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Last Updated
July 29, 2015
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July 28, 2015
Substance Use in Women
Women face unique issues when it comes to substance use, both biological (sex) and cultural (gender). This new 
online resource by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), provides information on the importance of scientific 
research into sex and gender issues related to drug use. It includes research summaries about women and 
commonly abused drugs, including marijuana and prescription medications. Additionally, this new web section 
summarizes the latest research related to drug use while pregnant or breastfeeding, along with what science has 
told us about sex and gender differences in drug addiction treatment. It also looks at other issues related to drug 
use, including co-occurring mental health disorders, women and violence, and the importance of including women in 

July 24, 2015
FDA to Study Patient Perceptions of Drug Ads' Effectiveness Claims
The FDA will examine how pharmaceutical manufacturers’ effectiveness claims in direct-to-consumer prescription 
drug advertising affect consumer beliefs about medication quality. In a two-part study, OPDP will survey patients 
with diabetes using nine different mock print ads with varying levels of efficacy information. Researchers will then 
test respondents to gauge their memory, perception and understanding of the drug risks and benefits.   

July 23, 2015
Today’s Heroin Epidemic
The July issue of CDC’s Vital Signs addresses changing trends and risk factors for heroin use in the United States. 
This Vital Signs highlights significant increases in heroin use, abuse, and dependence among a wider range of 
demographic groups that have not been seen before. In addition, these increases parallel the sharp rise in heroin 
overdose deaths seen in the past decade. The information contained in the Vital Signs provides critical new insight 
that can help to better tailor prevention efforts.

Key points in the Vital Signs report include: 

•	The heroin epidemic is changing and heroin use has increased across the U.S. among women, the privately 
insured, and people with higher incomes—groups with historically lower rates of heroin use. 
•	Nearly all (96 percent) people who reported heroin use also reported using at least one other drug in the past 
year. More than half (61 percent) used at least three other drugs. About 45 percent of people who used heroin also 
abused or had dependence on prescription opioid painkillers.
•	As heroin use, abuse, and dependence have increased, so have heroin-related overdose deaths—almost 
quadrupling in the U.S. from 2002 to 2013.
•	The people most at risk of heroin abuse or dependence include non-Hispanic whites, men, 18-to-25 year-olds, 
persons with an annual household income less than $20,000, people living in urban areas, Medicaid recipients, and 
the uninsured.

Responding to the Heroin Epidemic

PREVENT People From Starting Heroin
•	Reduce prescription opioid painkiller abuse.
•	Improve opioid painkiller prescribing practices and identify high-risk individuals early.
REDUCE Heroin Addiction
•	Ensure access to Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT).
•	Treat people addicted to heroin or prescription opioid painkillers with MAT which combines the use of 
medications (methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone) with counseling and behavioral therapies.
REVERSE Heroin Overdose
•	Expand the use of naloxone.
•	Use naloxone, a life-saving drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose when administered in time.

July 23, 2015
The Real Cost Campaign
More than 10 million youth aged 12-17 in the United States are either open to trying smoking or are already 
experimenting with cigarettes—meaning they have tried fewer than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime.  In fact, every 
day in the United States, nearly 2,900 youth under age 18 smoke their first cigarette—and more than 700 youth 
under age 18 become daily cigarette smokers. 

 FDA's first youth tobacco prevention campaign, “The Real Cost,” launched in February 2014 and continues to reach 
young people in more than 200 markets across the country through TV, radio, print, the web, social media, and out-
of-home sites such as bus shelters.  Edgy, innovative, and featuring the young people it seeks to reach, the 
campaign talks with youth by focusing on the issues they really care about, like loss of control due to addiction and 
cosmetic health effects.  This campaign is the first of many campaigns targeting key audiences that we will launch 
in the next two years.  The goal is to prevent young people who are open to smoking from trying it and to reduce 
the number of youth who move from experimenting with tobacco to regular use.
"The Real Cost" campaign communicates across multiple media platforms including TV, radio, print, and digital.

July 20, 2015
Antibiotic Stewardship Program Proposed for Nursing Homes Residents
A proposal announced at the White House Conference on Aging would make major changes to improve the care and 
safety of the nearly 1.5 million residents in the more than 15,000 long-term care facilities or nursing homes that 
participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.  If finalized, unnecessary hospital readmissions and infections 
would be reduced, quality care increased, and safety measures strengthened for the more than one million 
residents in these facilities. One of the many proposed changes includes updating the nursing home’s infection 
prevention and control program, including requiring an infection prevention and control officer, and an antibiotic 
stewardship program that includes antibiotic use protocols and a system to monitor antibiotic use.

The recommended reforms have been published in proposed rule CMS–3260–P, in the July 16, 2015 Federal 
Register. The 60-day comment period ends on September 14, 2015.  To submit a comment, visit 
www.regulations.gov, enter the ID number CMS–3260–P (with long dashes), and click on “Submit a Comment.”