News Feed

PCHC to Prescribe Narcan to Any Mainer Who Requests It

Bangor, Maine — Noah Nesin, MD, Vice President of Medical Affairs, announced that Penobscot Community Health Care (PCHC) will provide a prescription for Narcan for any person in Maine who requests it, at the pharmacy of their choice.


Science Series Presentation by Drs. Hawk and McCormack on “Initiating Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder in the Emergency Room” Available for View

The Northeast Node was pleased to kick off the 2018 calendar year with a Science Series presentation by Ryan McCormack, MD, MS, and Kathryn Hawk, MD, MHS, on “Initiating Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder in the Emergency Room.” The Emergency Department (ED) is a critical venue for initiating substance use disorder (SUD) interventions because ED patients have a disproportionately high prevalence of SUD, are at an elevated risk of overdose, and many do not access healthcare elsewhere. Despite this, SUD interventions are rarely initiated in EDs.

In their presentation, Dr. Hawk and Dr. McCormack reviewed common barriers to initiating treatment in the ED, including stigma, lack of resources, and perceptions of SUD as being a choice rather than a chronic disease with a biological basis. For example, Dr. Hawk spoke about how using language like “addict, alcoholic, and dirty” versus “person with an alcohol or drug use disorder” reinforces negative perceptions.

Drawing on recent and ongoing research, they also described best practices for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD) and alcohol use disorder in the ED, including ED-initiated buprenorphine, extended-release naltrexone, and naloxone distribution. ED patients with OUD who received ED-initiated buprenorphine were twice as likely to be engaged in treatment at a 30-day follow-up than those who were given a referral or brief intervention. While the current federal regulations may make it challenging for ED providers to administer medication-assisted treatment for OUD, Dr. McCormack and the CTN are exploring the role that buprenorphine, including injectable extended release buprenorphine formulations, could play.

Dr. McCormack is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at New York University School of Medicine. He is a practicing emergency medicine clinician at Bellevue Hospital in New York with a broad clinical background in Emergency, Internal and Addiction Medicine. His research focuses on using collaborative strategies to practically and sustainably integrate substance use interventions in the ED to enhance healthcare quality.

Dr. Hawk is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Yale University and works as an Attending physician at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Her research focuses on overdose prevention in high-risk populations and ED-initiated buprenorphine and linkage to treatment for substance use disorders.

Their full presentation can be viewed on the Northeast Node’s website. If you would like to join the Science Series mailing list, please email Bethany McLeman.


New treatment guidance issued for pregnant and parenting mothers with opioid use disorder and their infants

Press Release, February 7, 2018

Today, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released new Clinical Guidance for Treating Pregnant and Parenting Women with Opioid Use Disorder and Their Infants.

SAMHSA’s Clinical Guidance comes at a time of great need for effective opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment. In 2016, over 20,000 pregnant women reported using heroin or misusing pain relievers in the past month. Newborn babies of mothers who used opioids while pregnant are at risk of neonatal abstinence syndrome–a group of physical and neurobehavioral signs of withdrawal.


Manchester Teams with Treatment Providers for Renewed Effort to Respond to Addiction Epidemic

New Partnerships to Replace Serenity Place Programs; Safe Station to Continue for Manchester; Crisis Hotline Use Encouraged Statewide

Manchester, NH – Citing lessons learned from the closing of the non-profit substance use treatment center known as Serenity Place, Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig, emergency responders and a team of providers, including Families in Transition, the Farnum Center and Granite Pathways, have developed a new strategy for responding to the opioid crisis in New Hampshire. In an effort to preserve Safe Station as a critical entry point for care, the Mayor and providers have developed a new network to respond to those in need.


Node Investigators Launch Purple Pod to Augment Care for Pregnant Women on Buprenorphine

This past September, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center’s (DHMC; Lebanon, NH) Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN) implemented the Purple Pod – a division of OB/GYN that provides weekly clinics for patients with pregnancies complicated by substance use disorders (SUDs) who are receiving medication-assisted treatment (MAT) from providers outside of the hospital’s “Moms in Recovery” program.


Catholic Medical Center hosts 3rd annual Summit on Treating Opiate-Dependent Patients

In November, our partner at Catholic Medical Center (CMC) hosted its third annual Summit on Treating Opiate-Dependent Patients. The annual Summit brings together physicians, dentists, podiatrists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, other prescribers, nurses, social workers, allied health professionals, pharmacists, social service agencies, law enforcement, first responders and other stakeholders to discuss New Hampshire’s opioid epidemic.


Northeast Node is Now Hiring!

The Northeast Node of the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network is looking to expand its team!


Northeast Node travels to Maine to begin Phase 1 of CTN trial with partner organization

In early October, the Northeast Node of the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network traveled to its partner network, Penobscot Community Health Care (PCHC), in Bangor, Maine, to collect qualitative data for Phase 1 of the CTN-0062-Ot-A1 study, “Implementing the Tobacco, Alcohol, Prescription medication, and Substance use/misuse (TAPS) Tool in rural federally-qualified health centers: An ancillary study of the “CDE-EHR-PC” (CTN-0062-Ot) Study.”


Dartmouth study looking to interview Safe Station users; gift cards available

Do you have experience using Manchester’s Safe Station?

A study team from Dartmouth College (the Northeast Node of the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network) is interviewing people who have used the Safe Station program in Manchester, NH, to get into treatment for substance use.


August 31 is International Overdose Awareness Day

August 31, 2017 is International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD). IOAD was established in 2001 by two Australians, Sally J. Finn and Peter Streker, with the aim of raising awareness that overdose deaths are preventable. Since their first gathering, a plethora of communities, government and non-government organizations, community health centers, users, families and more throughout the world have hosted events to raise awareness and commemorate those who have lost their lives to drug overdose.