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Opioid Addiction Epidemic

Opioid Overdose Prevention Pilot Research

The Pittsburgh region is at the center of an epidemic, but it isn’t an infectious disease. It’s an insidious illness that has been quietly spreading in communities, killing more people each year than car crashes – opioid drug overdoses. The number of people dying in the region has more than tripled in the past decade, and the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health is piloting research projects to address the knowledge gaps of the opioid epidemic in a year-long initiative expected to lead to much larger life-saving efforts.
Six faculty led pilot research projects on opioid addiction and the overdose crisis:
  • Jeanine Buchanich on profiling PA mortality 1999-2015 – YouTube
  • Zan Dodson on social media & mapping opioid-use clusters - YouTube
  • Julie Donohue on prescribing - YouTube
  • Mary Hawk on community-engaged research into optimizing health and survival – YouTube
  • Christina Mair on mapping the problem with public data – YouTube
  • Tom Songer on unintentional poisoning – YouTube

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Past opioid initiative events and webcasts

Maximize Dean Burke’s School-wide Address “Forecasting and Deflecting the Opioid Overdose Epidemic Curve" (9/14)

Minimize Modeling the Opioid Epidemic: Insights and Potential Solutions from Computational Science (Mon 10/2)

MON 10/2/2017 8:00AM - 5:00PM
Modeling the Opioid Epidemic: Insights and Potential Solutions from Computational Science
PHDL/CTSI Workshop
University Club - Ballroom A
www.ctsi.pitt.edu/research-modeling-opioidworkshop2017

View webcast videos Videos available in this Panopto folder 10 minutes before each lecture.

This school-wide lecture is eligible for grand rounds (GR) and continuing education (CPH-CE) credit.  

Contact

Michael Mallon
Project Coordinator, Opioid Initiatives
Pitt Public Health
412-624-5163
msm126@pitt.edu

Opioids in the News

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Alumni staff the PERU project, employing a new method to track opioid overdose victiums 

Alumni staff the PERU project, employing a new method to track opioid overdose victiums

A new way to collect and organize data could be the answer to tackling the years-long opioid overdose epidemic. The University of Pittsburgh’s Program Evaluation and Research Unit (PERU) is working with Pennsylvania officials to standardize death data from overdose victims. The purpose of the projec... (10/10/2017)
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Gellad interviewed on Cigna's new OxyContin Rx policy 

Gellad interviewed on Cigna's new OxyContin Rx policy

CNN - Despite any advantages Xtampza may have (harder to crush and abuse), “people still get addicted to oral pills. They can still take too much. They can still overdose,” said HPM’s WALLID GELLAD, co-director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing. Gella... (10/05/2017)
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Gellad questions CVS Health move to limit access to opioid painkillers 

Gellad questions CVS Health move to limit access to opioid painkillers

WALL STREET JOURNAL - One of the largest managers of pharmaceutical benefits in the U.S. says it will start limiting the duration and dose of some prescriptions for opioid painkillers, in an effort to combat widespread addiction. The restrictions, based on CDC recommendations published last year, co... (09/21/2017)
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Gellad says the naloxone pricing system is out of control (video) 

Gellad says the naloxone pricing system is out of control (video)

WTAE ACTION NEWS - As the opioid crisis sweeping the country, demand for naloxone has soared—and so has the price. HPM’s WALID GELLAD, who studies drug pricing, says the system is completely out of control. Naloxone cost increases have sky-rocketed, a huge concern for emergency service providers and... (09/14/2017)
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Burke on need to arm officials with opioid crisis data 

Burke on need to arm officials with opioid crisis data

WIRED - Researchers have been calling for this kind of data-driven approach to the national opioid epidemic. They want to study the spread of opioids like infectious diseases, by looking at transmission patterns and recovery rates. But much of the data is locked in state agencies, making it difficul... (09/14/2017)
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Donohue's research says hospitals could do more for survivors of opioid overdoses 

Donohue's research says hospitals could do more for survivors of opioid overdoses

NPR - Using claims data from Medicaid patients in Pennsylvania from 2008 to 2013, HPM’s JULIE DONOHUE looked at prescription opioid use and medication-assisted treatment rates before and after overdoses. The study's senior author found that “This is a time when people are vulnerable, potentially fri... (08/22/2017)
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Donohue on the causes of explosive growth in opioid prescription sales 

Donohue on the causes of explosive growth in opioid prescription sales

HUFF POST - What caused the explosive growth in opioid sales? The FDA and TV advertising. In 1997, the FDA rules governing pharmaceutical advertising changed, allowing TV ads to name both the drug and what was for, while only naming the most significant potential side effects. After that, the number... (08/14/2017)


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