Jun 05 2019
Pharmacogenomics is the study of how genes affect a person’s response to medications. When the interaction between a specific gene variant and a medication is well-understood, genetic testing can help a prescriber select which medication is most likely to be effective. This could be a significant improvement for people seeking treatment for depression, as they often try multiple medications before finding one that is effective. Beginning in 2020, the National Human Genome Research Institute will conduct clinical trials to determine whether genetic testing improves the efficacy of prescribing medications for chronic conditions, including depression. To learn more about the trials, please visit the NIH website.
Jun 01 2019
A new training program from The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health is now available online. The free four-course program for behavioral health professionals is designed to improve cultural and linguistic competency. Participants will learn basic concepts of cultural identity, increase self-awareness of their own identity and learn how to build stronger therapeutic relationships with clients from diverse backgrounds. Licensed alcohol and drug counselors, nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers can receive 4–5 contact hours for completing the program. To learn more, please visit the HHS website.
May 14 2019
Naloxone is a medication administered by nasal spray or injection to reverse opioid overdose. In some states, a doctor must prescribe naloxone. In other states, pharmacists have the authority to dispense naloxone without a prescription to certain people—for example, people who are enrolled in a treatment program for substance abuse. Between 2013 and 2016, nine states instituted laws to allow pharmacists to dispense naloxone without a prescription to anyone who requests it. A new study shows that these states experienced the sharpest decrease in fatal opioid overdoses—an average 27% reduction in deaths in the first year after passing the law. To learn more about this study, please visit the NIH website.