From: Beckley Register-Herald
By: Wendy Holdren
The following is article from the Beckley Register-Herald.
Using the recently released opioid response plan from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources as a centerpiece, the new Office of Drug Control Policy director aims to build upon the plan with areas of his own expertise.
Dr. Michael Brumage, appointed as director earlier this month, hopes to focus on the role ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) play in the opioid epidemic, as well as how providers can approach pain management with and without medication.
“ACEs is a major risk factor that hasn’t been addressed in the context of opioid epidemic,” Brumage said.
A CDC-Kaiser Permanente study conducted in the mid to late 1990s with 17,000 participants revealed how adverse childhood experiences can impact health and behavior in the long term.
Based on childhood abuse, neglect and household challenges, respondents were given a score between 0 and 10 based on how many adverse experiences to which they were exposed.
“With a score of 4 or more, someone is 10 times more likely to use intravenous drugs than those with a score of 0,” Brumage said. “If your score is 6 or more, you’re 46 times more likely to use IV drugs than those with a score of 0.”
The report says people with a score of 6 or greater die nearly 20 years earlier on average than those without adverse childhood experiences.
“ACEs are a very powerful indicator,” Brumage said. “That’s not to say everyone who uses IV drugs has ACEs, but it is a major risk factor.”
Brumage, while not part of the expert panel who assembled the state’s opioid response plan, did respond in writing, asking the panel to emphasize trauma-informed language.
The current plan addresses prevention, early intervention, treatment, overdose reversal, supporting families with substance use disorder (SUD), and recovery. The full list of recommendations can be found at dhhr.gov.
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