HEALing Communities Study Press Conference

HEALing Communities Study Press Conference


PLACE. SADLY THIS EFFORT IS NECESSARY BECAUSE OUR COUNTRY FACES AN UNPRECEDENTED CRISIS OF OPIOID ABUSE AND OVERDOSE. NEARLY 200 AMERICANS ARE DYING EVERY DAY FROM DRUG OVERDOSES. MORE THAN 70,000 AMERICANS DIED OF DRUG OVERDOSES IN 2017, A GREATER NUMBER THAN OUR COUNTRY LOST IN THE ENTIRETY OF THE VIETNAM WAR. LAST YORE ACCORDING TO DATA FROM SAMSA, MORE THAN TWO MILLION AMERICANS HAD AN OPIOID USE DISORDER. BEHIND THESE NUMBERS ARE AMERICANS WITH REAL STORIES AND COMMUNITIES THAT ARE DEEPLY SUFFERING. SOON AFTER TAKING OFFICE AS HHS SECRETARY LAST YEAR, I MET WITH SAM QUINOS, THE AUTHOR OF THE BOOK DREAM LAND WHICH WAS FOR MANY AMERICANS INCLUDING MYSELF OUR FIRST INTRODUCTION TO THE STORIES OF INDIVIDUALS AND COMMUNITIES, HARDEST HIT BY THE OPIOID CRISIS. I ASKED HIM, SAM, WHERE IN ALL OF YOUR TRAVELS HAVE YOU SEEN REASONS FOR HOPE? BECAUSE IT FRANKLY JUST SEEMED SO DESPERATE, SO PERVASIVE. WHERE HAVE YOU SEEN REASON TO HOPE THAT WE CAN CHANGE THE TIDE? AND HE HAD A CLEAR ANSWER: GO TALK TO THOSE IN THE HARDEST HIT COMMUNITIES AND LEARN ABOUT THE COALITIONS THEY HAVE BUILT. WHEN COMMUNITIES HAVE BEEN ABLE TO COME TOGETHER, HE SAID, THEY CAN BEAT THIS CRISIS. AND HE WAS RIGHT AND I’VE NOW HEARD THE SAME MESSAGE FROM SO MANY QUARTERS. IT TAKES A WHOLE COMMUNITY TO BEAT THIS CRISIS, DOCTORS, NURSES, COPS, COURTS, TEACHERS, MAYORS, EMPLOYERS, PARENTS, COACHES, YOUNG PEOPLE, FAITH LEADERS, IT TAKES EVERYBODY. THAT INSIGHT ABOUT THE ROLE OF COMMUNITIES ON THE GROUND HAS SHAPED HHS’S SCIENCE BASED STRATEGY FOR COMBATING THE OPIOID CRISIS WHICH ADMIRAL GIROIR MENTIONED AND IT SHAPED THE INITIATIVE WE ARE ANNOUNCING TODAY. BETTER TREATMENT, PREVENTION AND RECOVERY SERVICES REQUIRE CONNECTING PEOPLE WITH PEOPLE ON THE GROUND. BETTER TARGETING OF REVERSING OVERDOSE DRUGS IS UNDERSTANDING WHO IN COMMUNITIES NEED THAT TOOL ON HAND. BETTER DATA ON THE CRISIS STARTS AT THE COMMUNITY LEVEL, PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENTS AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT, BETTER PAIN MANAGEMENT STARTS IN DOCTORS OFFICES AND PHARMACIES. WITH THIS INITIATIVE, WE WILL BE CERTAINTYING THESE SUBSTANTIVE GOALS AS WELL AS THE FIFTH GOAL, BETTER RESEARCH, RIGHT IN THE COMMUNITIES HARDEST HIT BY THIS CRISIS. THE WORK LOCAL COMMUNITIES ARE DOING ON ON EACH OF THESE FRONTS IS PRODUCING RESULTS. WE HAVE SEEN OPIOID PRESCRIBING NATIONALLY DROP MORE THAN 20% SINCE PRESIDENT TRUMP TOOK OFFICE. WE HAVE SEEN SIGNIFICANT INCREASES IN THE PRESCRIBING OF MEDICATION ASSISTED TREATMENT. WE SAW SIGNIFICANT DROP IN FIRST TIME HEROIN USE FROM 2016 AND 2017. AND MOST IMPORTANTLY IN 2018 NATIONAL PROVISIONAL COUNTS OF DRUG OVERDOSE DEATHS BEGAN TO DECLINE. THESE ARE ENCOURAGING SIGNS. BUT ALL OF US KNOW THAT WE HAVE SO FAR TO GO. A CHALLENGE LIKE THIS CAN SOMETIMES LOOK INSURE MOUNTABLE. LIKE WE’RE TRYING TO BOIL THE OCEAN. WHERE DO WE EVEN BEGIN? WELL, HEALING COMMUNITIES WILL HELP ANSWER THAT QUESTION BY PROVIDING COMPREHENSIVE SUPPORT ON ALL FRONTS, TO REDUCE OVERDOSE DEATHS IN COMMUNITIES ACROSS FOUR STATES, BY 40% OVER THREE YEARS. WE BELIEVE THAT THIS EFFORT WILL SHOW THAT TRULY DRAMATIC AND MATERIAL REDUCTIONS AND OVERDOSE DEATHS ARE POSSIBLE AND PROVIDE LESSONS AND MODELS FOR OTHER COMMUNITIES TO ADOPT AND EMULATE. WE DON’T HAVE TO BE INTIMIDATED BY THE SCALE OF THIS CHALLENGE. WE CAN START SAVING LIVES NOW AND WE CAN DO IT IN A WAY THAT WILL PAY DIVIDENDS FOR COMMUNITIES EVERYWHERE FOR YEARS TO COME. SO THANK YOU ADMIRAL GIROIR, DR. COLLINS, DR. Mc CANCE-KATZ AND DR. VOLKOFF FOR SPEARHEADING THIS AND THANK YOU TO EVERYONE ON HAND AND THE COMMUNITIES TO MAKING BEST POSSIBLE USE OF THESE DOLLARS. AND THANK YOU TO ALEX ELLSWICK, A COMMUNITY LEADER FROM KENTUCKY WHO WILL SHARE HIS STORY OF RECOVERY SHORTLY. MOST OF ALL THANK YOU TO EVERYONE ACROSS AMERICA WHO IS PLAYING A PART IN FIGHTING THIS CRISIS. WITH YOUR HELP, WE WILL KEEP MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION AND TOGETHER WE WILL BEAT THIS CRISIS. I NOW WANT TO HAND IT OVER TO DR. COLLINS WHO’S BEEN DEEPLY COMMITTED TO NIH’S OPIOID EFFORTS TO EXPLAIN THE INITIATIVE AND HOW IT FITS INTO THE WORK. THANK YOU AGAIN EVERYONE FOR JOINING US HERE TODAY. [ APPLAUSE ]>>WELL, THANK YOU SECRETARY AZAR FOR YOUR KIND INTRODUCTION AND MAY I SAY IT’S AN HONOR TO SERVE ON YOUR TEAM ESPECIALLY AT A MOMENT LIKE THIS AND ALSO MY THANKS TO ADMIRAL GIROIR WHO HAS BEEN SUCH A REMARKABLE LEADER FOR ALL OF DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES IN THIS ARE. TO HAVE ANY CHANCE OF ENDING THIS CRISIS, IT’S CLEAR OUR NATION NEEDS ALL HANDS ON DECK. THAT INCLUDES THE VERY BEST RESEARCHERS WORKING TO DEVELOP SCIENCE-BASED SOLUTIONS, TO HELP MAKE THIS HAPPEN, NIH HAS LAUNCHED AN INITIATIVE CALLED HELPING TO END ADDICTION LONG-TERM OR HEAL, H. E. A. L., A RESEARCH INITIATIVE. H. E. A. L. AND FOCUSED ON TWO AREAS BOTH ESSENTIAL TO FINDING LASTING SOLUTIONS TO THIS CRISIS. FIRST, IMPROVING PREVENTION AND TREATMENT STRATEGIES FOR OPIOID ADDICTION AND SECOND, DEVELOPING SAFE AND NONADDICTIVE OPIOID ALTERNATIVES IF ARE PAIN MEDICINE–MANAGEMENT. OF THE 20 + PROJECTS AT H. E. A. L., AND THERE IS MORE THAN 20, THERE IS ONE, THE ONE WE’RE TALKING ABOUT TODAY THAT CUTS ACROSS ALL OF OUR MISSIONS AND IT IS CALLED THE HEALING COMMUNITY STUDY. THIS HAS BEEN CARRIED OUT IN CLOSE COLLABORATION WITH OUR COLLEAGUES AT SAMSA, AND YOU WILL HEAR SHORTLY FROM DR. Mc CANCE-KATZ, THIS IDEA CAME OUT OF DISCUSSIONS WITH PATIENTS, RESEARCHERS, GOVERNMENT PARTNERS, BRAINSTORMING HERE AT THE DEPARTMENT, THERE HAVE BEEN MULTIPLE EFFORTS TO COMBAT THIS CRISIS ON A NATIONAL SCALE BUT THEY’VE OFTEN MADE CHANGES IN ONE OR TWO AREAS. SOME HAVE SET THEIR SITES ON TREATMENT PROGRAMS, OTHERS ON HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS, STILL OTHERS FIRST RESPONDERS, EMERGENCY ROOMS, CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, ALL OF THOSE ARE IMPORTANT BUT UNFORTUNATELY THIS APPROACH OF TRYING TO OPTIMIZE ONE COMPONENT AT A TIME HASN’T SOLVED THE PROBLEM. THAT GOT US TO THINKING, WHAT IF WE TURNED OUR ATTENTION ON A FEW COMMUNITIES WHERE THE OPIOID CRISIS IS PARTICULARLY SEVERE AND WHAT IF WE ASKED THEM TO PULL TOGETHER ALL OF THE STAKEHOLDERS AND PROPOSE AN INTEGRATED SUITE OF ALL OF THE EVIDENCE-BASED INTERVENTIONS ACROSS THOSE COMMUNITIES , NOT JUST IN TREATMENT PROGRAMS, BUT IN SCHOOLS, INVOLVE THE STATE DEPARTMENT, FIRST RESPONDERS, CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, ALL THOSE PLAYERS. THE GOAL WOULD BE TO DRAMATICALLY REDUCE DEATHS IN THOSE COMMUNITIES AND TO GENERATE AN EVIDENCE BASE THAT COULD HELP OTHER COMMUNITIES NATIONWIDE. TODAY I’M PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THIS IDEA IS A REALITY. APPLICATIONS FOR MORE THAN A DOZEN STATES WERE SUBMITTED. A RIGOROUS PEER REVIEW PROCESS, INCLUDING SITE VISITS TO CERTAIN APPLIC ANTS WAS CARRIED OUT. INITIALLY WE THOUGHT WE COULD ONLY AFFORD TO FUND THREE APPLICATIONS BUT I’M HAPPY TO ANNOUNCE THAT WE’VE MANAGED TO STRETCH THE FUNDS A BIT AND WE’RE MAKING AWARDS TO FOUR HEALING COMMUNITIES RESEARCH SITES. MORE THAN $350 MILLION OVER FOUR YEARS WILL GO TOWARDS SUPPORTING THIS EFFORT. EACH TEAM WILL WORK WITH AT LEAST 15 OF THE HARDEST HIT COMMUNITIES IN THEIR STATE BOTH URBAN AND RURAL. THEY WILL DETERMINE WHICH COMBINATION OF INTERVENTIONS WORKS BEST AT THE LOCAL LEVEL. THEY WILL TRAIN AND DEPLOY PEOPLE TO IMPLEMENT THEM AND THEY WILL MONITOR SUCCESS IN REALTIME. OUR AIM IS TO CUT OVERDOSE DEATHS IN THESE COMMUNITIES BY AS MUCH AS 40% WITHIN THOSE FIRST THREE YEAR AND TO CREATE A BLUEPRINT ABOUT HOW OTHER COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE NATION CAN DO THE SAME. SO NOW NOW LET INTRODUCE THE LEADERS OF THESE TEAMS AND OTHER DIGNITYARYS THAT ARE HERE WITH THEM. WHILE EACH OF THESE RESEARCHERS IS LOCATED AT A HIGHLY REGARD GARDED UNIVERSITY ISSUES THE REACH OF THEIR PROGRAM PROGRAMS EXTENDS WIDELY ACROSS THE STATES THEY REPRESENT. ANYONE INTERESTED IN LOOKING AT THE MAP OF THE COMMUNITIES INVOLVED CAN DO SO BY GOING TO THE NIH HEAL, H. E. A. L. WEBSITE WHERE YOU CAN SEE THOSE MAPS REPRESENTED SO PLEASE, IF YOU WOULD, RAISE YOUR HAND AS I CALL YOUR NAMES. FIRST FROM KENTUCKY SHARON WALSH UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY WHO’S HERE TODAY WITH KENTUCKY GOVERNOR MATT BEVEN WHO WILL WE HEAR FROM IN A MOMENT AND THE UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT. SECOND JEFFREY STAMMET FROM THE BOSTON MEDICAL CENTER. NEXT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AND NEXT REBECCA JACKSON, OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY HERE TODAY WITH UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT MICHAEL DRAKE. AND THEN LAST A NONPROFIT BASED IN NORTH CAROLINA THAT WILL LEAD THE COORDINATING CENTER TO MAKE THE FINDINGS WIDELY AVAILABLE FOR COMMUNITIES NATIONWIDE, RICK WILLIAMS FROM RTI INTERNATIONAL, THIS IS THE TEAM AND IT’S A DREAM TEAM FOR ALL OF US. [ APPLAUSE ]>>AMONG THE MANY EXPERTS WHO WILL BE WORKING CLOSELY WITH THE HEALING COMMUNITY TEAMS IS MY COLLEAGUE ALREADY INTRODUCED PROBABLY LEADING EXEXPERT IN THE SCIENCE OF DRUG ABUSE IN THE U.S. AND MAYBE EVEN IN THE WORLD DR. NORA VOLKOW WHO’S DIRECTOR ON THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR DRUG ABUSE, PLEASE RAISE YOUR HAND FOR THE PEOPLE WHO DON’T KNOW YOU. AND NORA WILL BE UP HERE ON STAGE IN A BIT TO HELP ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS. CLEARLY THE SUCCESS OF THIS ALL-HANDS EFFORT WILL DEPEND NOT ONLY ON RESEARCHERS BUT ON THE ACTIVE INVOLVEMENT OF MANY OTHER FOLKS INCLUDING THOSE WHO PROVIDE TREATMENT SERVICES AND THOSE WHO ARE IN NEED OF THEIR HELP, WE KNOW IT WON’T BE EASY BUT WORKING TOGETHER WITH OUR PARTNERS WE ARE CONVINCED THAT HEALING COMMUNITIES CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE AND FIND LASTING SOLUTIONS TO THIS NATIONAL CRISIS. AND NOW I WILL LIKE TO TURN THIS OVER TO DR. E LINOR Mc CANCE-KATZ, IN HER ROLE SHE ADVISES THE HHS ON WAYS TO IMPROVE BEHAVIORERAL HEALTHCARE AND LEADS SAMSA ON THE HEALING PARTNER COMMUNITIES. ELI? [APPLAUSE ]>>IT IS MY PLEASURE TO BE HERE TODAY, THANK YOU DR. COLLINS, AND FOR THE SUBSTANCE ABUSE OR MENTAL HEALTH ADMINISTRATION OR SAMIS HSA TO PARTNER ON THIS INITIATIVE. SAMHSA SERVES AT FEDERAL AGENCY TO INSURE THAT EVIDENCE-BASED PREVENTION, TREATMENT AND RECOVERY SERVICES TO ADDRESS THE OPIOID CRISIS ARE REACHING AMERICA’S COMMUNITIES. WE KNOW THAT FDA APPROVED FARM CO THERAPIES FOR OPIOID USE DISORDER ALSO CALLED MEDICATION ASSISTED TREATMENT IN COMBINATION WITH PSYCHOSOCIAL SERVICES IS THE STANDARD OF CARE FOR OPIOID ORDERS. WE MADE EFFORTS TO REQUIRE BUT MAKE THESE MEDICATION THERAPIES AVAILABLE TO ANY INDIVIDUAL WITH AN OPIOID USE DISORDER. THROUGH OUR TRAINING AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE WE FOCUS ON EDUCATING PRACTITIONERS ON SAFE AND EFFECTIVE USE OF ALL FDA APPROVED MEDICATIONS FOR OPIOID USE DISORDERS. THROUGH SAMHSA’S EFFORTS AND PROGRAMS SUCH AS THE STATE OPIOID RESPONSE GRANT PROGRAM, WE HAVE SEEN STATES ACROSS THE COUNTRY EMPLOY INNOVATIVE MODELS TO EXPAND ACCESS TO MEDICATION ASSISTED TREATMENTS, REDUCE THE TREATMENT GAP AND PREVENT OVERDOSE DEATHS. I’M VERY PLEASED THAT THESE EFFORTS WILL CONTRIBUTE TO THE HEALING COMMUNITIES INITIATIVE WHICH CAN ULTIMATELY SERVE TO PRODUCE MODELS OF CARE FOR OPIOID USE DISORDER THAT WILL ADDRESS PREVENTION, TREATMENT, AND COMMUNITY BASE RECOVERY SUPPORT SERVICES THAT WILL SERVE OUR NATION. AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL, WE RECOGNIZE AND GREATLY APPRECIATE THE EFFORTS BEING MADE BY OUR PARTNERS IN STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS. IT IS MY GREAT PRIVILEGE TO BE ABLE TO INTRODUCE OUR NEXT SPEAKER WHO HAS BEEN A LEADER AND KEY PARTNER AT THE STATE LEVEL. GOVERNOR BEVEN HAS TAKEN AGGRESSIVE STEPS TO TACKLE THE OPIOID CRISIS IN HIS STATE WHICH HAS BEEN VERY HARD HIT. AMONG HIS MANY ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN THIS ARENA HE HAS BEEN ABLE TO FULLY FUND ANTIHEROIN LEGISLATION AND CREATE A PROGRAM TO COMBAT SUBSTANCE ABUSE. AND HE IS LIMITED OPIOID PRESCRIPTIONS TO A THREE DAY SUPPLY BUT DOING SO WHILE MAKING SURE THAT THOSE IN URGENT NEED WILL CONTINUE TO BE ABLE TO ACCESS THOSE MEDICATIONS BY MAKING EXCEPTIONS IN THE LAW FOR CHRONIC PAIN, CANCER TREATMENT AND END OF LIFE CARE. ACTION SUCH AS THESE ARE SO IMPORTANT TO CURTAILING AND ENDING THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC. GOVERNOR BEVEN, WELCOME TO THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES? [APPLAUSE ]>>I WILL KEEP MY COMMENTS BRIEF OTHER THAN TO SAY IT TRULY IS AN HONOR TO BE HERE. IT’S LIKE THE OLD CESSA ME STREET, ONE OF THESE IS NOT LIKE THE OTHER HERE. A LOT OF TALENT, WISDOM, YEARS OF EXPERIENCE, IT’S HUMBLING IN MANY RESPECTS BUT I’M HERE TO EXPRESS MY GRATITUDE TO HHS, NIH, SAMHSA, SO MANY WHO HAVE MADE THIS POSSIBLE, WHO HAVE AFFORDED THESE OPPORTUNITIES TO STATES LIKE OURSELVES AND I’M TRULY ON BEHALF OF THE RESEARCHERS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY LED BY DR. CAPP A LUDO, AND DR. WALSH, WE ARE EXCITED ABOUT THE THINGS COMING HERE. I’M REMINDED IN SOME MEASURE AS I STAND HERE OF A SAYING OF A FELLOW BY THE LIGHTS THAT ARE BURNING OUR RETINAS OUT AT THIS MOMENT, THOMAS ONCE SAID THAT MOST PEOPLE MISS OPPORTUNITY. MENT BECAUSE IT USUALLY SHOWS UP IN OVERALLS AND LOOKS LIKE HARD WORK. AND I TELL YOU WHAT, THERE IS GREAT OPPORTUNITY BEFORE US, YOU HAVE HEARD THIS NUMBER, 40% IN THREE YEARS DID SEEM AGGRESSIVE BUT THAT IS A TREMENDOUS OPPORTUNITY, I AM CONVINCED WE’LL GET IT DONE AND GET IT DONE IN KENTUCKY AND HERE’S WHAT I KNOW, THE IRON SHARPENS IRON AND WHAT WE DO IN KENTUCKY IS WHAT MAKES WHAT HAPPENS IN OHIO BETTER ASK VICE VERSA, IT WILL HAPPEN IN NEW YORK AND MASSACHUSETTS, ALL OF US IN CONJUNCTION, COUPLE OF US SHARE BORDERS WITH ONE ANOTHER AND THESE ARE THE THINGS THAT GIVE ME CONFIDENCE. THAT WE WILL SEIZE THIS OPPORTUNITY, WE WILL GET IT DONE, IT WILL BE HARD WORK, I HAVE NO ABOUT THAT IN MY LIFE. I WILL CLOSE WITH THIS. YOU THINK ABOUT THIS, THERE’S PROBABLY NOBODY IN THIS ROOM THAT’S MORE THAN 1 DEGREE OF SEPARATION AWAY FROM THIS VERY ISSUE THAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT. THE BATTLE THAT GOES ON BETWEEN A PERSON WHO IS STRUGGLING WITH ADDICTION AND RECOVERY OR THE ATTEMPT AT RECOVERY IS AN UPAND DOWN IN AND OUT TUG OF WAR THAT GOES ON. SUCCESS OFTEN COMES WHEN INDEED THE VERY THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN DESCRIBED, THIS WRAP AROUND APPROACH IS AVAILABLE, THIS IS WHEN SUCCESS COMES IN THAT SAME TUG OF WAR HAPPENS WITHIN FAMILIES AND WITHIN COMMUNITIES AND THE ABILITY NOW IN THE CASE OF KENTUCKY TO HAVE 17 SPECIFIC COUNTIES AND COMMUNITIES WHERE WE’RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO PUT THAT WRAP AROUND APPROACH TO BABLY TO BRING TOGETHER THE BEST OF EVERYTHING, INCLUDING MEDICALLY ASSISTED TREATMENTED WHERE DR. COLLYNNS AND I HAVE BEEN PEN PALS ON THE FRONT FOR YEARS AND ONLY TODAY HAVE WE MET IN PERSON AND ALL OF THIS IS EXCITING TO ME. IT REALLY IS AND I’M TRULY APPRECIATIVE OF WHAT HAS BEEN AFFORDED TO US AND I’M EXCITED TO BE ABLE TO WORK WITH THOSE ON THE STAGE AND OTHERS WHO HAVE BEEN NOTED AND IT GIVES ME GREAT PLEASURE RIGHT NOW TO INTRODUCE TO YOU A GENTLEMAN THAT REALLY IS THE FACE OF THIS IN MANY RESPECTS. HIS STORY IS A POWERFUL ONE AND PLEASE HELP ME WELCOME A MAN, ALEX REZ–ACELIK, WHO IS THE LEADER OF AN ORGANIZATIONS MISSATION CALLED VOICES OF HOPE. THIS IS AN ORGANIZATION THAT REACHES OUT TO PEOPLE JUST LIKE HIMSELF. HIS ACTUAL STORY IS ONE THAT IS THE VERY THING WE’RE LOOKING TO REPLICATE IN MANY RESPECTS. SO PLEASE HELP ME WELCOME ALEX ELLSWICK. THANK YOU.>>GOOD AFTERNOON. MY NAME IS ALEX ELLSWICK AND I’M A PERSON IN LONG-TERM RECOVER SKPE BAKUGAN ALSO THE CO-FOUNDER OF RECOVERY COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION IN LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY CALLED VOICES OF HOPE AND BEFORE I GO ANY URGT IFER I WANT TO BE SURE TO EXPRESS MY GRATITUDE TO ALL THOSE STANDING UP HERE, ALL THOSE IN THE FRONT ROW, THOSE WHO MADE H. E. A. L. A REAL POSSIBILITY. I BELIEVE IT’S A DREAM TEAM AND I’M EXCITED TO SEE WHAT HAPPENED. MY ADDICTION BEGAN WITH A PRESCRIPTION TO OXYCO DON FOLLOWING ELECTIVE ORAL SURGERY TO HAVE MY WISDOM TEETH REMOVED AND OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS I WENT TO JAIL, I WENT TO FIVE IN-PATIENT TREATMENT CENTERS, TWO OUT-PATIENT TREATMENT CENTERS, I SAW DOZENS OF THERAPISTS, I SPENT TIME HOMELESS IN FOUR DIFFERENT CITIES AND I SPENT THE VERY LAST DAYS OF MY HEROIN ADDICTION SLEEPING UNDER A BRIDGE IN DAYTON, OHIO AND HOLDING A CARDBOARD SIGN THAT SAID HOMELESS AND HUNGRY AS I STOOD BY THE HIGHWAY 35 ONRAMP AND TOOK PEOPLE’S MONEY AND PUT IT INTO MY ARMS. AND I BARELY MADE IT OUT ALIVE. I’M LUCKY TO BE HERE TODAY AND THE ENTIRE TIME THAT I WAS ADDICTED I NEVER WENT TO A SYRINGE SUPPORT PROGRAM BECAUSE AT THE TIME THEY WERE NOT AVAILABLE IN MY COMMUNITY. AND THE ENTIRE TIME I WAS ADDICTED I WAS NEVER INITIATED ON MEDICATION FOR OPIOID USE DISORDER BECAUSE NEVER THE HEALTH PROFESSIONALS EVER PRESENTED IT TO ME AS A LEGITIMATE OPTION DESPITE THE FACT THAT IT’S THE GOLD STANDARD FOR TREATING MOO I CONDITION. IN THE ENTIRE TIME THAT I WAS REDETECTION ANTIBODIED I WENT THROUGH RELAPSE AND REMISSION, RELAPSE AND REMISSION, EVERY TIME I WENT TO TREATMENT MY PARENTS BECAME HOPEFUL THIS WAS THE TIME I WOULD DO IT AND EVERY TIME I LEFT, THE TREATMENT CENTER CALLED IT A GRADUATION AND THEY HANDED ME A PAMPHLET WITH A LIST OF TWEP STEP MEETINGS AND THEY SAID GOOD LUCK AND EVERY TIMING I RELAPSED AND I DEVASTATED MY FAMILY BECAUSE THERE WAS NEVER A MEANINGFUL LINKAGE TO LONG-TERM RECOVER SERVICES AND I’M GRATEFUL TO SAY THAT BECAUSE OF H. E. A. L. AND THE WORK OF ALL THESE IMPORTANT PEOPLE, THAT’S ABOUT TO CHANGE. AND AS I CLOSE, I WANT TO TELL YOU I’M 28 YEARS OLD, I’M ABOUT SIX YEARS IN RECOVERY AND I’VE BEEN TO MORE FUNERALS THAN WEDDINGS AND THAT’S NOT THE WAY THAT THE FAMILY LIFE CYCLE IS SUPPOSED TO GO. THERE’S A FUNERAL TOMORROW IN LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY FOR A YOUNG MAN I WENT TO COLLEGE WITH AND I’M SORRY TO SAY THAT H. E. A. L. CAME TOO LATE FOR HIM BUT IT’S JUST IN TIME FOR THE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF LIVES IT’S GOING TO SAVE GOING FORWARD. THANK YOU. [APPLAUSE ]>>I THINK WE ALL NEED TO THANK ALEX AGAIN FOR SHARING THAT INSPIRATIONAL STORY. DR. VOLKOFF WILL YOU PLEASE JOIN US ON STAGE NOW AT THIS TIME WE’RE READY TO TAKE QUESTIONS FROM PRESS IN THE ROOM AND ON THE PHONE WITH US. PLEASE NOTE THAT TODAY WE ARE ONLY GOING TO BE ADDRESSING QUESTIONS SURROUNDING TODAY’S ANNOUNCEMENT, IF YOU HAVE OTHER QUESTIONS I ENCOURAGE YOU TO DIRECTLY CONIN ECTOMYOSIN WITH OUR RESPECTIVE COMMUNICATIONS TEAMS AT A DIFFERENT TIME. SO AT THIS POINT IN TIME, WE WOULD LIKE TO OPEN THE FLOOR AND THE VIRTUAL FLOOR FOR QUESTIONS. AND IF YOU RAISE YOUR HANDS IN THE ROOM, I WILL BE ABLE TO CALL ON YOU AND WE HAVE PEOPLE WHO ARE WORKING THE MONITORS FOR QUESTIONS THAT ARE REMOTELY.>>HI, GENIE WITH BLOOMBERG LAW. I WAS WONDERING IF YOU COULD TALK ABOUT THE FUNDING MECHANISM NEAR THIS INITIATIVE AND THE PROPOSE CUTS FOR NIH AND SAMHSA THAT WOULD IMPACT THE ABILITY TO CARRY OUT THE GOALS IN THIS INITIATIVE?>>DO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE FUNDING FOR THE INIAIAATIVE.>>YEAH IT’S COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT AND THAT’S A MECHANISM WE HAVE AT NIH THAT ALLOWS A CLOSE PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN THE RESEARCHERS AND THE NIH SCIENTIFIC STAFF AND IT HAS VERY PRECISE MILESTONES THAT ARE ACTUALLY REQUIRED IN ORDER TO CONTINUE THE FUNDING. SO THAT IS A PROCESS THAT WE’VE USED IN THE PAST PARTICULARLY WHEN YOU HAVE A VERY AMBITIOUS PROJECT THAT HAS A VERY SPECIFIC SET OF GOALS AND WHERE YOU ARE ALSO CONSTRAINING IN A PARTICULAR TIME PERIOD. WHEN WE GAVE THE AWARDS WE ACTUALLY EVALUATED TO INSURE THAT THE RESOURCES THAT WERE GIVEN WILL ACTUALLY ENABLE THEM TO DO WHAT WE’RE THERE AIMING TO ACHIEVE. AND WE ALSO–BECAUSE WE HAVE THE CLOSE PARTNERSHIP WITH SAMHSA, WHICH IS THE AGENCY THAT PROVIDES SUPPORT FOR TREATMENT, THIS IS ACTUALLY SOMETHING THAT SHOULD BE POSSIBLE ON THE BASIS OF WHAT THE RESEARCHERS HAS SHOWN THEM THEY CAN DO AND THE RESOURCES HAVE AND THE SUPPORT OF THE UNIVERSITIES WHICH ALSO HAS BEEN QUITE, QUITE IMPRESSIVE.>>THE–AND JUST ON THE BUDGET PROPOSAL, THE BUDGET FIRE WALLS OPIOID FUNDING IN IT SO PRIORITIZED THAT AREA FUNDING. SO EVEN IF IT WERE PASSED BY CONGRESS, THAT MONEY IS PROTECTED IN THE PROPOSAL. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU. YES, SIR IN THE BLUE JACKET AND RED TIE, YES, SIR?>>FENTANYL IS BY FAR THE WORST EPIDEMIC NOW, DEATH FROM THE OPIOIDS ARE FLAT AT THE MOMENT IS THERE PART OF THIS PROGRAM THAT TARGETS FENTANYL IN PARTICULAR OR APPROACHING ALL THREE PILLS THE SAME WAY, HEROIN, OPIOID, FENTANYL, SAME WAY? WE CANNOT IGNORE FEIN, TANYL, BECAUSE THEY’RE ACCOUNTING FOR SIGNIFICANT INCREASES IN MORTALITY IN THE PAST TWO-THREE YEARS. THE TREATMENT TO,A DICTION OF FENTANYL ITSELF IS BASED ON THE SAME TYPE FOR HEROIN, WHERE WE ARE SEEING SLIGHT DIFFERENCES IN THE ABILITY TO REVERSE SOMEONE FROM AN OVERDOSE WHICH WE TREAT WITH NARCAIN WHEN YOU HAVE A DRUG LIKE FENTANYL OR EQUIVALENT, HIGHER POTENCY ON ONE HAND SO IT’S LIPID SOLUBLE AND IT GETS IF THE FAT TISSUE AND YOU CAN REVERT IT WITH THE NARCAIN, SOPHISTICATED BUT THEN THE PERSON GOES BACK INTO A COMA SO WE NEED TO DEVELOP UNIQUE TARGETED INTERVENTION AND AS DR. COLLINS WAS MENTIONING IT, THIS IS NOT THE ONLY MISSION THAT WE HAVE, FOR THE HEAL INITIATIVE, AND IMPORTANT ONE IS MEDICATION DEVELOPMENT AND SO VERY SPECIFIC GOAL OF MEDICATION DEVELOPING THESE SOLUTIONS TO ADDRESS THE CHALLENGES WE HAVE TO REVERSE EQUIVALENTS IN THE OPIOIDS.>>AND MAYBE D R. Mc CANCA-KATZ, IF YOU WOULD TALK ABOUT THE POLYSUBSTANCE OF THIS NATURE, IT’S NOT FENTANYL, ABUSE SUBSTANCE OR THE OTHER PART?>>I WILL SAY THAT WE TRY TO SPEAK TO THE MULTIPLE SUBSTANCE ABUSE ISSUES THAT PEOPLE EXPERIENCE. THIS KIND OF A PROGRAM IS ONE THAT WILL ALSO ENLIST THE SERVICES THAT SAMHSA HAS BEEN SUPPORTING FOR SOMETIME NOW. WE HAVE THREE DIFFERENT PROGRAMS IN FIRST RESPONDER TRAINING AND OVERDOSE PREVENTION TREATMENT, USE OF THE NALOXONE, OPIOID OVERDOSE ANTIDOTE, THESE ARE THE BEAUTY OF THIS PROGRAM IS THE ABILITY OF NIDA TO FUND RESEARCH IN AREAS THAT WE ARE ALREADY PROVIDING SERVICES SO THAT WE CAN VERY QUICKLY RAMP UP AND ADDRESS THESE ISSUES.>>THANK YOU D R. Mc CANCE-KATZ, MORE QUESTIONS?>>YES IN THE FRONT, YES MA’AM? AND THEN THE SECOND ONE WOULD BE THE MAN WITH THE BLACK AND WHITE SWEATER, OKAY? [LAUGHTER]>>COULD YOU GET SOME COLOR ON WHAT THIS WILL CHANGE COME THE COMMUNITIES, YOU TALK ABOUT WHO’S BEING DONE IN KENTUCKY, HOW WILL THAT ACCELERATE THE WORK AND THE WORK BEING DONE AND DESCRIBE WHAT IT WILL LOOK LIKE?>>YEAH, NO, AND THAT IS EXACTLY–YOUR QUESTION IS EXACTLY WHAT HEALING COMMUNITIES WAS ALL ABOUT. HOW ARE WE GOING TO MAKE A CHANGE BY ACTUALLY DOING EXACTLY WHAT DR. COLLINS WAS SAYING WHICH IS INTEGRATE EVIDENCE-BASED INTERVENTION THAT PERTAIN TO PREVENTION, TREATMENT ACCIDENT AND RECOVERY. IMPORTANTLY, IT’S ALSO INTEGRATING THE EFFORT OF MULTIPLE AGENCIES AND COMMUNITIES IN A COMPREHENSIVE FASHION WITH QUANTITATIVE ESTIMATION OF THE OUTCOMES AND THAT’S WHERE THE GAME CHANGER COMES AROUND AND AS HE SAID WE’VE BEEN DOING IT IN ISOLATION BUT WE’VE NEVER DONE SOMETHING AS AMBITIOUS WITH THIS WHERE WE INTEGRATE THE EFFORT AND AS FRANCIS WAS PRESENTING IT, IT OCCURRED TO ME THAT MAYBE IN A WAY WE SHOULD COIN THIS TERM IN TERMS OF WE HAVE LIKE SCIENCE OF CITIZEN SO COMMUNITY SCIENCE. RIGHT? WE DO SCIENCE IN ACADEMIC CENTER SO THIS GIVES US THE OPPORTUNITY TO GENERATE THE CONCEPT WHERE THE COMMUNITIES THEMSELVES ARE GOING TO BE THE LABORATORY THAT IS GOING TO ALLOW US TO LEARN HOW TO ADDRESS THE CRISIS. SO WE’RE CHANGING THE PARADIGM BY WHICH WE NORMALLY HAVE BEEN ACTUALLY ADDRESSING THE PROBLEM OF SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER INCLUDING OPIOID ADDICTION.>>I HAD THE PRIVILEGE OF MEETING THIS MORNING WITH THE PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS THAT YOU SLEEP APNEA AND OBESITYY SITTING HERE AND WE TALKED A BIT ABOUT HOW IS THIS DIFFERENT THAN WHAT’S ALREADY BEEN UNDERTAKEN AND POINT MADE THAT WE DO HAVE THAT WERE’S BEEN GOING ON FOR SOMETIME ABOUT HOW BEST TO DEAL WITH OPIOID ARK DICTION AND DEFINE TREATMENTS THAT WORK AND WE KNOW IT REQUIRES MEDICATION, STILL A LOT WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT THE DURATION OF TREATMENT THAT’S NEEDED, WHAT ABOUT RECOVERY PROGRAMS AND SO ON. BUT A LOT OF THOSE STUDIES THAT WE HAVE DONE HAVE TENDED TO BE RELATIVELY CIRCUMSCRIBED AT A FAIRLY WELL STUDIED ENVIRONMENT. AND THEY HAVEN’T NECESSARILY TRANSLATED OUT TO THE COMMUNITIES, OUT IN THE REST OF THE STATE AND CERTAINLY REACHING RURAL COMMUNITIES AS BEEN PARTICULARLY CHALLENGING. THIS PROGRAM AIMS TO CHANGE ALL THAT. THIS IS REAL WORLD RESEARCH. THIS IS NOT ISROFY TOWER AT ALL, WE’RE CONFIDENT IT WILL WORK BECAUSE IT WILL BECAUSE THE COMMUNITIES HAVE BEEN PART OF DESIGNING THESE PROGRAMS IN THESE FOUR STATES. THEY ARE WRAPPING THEIR ARMS AROUND IT WORKING WITH THE EXPERIENCED ACADEMEC RESEARCHERS WORKING WITH THE RESOURCES NEEDED FROM THE STATE AND THE COMMUNITY, THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM TO PUT THIS TOGETHER IN THE REAL WORLD. WE WILL LEARN A LOT FROM THIS.>>I WOULD LIKE–I THINK ABOUT IT FROM THE PATIENT PERSPECTIVE THAT YOU KNOW WE HAVE M. A. T. WE HAVE HOUSING ASSISTANCE, WE ARE DRUG COURTS, WELL THINK ABOUT THESE COMMUNITIES AS PULLING ALL OF THOSE STREAMS TOGETHER AND BUILDING THAT AROUND THE INDIVIDUAL, SO THE INDIVIDUAL GETS ARRESTED FOR A CRIME. THEY GO TO A DRUG COURT INSTEAD, THEY COME OUT OF THE DRUG COURT AND THEY GET TO A TREATMENT FACILITY, THAT TREATMENT FACILITY WHEN THEY GO THROUGH THEIR TREATMENT AND ENTER RECOVERY IT’S NOT ONE AND DONE LIKE ALEX WAS TALKING ABOUT, YOU’RE CURED, MOVE ON. IT’S THE LONG-TERM PSYCHOSOCIAL SAFETY NET YOU NEED AROUND YOU. YOU’RE NOT–AS I MET A YOUNG WOMAN IN PHILADELPHIA COMING OUT WITH A BABY WHO HAD HAD NEONATAL ABSENCE SYNDROME TOLD, WHERE WE DON’T KNOW WHERE YOU’RE GOING TO LIVE. YOU’RE CONNECTED IN WITH HOUSING ASSISTANCE SO YOU GO IN AN ENVIRONMENT THAT CAN REINFORCE YOUR TREATMENT AND RECOVERY AND THEN IT MIGHT INVOLVE CONNECTING WITH EMPLOYERS ABOUT HOW DO YOU HAVE A SOUND FOOTING SO THAT THAT WHOLE SURROUND IS THERE FOR YOU TO ENABLE A LIFE LONG TREATMENT AND RECOVERY PROGRAM SO TAKING IT FROM THE PATIENT PERSPECTIVE IS WHAT THIS IS ABOUT AND THEN DEMONSTRATING THESE ARE ACTUAL QUANTIFIABLE OUTCOMES IN TERMS OF OVERDOSE DEATHS THAT WE CAN ACHIEVE IN A COMMUNITY BY ALL OF THOSE LEVERS NOT WORKING INDIVIDUALLY IN AN EXCELLENT WAY BUT WORKING IN AN INTEGRATED COORDINATED WAY TOGETHER AROUND THE INDIVIDUAL.>>AND I’LL JUST SAY THAT THE OTHER PART OF THIS IS THE PARTNERSHIP WITH STATES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS SO AS THIS RESEARCH IS DONE, AS WE GET RESULTS, AS WE SEE WHAT WE’RE–WE WILL BE COMMUNICATING WITH THE LEADERS IN THOSE COMMUNITIES AND STATES. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT’S GOING TO HELP TO IMPLEMENT THESE KINDS OF SAFE AND EFFECTIVE AND BEST PRACTICES INTO OTHER COMMUNITIES MUCH MORE RAPIDLY. AND I THINK WE HAVE TIME FOR JUST ONE MORE QUESTION. AND YES MA’AM?>>I WANTED TO ASK ABOUT THE RIPPLE EFFECTS OF THE EPIDEMIC ON CHILDREN AND FAMILIES AND HOW YOU YOU THINK THIS PROGRAM WILL ADDRESS THOSE ISSUES AND ONE OTHER QUESTION, AROUND STIGMA AS WELL BECAUSE I HEARD AS RECENTLY AS LAST YEAR I’VE HEARD MAYORS AND LAWMAKERS TALK ABOUT REPLACING ONE ADDICTION WITH ANOTHER. SO COULD YOU SPEAK TO FAMILY AND STIGMA, THANK YOU.>>YEAH, AGAIN, COMING BACK TO THE POINT THAT THE HEALING COMMUNITY IS NOT JUST GOING TO BE THE ONLY PROGRAM THAT ACTUALLY, WE ARE GOING TO BE DOING AS PART OF HEAL. WE SEE IT AS A PLATFORM THAT CAN LINK TO OTHER PROJECTS AND ONE OF THE ONES THAT WE’RE VERY INTERESTED, ACTUALLY THAT IS PRIORITIZED IS WE RECOGNIZE THAT PREVENTION NOT JUST IN TERMS OF IMPROVING PRESCRIPTION PRACTICE FOR OPIATES WHICH IS EXTRAORDINARILY IMPORTANT BUT PREVENTION EARLY ON TO PROTECT PEOPLE FROM TAKING DRUGS AND FUNDAMENTAL IF WE ARE EVER ACTUALLY EVER TO CONTAIN THE CRISIS NOW AND CONTAIN THE CRISIS IN THE FUTURE. SO THERE ARE SEVERAL PROJECTS THAT ARE GOING ON AS PART OF HEAL THAT WILL EVALUATE FOR EXAMPLE WHAT IS THE OPTIMAL TREATMENT FOR A MOTHER OR FATHER, FAMILY, THAT HAS AN ADDICTION PROBLEM BECAUSE THAT’S DIRECTLY GOING TO BE INFLUENCE THAT NEW BORN AND IN THE CHILD AND IF YOU DON’T ADDRESS IT, THE OUTCOMES ARE VERY POOR. AND WE’RE ALSO IN THE PROCESS TOO, GOING TO BE LAUNCHING A VERY LARGE STORY TO LOOK AT PROSPECTIVELY HOW THE HUMAN BRAIN DEVELOPS ON INFANTS THAT HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO OPIOIDS AND THEN ON INFANTS THAT GROW UP IN ENVIRONMENTS AGAIN WHERE THERE IS SOCIAL DEPRIVATION SO THAT WE CAN UNDERSTAND HOW SOCIAL FACTORS INFLUENCE DEVELOPMENTAL TRAJECTORIES OF THE HUMAN BRAIN AND THE IDEA IS THAT BY HAVING THAT KNOWLEDGE, TO BE ABLE TO DO INTERVENTIONS THAT CAN BE PERSONALIZED TO THE UNIQUE CHANGES IN THE PERSON THAT FOR GENETIC OR ENVIRONMENTAL OR SOCIAL REASONS AND THAT’S WITH FAMILY THAT HAS ADDICTION AND TO PROTECT THEM.>>ARE THE PART OFIOURE QUESTION WAS STILL HEARING FROM SOME INDIVIDUALS THAT IT’S JUST REPLACING ONE ADDICTION WITH ANOTHER. THAT IS SUCH A DESTRUCTIVE PERSPECTIVE THAT UNFORTUNATELY IS STILL BEING VERBALIZED BY SOME PEOPLE WHO HAVE NOT LOOKED AT THE EVIDENCE FOR MEDICATION ASHES CYSTED TREATMENT. THE NATIONAL AKD–SALLY ME OF SCIENCES HAS RECENTLY ISSUED A LANDMARK REPORT WHERE THEY SURVEYED ALL OF THE SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE ABOUT WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT EFFICACY OF TREATMENT PROGRAMS AND CAME DOWN VERY STRONGLY ON THE PERSPECTIVE THAT IF YOU ARE SETTING UP A TREATMENT FOR OPIOID ADDICTION, IT HAS TO INCLUDE MEDICATION OR IT IS NOT WHAT WE BASICALLY NEED WITH THE EVIDENCE THAT WE HAVE AT THE PRESENT TIME. OTHER THINGS IN ADDITION TO MEDICATION OF COURSE, PSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORT, AND MANY OTHER WAYS OF HELPING PEOPLE GET THROUGH THIS. BUT WITHOUT MEDICATION, THE FAILURE RATES ARE DRAMATICALLY HIGH. WHAT WE REALLY NEED LESS OF AND THIS IS HARD FOR PEOPLE TO HEAR, WHO ARE I THINK QUITE CONVINCED THAT THEY’RE DOING SOMETHING THAT’S WELL INTENTIONED FOR 28 DAY DETOX PROGRAMS THAT SEND PEOPLE OUT AFTER 28 DAYS WITHOUT MEDICATION TREATMENT, WITHOUT A PLAN, THAT IS OFTEN THE AREA OF GREATEST RISK FOR SOMEBODY TO FALL BACK INTO THE SAME PATTERN AND END UP WITH AN OVERDOSE AND EVEN A DEATH.>>SO UNFORTUNATELY WE’VE COME TO THE END OF OUR TIME. I WANT TO SAY TWO THINGS, NUMBER ONE, THERE ARE A FEW PEOPLE REPRESENTED UP HERE BUT I WANT EVERYONE TO KNOW THAT THERE WERE DOZENS, EVEN UPON HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE WITHIN HHS WORKING LITERALLY TIRELESSLY FOR SIX MONTHS TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN. AND I WANT TO EXPRESS MY APPRECIATION FOR THE INCREDIBLE INTERAGENCY WORK, THE INCREDIBLE PASSION AND DEDICATION OF ALL OUR HHS AND OTHER DEPARTMENT COLLEAGUES WORKING ON THIS PROGRAM AND I SEE MANY OF YOU IN THE AUDIENCE AND I THINK I WILL CLOSE BY SAYING THERE ARE TWO WORDS THAT GET USED TOO MUCH: INSPIRATION AND HISTORIC BUT THEY’RE NOT HYPERBOLE IN THIS SITUATION. I DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW UNDERSTAND COULD HEAR ALEX’S STORY AND NOT FEEL LIKE I WANT TO GO OUT AND WORK THE REST OF MY LIFE TO CHANGE THIS. AND I KNOW WE ALL FEEL THAT WAY. AND MAKE NO DOUBT THIS IS AN HISTORIC MOMENT, AN HISTORIC PROGRAM AND WHAT IT IS AND IT WILL BE HISTORIC IN ITS COLLABORATIONS, PARTNERSHIPS AND IT WILL BE HISTORIC WITH ITS RESULTS. SO WITH THAT THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR BEING HERE AND HAVE A GOOD, GRIT, DAY. [APPLAUSE ]

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