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Opioid Addiction Epidemic

Pitt Public Health Pilots Opioid Overdose Prevention 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 grantees in calendar 2016 conducted 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

One Book, One Community

Sam Quinones' book: Dreamland

Looking for a intriguing look into the American opioid crisis?  Read the Pitt Public Health 2015-2016 One Book, One Community selection, Sam Quinones' Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic. For more information  

Minimize Opioids in the News

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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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Burke keynotes for Allegheny County Overdose Prevention Coalition 

Burke keynotes for Allegheny County Overdose Prevention Coalition

On Wednesday, July 19, 2017, Dean DONALD S. BURKE addressed members of the Allegheny County Overdose Prevention Coalition at their 2017 Summer Conference. The conference theme was New Perspectives on the Opioid Crisis, and Burke’s keynote address was titled Forcasting and Deflecting the Opioid Epide... (07/19/2017)
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Pitt Public Health partners with state to destroy leftover prescription opioids 

Pitt Public Health partners with state to destroy leftover prescription opioids

PITTSBURGH POST GAZETTE - Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro hopes that destroying unused pills will help curb the state’s opioid epidemic. The University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health will be assessing the distribution of 300,000 drug-deactivation pouches in partnership wit... (07/11/2017)
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Opioids could kill nearly 5000,000 Americans in the next decade 

Opioids could kill nearly 5000,000 Americans in the next decade

STAT NEWS - Pitt Public Health Dean DONALD S. BURKE was asked to weigh in on the problem of projected opioid deaths. “Are we doing enough of what we think works — prescription drug monitoring programs, medication-assisted treatment, naloxone? And are we matching the societal costs with a like expend... (06/27/2017)
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View Burke’s comments to Congress during Opioid Briefing (Video) 

View Burke’s comments to Congress during Opioid Briefing (Video)

Watch a short video of highlights from Dean Burke’s address at the ASPPH Opioid Briefing to Congress last Monday. He was one of five public health deans invited by the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health to present expert testimony about the drastic need for more research data in co... (06/26/2017)
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More data needed in fight against opioids use, Burke says 

More data needed in fight against opioids use, Burke says

PITTSBURG POST-GAZETTE - The numbers are staggering, and yet DONALD S. BURKE wants more of them. He believes good data is essential in fighting the opioid crisis that is growing exponentially across the country — and nowhere faster than the Appalachian region that includes Western Pennsylvania. Burk... (06/20/2017)
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Dean Burke addresses congressional hearing on the opioid epidemic 

Dean Burke addresses congressional hearing on the opioid epidemic

On Monday, June 19, 2017, Dean Burke joined four other public health deans from Appalachian universities to speak at a U.S. congressional hearing on the national opioid epidemic. Addressing the standing-room-only crowd, he spoke about the epidemiology of the crisis and the need for better info on co... (06/19/2017)


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