News from the Nodes
Greater New York
On Wednesday, September 13, 2017, the Greater New York Node, together with the CCTN hosted a half-day symposium at NYU's Washington Square campus "Harnessing Policy, Practice and Research to Address the Opioid Epidemic" that brought addiction experts from federal, state and local organizations, and academia.
The event was attended by 85 participants representing many professional disciplines, organizations, foundations and treatment settings.
The meeting began with a very brief overview of the epidemic by John Rotrosen (NYU) followed by a welcome from Betty Tai (NIDA CCTN). Carlos Blanco (NIDA DESPR) presented a comprehensive report on the extent of the epidemic, NIDA's interests, special research focus and funding opportunities.
The program continued with reports from Richard Saitz (Boston University) and Beth Tanzma (Vermont Blueprint for Health) on how Massachusetts and Vermont are addressing the epidemic. Their presentations emphasized the importance of collaborative efforts among treatment providers, communities, policy makers, and state administrators.
Presentations on New York State and New York City efforts followed. We heard from Kenneth Leonard (Research Institute on Addictions) on addressing the capacity/need gap for medication assisted treatment for opioids in high need NY State regions.
Hillary Kunins (Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Use, NY City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene) spoke about the city’s public health approach, and Luke Bergmann (Office of Behavioral Health, NY City Health + Hospitals) presented on essential care, how NYC’s public hospital system is responding to the crisis.
Samuel Ball (Yale) led our discussion with a summary of our addiction crisis and the solutions and dissemination models presented by our colleagues. He emphasized the need for an overarching public health model and response but also the ongoing challenges faced by all stakeholders. Overall, the event was well received.
We thank all who attended and contributed to its success!
The ADAPT-2 study, CTN-0068, is a double-blinded, placebo-controlled study investigating the effectiveness and safety of a combination extended-release naltrexone plus extended-release bupropion for adults with moderate to severe methamphetamine use disorder.
The latest updates from the project:
- All seven ADAPT-2 sites are working hard to increase recruitment and maintain participants in the study.
- All sites have randomized at least 6 participants as of September 26thand the study is closing in on the N=50 mark!
The Texas Node is the lead node for the study, and the UT Southwestern team wishes to recognize the team at Hennepin/Berman Center (Northstar Node) for most improved recruitment (Gavin Bart, Nate Tessum, Deb Grillo, Ellie Wolinski, and Jaci Schloesser) and being the first to achieve the site monthly target of n=4 randomizations for the month of September.
We also wish to congratulate the UTHealth team in Houston for their creativity and persistence in tracking down all their participants after Hurricane Harvey!
The Northeast Node kicked off this year’s academic Science Series on September 21, 2017, with a presentation by Dr. Emre Ertin, PhD, on "Behavioral sensing: An enabling technology for mobile health research." Dr. Ertin, a co-investigator on CTN-0073-Ot, gave an overview of his team’s work on wearable sensing and computing technologies, including their potential benefits and challenges.
Mobile sensor technologies have a number of potential benefits. For example, wireless wearable biosensors paired with powerful mobile phone and cloud computing infrastructures may provide new insights into individuals’ health, symptoms, and functioning. And they may be used to help facilitate prevention of chronic diseases and provide just-in-time adaptive interventions to promote healthy behavior patterns.
Still, there are a number of challenges when implementing mobile sensing systems, such as designing a wearable sensor that enables precise measurement of large volume physiological data, while minimizing the burden on participants. Advances in computational algorithms are necessary to transform sensor data into clinically meaningful biomarkers.
Can physiological measures enable new insights into our behavior and act as biomarkers for certain chronic diseases? Is it possible for wireless wearable wristbands to reliably detect cocaine use? To find out answers to these questions and more, Dr. Ertin’s presentation can be viewed on the Northeast Node’s website.
In addition to his role on the CTN-0073-Ot study, Dr. Ertin is an Associate Professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer engineering and a principal investigator with the Dorothy M. Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute at The Ohio State University. He currently serves as the Sensor Technology Lead for the NIH Center of Excellence in Mobile Sensor Data-to-Knowledge (MD2K) that develops big data solutions to quantify physical, biological, behavioral, social, and environmental factors that contribute to health and wellness in daily life.
The next presentation in the Northeast Node’s Science Series will be held on Thursday, November 16, from 12-1pm EST. Dr. Mary Brunette from the Northeast Node will present on tobacco cessation among individuals with substance use disorders. If you’d like to join the Science Series mailing list, please email Bethany McLeman.
The British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS in partnership with Vancouver Coastal Health are working to improve care for primary care patients with opioid use disorder -- BOOST (Best-practices in Oral Opioid agoniSt Therapy). The initiative is a response to a dramatic increase in opioid overdose fatalities in the Vancouver area and the widespread use of fentanyl.
The collaboration is an extension of the Treatment as Prevention strategy that British Columbia applied to the HIV epidemic and reduced population levels of HIV infection. The participating primary care clinics (n = 20) are using a quality improvement structure that applies the chronic care model and seeks to increase the percent of primary care patients with opioid use disorder on an oral opioid agonist therapy (i.e, buprenorphine, methadone, and for some patients long acting morphine) from an estimated 70% to 90%. Dennis McCarty (co-PI with the Western States Node) was an invited speaker and facilitator at the September 15 BOOST launch.
See the BOOST website for more information about this new initiative: http://stophivaids.ca/oud-collaborative/