A PROJECT OF THE NORTH CAROLINA DIVISION OF MENTAL HEALTH, DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE SERVICES
Flo A. SteinFlo A. Stein, MPH
NC PIC Project Manager
Deputy Director
Division of MH/DD/SAS

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Evidence-based Programs and Practices

The mission for the NC PIC is to ensure that all North Carolinians will receive excellent care that is consistent with our scientific understanding of what works whenever they come into contact with the DMHDDSAS system.

To improve the lives of clients during the current era of system transformation, North Carolina must focus on the content and quality of services and supports that are offered. Research has found that even some of the most popular and well disseminated programs are not evidence based and in fact can be counterproductive. The provision of quality services and supports involve fidelity to proven intervention models.

To facilitate guidance in determining the future evidence-based services and supports that will be provided through our public system, the Director of the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services has developed the North Carolina Practice Improvement Collaborative (NC PIC). The NC PIC is comprised of representatives of all three disabilities and meets thrice yearly to review and discuss current and emerging best practices for adoption and implementation across the State.

NC PIC Updates

Recovery Month in September

September is Recovery Month, and Recovery Communities of North Carolina (RCNC) has a number of activities scheduled to celebrate recovery. rcnclogo422

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Mental Health First Aid Seeks More Volunteer Trainers

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an evidence-based public education curriculum designed to help the public identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders in youth and adults and to refer individuals in crisis to appropriate services. About 300 people have been trained in MHFA in the State, and they have trained about 10,000 people. On October 19-23, Cardinal Innovations is hosting a MHFA Instructor Training in Chapel Hill.

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Governor Signs Achieving Better Life Experience Act

GovPatMcCrory-HQOn August 11, Governor McCrory signed HB 556, Achieving Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. The ABLE Act will give individuals with disabilities and their families the opportunity to establish accounts to save for future essential expenses such as medical and dental care, education, employment training, assistive technology, housing, and transportation. Funds in ABLE accounts will not count against the financial eligibility standards of Medicaid and other support programs designed to support disabled citizens.

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Two Articles on Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)

Join Together, an online newsletter, recently published two distressing articles on AUD

In the first article, they reported on a study conducted by Grant and her colleagues, which was based on 36,309 face-to-face interviews. They found that twelve-month and lifetime prevalences of AUD were 13.9% and 29.1%, respectively. Prevalence was highest for men (17.6% and 36.0%, respectively), white (14.0% and 32.6%, respectively) and Native American (19.2% and 43.4%, respectively) respondents, and younger (26.7% and 37.0%, respectively) and never married (25.0% and 35.5%, respectively) adults. Significant disability and co-morbidity were associated with 12-month and lifetime AUD and increased with the severity of AUD. Only 19.8% of respondents with lifetime AUD were ever treated. The 2014 estimate from the US Census indicated 7,636,964 individuals age 18 and over. If you apply the twelve-month and lifetime prevalence percentages to NC, there would be an estimated 1,061,538 adults with twelve-month prevalence and an estimated 2,222,357 adults with lifetime prevalence of AUD. Of the 2,222,357 individuals, only an estimated 440,027 adults received treatment.

The researchers concluded that the results indicate an urgent need to educate the public and policy makers about AUD and its treatment alternatives, to destigmatize the disorder, and to encourage those who cannot reduce their alcohol consumption on their own, despite substantial harm to themselves and others, to seek treatment.

In the second article, researchers at SAMHSA’s Center for Behavioral Statistics and Quality looked at national data from a 2012 census of more than 14,000 U.S. substance abuse treatment facilities to see how many facilities offered one or more of the four FDA-approved AUD medications (i.e., disulfiram, oral naltrexone, extended-release injectable naltrexone, and acamprosate). They found that only 25% of all facilities offered at least one of the AUD medications and only 5% offered all four. Investigators concluded that many patients do not have access to evidence-based treatments and that more education of both patients and providers is needed.