thomas P. Insel, who for 13 years ran the United States’ foremost mental health research institution, begins with a sort of confession. During his tenure as the “nation’s psychiatrist,” he helped allocate $20 billion in federal funds and sharply shifted the focus of the National Institute of Mental Health away from behavioral research and toward neuroscience and genetics.
Dr. Insel, 70, who left N.I.M.H. in 2015, calls the advances in neuroscience of the last 20 years “spectacular” — but in the very first pages of his new book, he says that, for the most part, they haven’t yet benefited patients.
TORONTO — The possession of small amounts of several illicit drugs, including cocaine and opioids such as fentanyl or heroin, will be temporarily decriminalized in British Columbia, the federal government said Tuesday, in what it cast as a “bold” step to “turn the tide” in the province’s overdose crisis.
The Psychiatry & Behavioral Health Learning Network published online a transcript of a talk given by Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), at the Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit held in Atlanta in April 2022. In the interview, she discusses recent updates on the opioid epidemic and highlights how NIDA is working to shift its focus to actively address the changing landscape of the epidemic.
One part of her message was the importance of prevention, stating, "if we do not address the issue of preventing drug use very early, adolescents who are the ones that are starting to experiment, we will always be catching up, new drug for the other."
President Joe Biden sent his Administration’s inaugural National Drug Control Strategy to Congress at a time when drug overdoses have reached a record high. The Strategy delivers on the call to action in President Biden’s Unity Agenda through a whole-of-government approach to beat the overdose epidemic. It proposes targeted actions to expand access to evidence-based prevention, harm reduction, treatment and recovery services while reducing the supply of drugs like fentanyl.
The national government website designed to help people find addiction treatment contains inaccurate and outdated information, addiction experts tell Kaiser Health News. The site, Findtreatment.gov, has information about more than 13,000 state-licensed treatment facilities, including what types of services are provided, which insurance plans the facilities accept and what ages they serve.
According to advocates such as Faces & Voices of Recovery (FAVOR), while a long-requested 10% set-aside for recovery support services was included in the president's budget request to Congress, that provision did not make it into the final budget bill. Patty McCarthy, Chief Executive Officer, Faces & Voices of Recovery, stated that “Over the last 20 years, our advocacy work has led to substantial increases in federal funding for recovery support services. These increases in federal funding have allowed our communities to build and strengthen programs where it counts–in community-based settings."
The President introduced the FY 2022 Budget, which includes—for the first time in history—a 10% set-aside for recovery support services.
$1.7 billion increase - Substance Use Prevention, Treatment and Recovery Block Grant = $3.5 billion total
$750 million increase - State Opioid Response Grant (SORG) = $2.25 billion total
$500 million increase - Peer Support Technical Assistance Center = $1.5 billion total
$10 million increase - Building Communities of Recovery = $20 million total
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is launching an Office of Recovery, within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, to advance the agency’s commitment to, and support of, recovery for all Americans. September marks National Recovery Month, and in organizing this new office, SAMHSA will now have a dedicated team with a deep understanding of recovery to promote policies, programs and services to those in or seeking recovery.