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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It’s a Pain to Research SBIRT

Posted on Apr 23, 2015 in Research Updates, SBIRT

Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment has a lot of moving parts. That makes measurement tricky. By now, most people in the addiction field have heard about the two studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that show SBIRT doesn’t work. Wait, what was that? Okay, I just said that to get your attention. Actually, 2014 studies by Roy-Byrne et al. and Saitz et al. concluded that a brief...

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It’s Funny, It’s Fun, It’s Normal

Posted on Jan 13, 2015 in Addiction in the News

How do lighthearted media portrayals of people who “can’t stop” affect social norms? Imagine two twenty-something men purchasing a disorganized armload of groceries. There’s some canned food, a few snacks, a six-pack of beer, a roll of toilet paper. The cashier hands back the credit card–it’s been rejected. The men fumble in their pockets and produce a wad of crumpled dollars bills. The cashier shakes her head, it’s not...

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