If It Can Happen in Austin, Indiana…

Posted on Jul 23, 2015 in Addiction in the News, Evidence-Based and Best Practices

An HIV outbreak in the rural midwest has lessons for us all One is apt to think of an HIV epidemic in large cities or in under-developed areas around the world. On March 26, 2015, however, Indiana’s Governor Mike Pence proclaimed a public health emergency in the small town of Austin, Indiana. At that time, 74 cases of HIV had been confirmed there in three months. As of July 14, the number of confirmed cases had more than doubled, bringing the...

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My First Day at High School, The Second Time Around

Posted on Jul 14, 2015 in Evidence-Based and Best Practices, SBIRT

Part of the ongoing series “High School Confidential: In the Trenches with Substance-Using Teenagers” Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of blog posts by Dr. Peter Cohen. Read the first in the series here    I retired at 64, as the medical director for my state’s drug and alcohol administration. After working 50 plus hours a week for over 30 years, I still wanted to work with troubled and troubling...

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Updates on a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program in Pennsylvania

Posted on May 26, 2015 in Addiction in the News, Evidence-Based and Best Practices, Pittsburgh

Tracking progress on our home state’s efforts to modernize our PDMP On October 27, 2014, Pennsylvania passed a law that will modernize our prescription drug monitoring program and undoubtedly save lives. However, implementation will be even more complex than the lengthy legislative process we’ve already seen. We’ll continue to share information about our PDMP as the program gets off the ground. Look for further blog posts...

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Pennsylvania’s Medicaid Expansion Smooths the Road to Addiction Treatment, But Barriers Remain

Posted on May 14, 2015 in Addiction in the News, Pittsburgh

  Monday, April 27, was a day of celebration for many in Pennsylvania. It marked the beginning of Phase I of the state’s transition from Healthy PA to full Medicaid expansion. For providers and consumers of drug and alcohol treatment services, the transition comes not a moment too soon. Healthy PA is former Gov. Tom Corbett’s version of expanded Medicaid that he created in favor of a traditional Medicaid expansion. Many providers are still...

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High School Confidential: In the Trenches with Substance-Using Teenagers

Posted on Apr 29, 2015 in Evidence-Based and Best Practices

First in a series of blog posts by child and adolescent psychiatrist Peter Cohen   An artistic, gifted-and-talented 15 year-old girl with a history of truancy and fist-fighting with peers has stopped those behaviors, but now has daily temper tantrums. In her poetry, she writes about heartbreak, parental abandonment, and getting high. A restless 17-year-old boy with exceptional athletic abilities and significant learning challenges...

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