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January 19, 2018

Advancing Public Policies for People with Mental Illness, Chemical Dependency or Developmental Disabilities   

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Francine Sinkoff, Editor
Nassau legislator: Lawmakers will hold hearings on opioid abuse

New County Sheriff Vows To Crack Down On Gangs, Opioids - Suffolk County

New York City Program Takes Controversial Approach to Opioid Crisis

Opioid crisis driving record number of deaths among city's homeless, report finds - NYC

Film aims to reverse the stigma on addiction through personal stories - Chemung County

New study: Chemung County tops in Finger Lakes in opioid abuse rate in 2016

Syracuse Behavioral Healthcare Hiring 49 for Treatment Center in Broome County

County legislature approves opioid addiction treatment facility funding - Broome County

St. Lawrence County joins class action lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies

NY Counties in State Opioid Litigation Allowed Discovery

Night of Healing Held in Orleans County

Glens Falls City Court starts new program aimed at opioid addiction - Warren County

Google Blocking Addiction Center Ads Amid Dubious Referrals

Mapping How The Opioid Epidemic Sparked An HIV Outbreak

Opioid Addiction Knows No Color, but Its Treatment Does

Introduction of Tamper-Resistant Formulations of Opioids Has No Effect on Abuse Levels

Early Symptom Patterns May Help ID Young People at Risk of Bipolar Disorder

Stigma of Mental Illness Linked to Mix of Beliefs About Causes

Sleep Deprivation Is Affecting Mental Health Of Most NYC High Schoolers: Study
Funding Opportunity:   Law Enforcement and Behavioral Health Partnerships for Early Diversion (Early Diversion Grants)

Funder:  Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Deadline:  3/5/2018

Award Details:  Up to $330,000 per year for up to 5 years

Number of Awards:  Up to 8 awards

Target Population: Adults with a serious mental illness (SMI) or a co-occurring disorder (COD) in need of early diversion services. Special consideration will be given to applicants proposing to support early diversion services for veterans.

Eligibility: A state; a political subdivision of a state; and Indian tribes and tribal organizations. At a minimum, the required partners must be the criminal justice system, mental health and substance use treatment and recovery systems. Examples of additional key stakeholders could include consumers and their families, social welfare agencies, and the judiciary and corrections system.

Click HERE to view full RFP.
January 24, 2 - 3 pm, SAMHSA GAINS Center

Exploring Partnerships and Collaboration, Part I
January 30, 12 - 1 pm, CTAC
January 31, 2 - 3:30 pm, SAMHSA-HRSA
February 16, 12 - 1 pm, CTAC

What Are the Megatrends Shaping Data-Driven Healthcare?
February 27, 1 - 2 pm, Manatt Health

March 1, 12 - 1 pm, CTAC



Developmental Disabilities Committee Meeting
January 25:  1 - 2:30 pm, GTM


Officers, Chairs & Regional Reps Call
February 7: 8 am

Children & Families Committee Meeting
February 20:  11:30 am - 1 pm, GTM

Mental Hygiene Planning Committee Meeting
February 20:  1 - 2:30 pm, GTM

MARCH 2018

OMH Agency Meeting
March 1:  10 am - 12 pm
44 Holland Ave., Albany

OASAS Agency Meeting
March 1:  1 - 3 pm
1450 Western Ave., Albany

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and Go To Meeting information, 518.462.9422 
New York State Expanding Program to Help Individuals with Disabilities Find Employment

The New York State Employment First Commission, created by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and chaired by the New York State Office of Mental Health, has announced new resources to help increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

The new program, called the "Employment First Benefits Advisory System," will provide advice on financial assistance and work incentives for individuals with disabilities who are working or seeking work.

Dr. Ann Sullivan, Commissioner of the Office of Mental Health said, "Governor Cuomo's Employment First initiative has helped individuals with physical and behavioral health conditions find meaningful employment and make a valuable contribution to their community.  For a person with a disability, employment increases quality of life and self-esteem. For a business, hiring a person with a disability creates a more diverse workforce and increases the talent pool of job candidates. Here in New York, we believe that it is essential to provide everyone with a fair opportunity to work and succeed."  Read more here.
Final Medicaid Model Contract with Behavioral Health Provisions Approved and Posted to NYSDOH Website

New York State (NYS) has provided Medicaid Managed Care Organizations with specific legal requirements and accompanying guidance regarding the process of entering into agreements with providers of these services that address the following:
  • Promoting financial stability through payment and claiming requirements
  • Supporting access to and removing barriers to mental health treatment and recovery services; and
  • Ensuring Medicaid Managed Care plans establish adequate behavioral health provider networks.

NYS has received approval from CMS to incorporate these behavioral health specific legal requirements into the Medicaid Managed Care Model Contract.  


Click here to view the new version of the model contract, as amended 10/1/15. 

Tax Law Could Deliver Billion-Dollar Blow to Social Services

State and local governments rely on nonprofits to deliver most social services, from housing to substance abuse treatment to early childhood education. Now those nonprofits, and their government partners, are concerned that the new tax law passed in December could indirectly slash their funding.

"Nonprofit organizations are an essential part of the health and human services system in this country," says Candy Hill, a senior director at the American Public Human Services Association. "Anything that weakens their capacity to be a full partner with government has the potential to weaken the entire system."

In 2010, government agencies had about 200,000 contracts or grants with about 33,000 human service nonprofits across the country. For nonprofits at large, government contracts and grants represent about a third of all funding, the second largest revenue source after fees for service. Charitable giving is the next biggest source, representing 12% of nonprofits' funding.
Read more here.
Where Multiple Modes Of Medication-Assisted Treatment Are Available

The opioid epidemic has touched nearly every corner of the United States. Public health officials, lawmakers, and others have recommended a vast scale-up in the capacity of substance abuse treatment in response, especially evidence-backed medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

There are currently three drugs used for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD): methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. While all three are demonstrated to be effective in treating OUD, not all drugs are appropriate for all patients. For instance, naltrexone requires patients to undergo a minimum seven- to 10-day detoxification before initiation, which may not be right for patients who need to begin treatment immediately. Similarly, some patients are averse to taking opioid agonist drugs as part of treatment and may therefore prefer the use of naltrexone, an opioid antagonist.

As such, it is not only imperative that treatment facilities and providers offer MAT, but also that multiple treatment options be made available to increase treatment uptake and success.  Read more here.
Walmart Launches Groundbreaking Disposal Solution to Aid in Fight Against Opioid Abuse and Misuse

In an effort to help curb abuse and misuse, Walmart is launching a first-of-its kind opioid disposal solution - available at no cost - in all company pharmacies.* Known as DisposeRx, the small packet contains ingredients that, according to the manufacturer, when emptied into a pill bottle with warm water, ultimately enable patients to responsibly dispose of leftover medications in their trash.
Alcohol-Related ER Visits Soar, Especially Among Women

Most Americans drink safely and in moderation. But a steady annual increase in trips made to emergency rooms as a result of drinking alcohol added up to 61 percent more visits in 2014 compared with 2006, according to a study  published this month in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

Visits to hospital emergency rooms for alcohol-related issues rose rapidly over a nine-year period, though it's unclear why.

The increase is alarming but also a bit mysterious to neuroscientist Aaron White, one of the study's authors, in part because the same nine-year period showed a mere 2 percent increase in per capita alcohol consumption overall, and an 8 percent increase in the number of emergency room visits for any reason.  Read more here.
Underused Weapon In the War on Addiction

Numbers tell part of the story of the nation's opioid crisis. The CDC says 91 Americans die daily from opioid overdoses, which have killed more than 300,000 since 2000-and the death rate is rising.

But to John Machata, MD, of Wickford, R.I., some of the numbers have faces. He remembers the call he got not long ago about a former patient he hadn't seen in a year, a fisherman who had lost his insurance and couldn't stick with his drug rehab program. The call was from the coroner; Machata's patient was in the morgue.

Doctors say opioid use disorder patients divide roughly half-and-half between recreational drug users who got into trouble and patients who were given an opioid pain-relief prescription (in many cases during the 1990s heyday of the "pain is the fifth vital sign" gospel) and became addicted. The former group often has chosen heroin; the latter group often ends up on heroin because it's cheaper and easier to get than oxycodone or whatever other pain-relief opioid got them hooked. Of course, a tailspin awaits the untreated addict of either origin, no matter how well-born, well-educated or well-intentioned. That's why any tool that even hints it could help this patient population more, or reduce its death toll, is a very big deal.

Machata is a primary care dinosaur, a solo doc who lacks not only a secretary and a nurse but even a biller. Still, on the treatment of opioid use disorder in primary care, his perspective is up-to-the-minute. He's been at the game for a decade, and he's convinced that many lives could be saved if the nation made wider use of buprenorphine.   Read more here .
The Conference of Local Mental Hygiene Directors advances public policies and awareness for people with mental illness, chemical dependency and developmental disabilities.  We are a statewide membership organization that consists of the Commissioner/ Director of each of the state's 57 county mental hygiene departments and the mental hygiene department of the City of New York.