President Trump signed an executive order this week to establish the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. The commission is charged with studying the scope and effectiveness of the federal response to drug addiction and the opioid crisis and make recommendations by October 1, 2017. The commission is administered by the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Opioid use in South Dakota is also a significant concern, resulting in the department of health receiving a Prescription Drug Overdose: Data-Driven Prevention Initiative (DDPI) grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). An advisory committee was appointed with a focus to build efforts to track and understand the full impact of opioid use and abuse in the state and work with partners to develop a strategic plan to address the issue.

The committee is concentrating their efforts on developing a needs assessment to identify other potential data sources, key stakeholders and gaps to help develop a strategic plan. The committee is comprised of representatives from multiple health care stakeholder groups, including SDAHO.

The recently completed 92nd Session of the SD Legislature helped address drug addiction and opioid use through the passage of two bills; one that provides funding for intensive meth treatment services, and a second bill that requires the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program to be integrated into the central repository of electronic health records. This allows health systems, pharmacies and health information exchanges to seamlessly access data. Both bills are effective on July 1, 2017.