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In its most recent 3-year strategic plan, CPNP made a commitment to exploring how we can advance the role of psychiatric pharmacists in the treatment of substance abuse. CPNP efforts can't come soon enough given the addiction epidemic in our country as evidenced by numerous news articles including one this weekend in the Sunday Baltimore Sun. The front page article featured a picture of Task Force Chair Bethany DiPaula, PharmD, BCPP, teaching naloxone rescue.

The Substance Abuse Task Force (SATF) has been working at a feverish pace to address a number of emerging opportunities for psychiatric pharmacists. The issues on the SATF agenda include:

  1. Bill S. 2645: The Recovery Enhancement for Addiction Treatment Act or the "TREAT Act": Through their outreach efforts to other stakeholders in the battle against substance use disorders, the SATF members discovered Senate legislation intended to address the federal prohibition on the prescribing of buprenorphine by non-physicians. The TREAT Act would expand prescriptive authority for buprenorphine to physician assistants and nurse practitioners. Through the Government Affairs Council and the SATF, CPNP is reaching out to these other professions to seek inclusion of pharmacists operating under collaborative drug therapy management (CDTM) agreements.
  2. Vision and Mission: The SATF has developed a task force mission and vision that is carefully aligned with that of CPNP. The CPNP Board of Directors has approved the following:
    1. Mission: The mission of CPNP's Substance Abuse Taskforce is to advocate for increased patient access to safe and evidence-based pharmacotherapy used to manage substance use disorders including opioid-related disorders. The taskforce will define and promote the role of the neuropsychiatric pharmacist in substance abuse management and recommend a plan for educational programming to train pharmacists and other healthcare professionals in managing opioid-related disorders.
    2. Vision: Our vision is for all patients with a substance use disorder to have access to a care team that includes a neuropsychiatric pharmacist.
  3. Professional Outreach: The SATF has connected with the SAMHSA funded Provider's Clinical Support System for Opioid Therapies (PCSS-O) and the Provider's Clinical Support System for Medication Assisted Treatment (PCSS-MAT) which operates a national mentoring and training program for opioid misuse. With the approval of the CPNP Board, SATF is exploring partnership opportunities with PCSS-O which has been interested in strengthening ties with pharmacy.
  4. Education: Several SATF members have been involved in the development and implementation of naloxone rescue programs at the state level or through the VA. The SATF is developing materials and guidelines to help others address the numerous issues and barriers that naloxone rescue programs encounter.

Only 5 months into their efforts, the Task Force has already made significant progress towards our strategic goals in substance abuse. Their efforts reflect the dedication and passion of all of CPNP's membership. The SATF invites you to stay tuned for further developments in this rapidly changing area of practice.

SATF Members Include: Mary C. Borovicka, PharmD, BCPP, BCPS, Bethany DiPaula, PharmD, BCPP, James J. Gasper, PharmD, BCPP, Jeff Gold, PharmD, BCPP, Julie C. Kissack, PharmD, BCPP, FCCP, Ray Love, PharmD, BCPP, FASHP, Sarah T. Melton, PharmD, BCPP, CGP, FASCP, Carey E. Potter, MA, Talia Puzantian, PharmD, BCPP, Mark E. Schneiderhan, PharmD, BCPP, Chris Stock, PharmD, BCPP.

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