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

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 Solutionsfrom Computational Science
PHDL/CTSI Workshop
University Club - Ballroom A
https://ctsi.pitt.edu/research-services/core-services/biomedical-modeling/modeling-conference-2017-modeling-the-opioid-epidemic/

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

WESA 90.5's Bridges to Health initiative coverage: Why The CDC Needs Number Crunchers On The Front Lines Of The Opioid Epidemic  (7min 8sec)

Maximize Dean Burke’s “Forecasting and Deflecting the Opioid Overdose Epidemic Curve" (9/14/17)

Contact

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

Opioids in the News

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Pitt Public Health dean steps down at a time when the region is losing other top leaders in the field (video) 

Pitt Public Health dean steps down at a time when the region is losing other top leaders in the field (video)

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - The departure of EPI's Donald S. Burke, dean emeritus, from his position as dean comes at a time when the region is losing two other top public health officials - Arthur Levine, senior vice chancellor of the health sciences, and Karen Hacker, director of the Allegheny Coun... (07/08/2019)
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Personalities of Pittsburgh: Dr. Donald Burke becomes dean emeritus, continues as professor (subscriber content) 

Personalities of Pittsburgh: Dr. Donald Burke becomes dean emeritus, continues as professor (subscriber content)

PITTSBURGH BUSINESS TIMES - Donald Burke is retiring from his role as dean but he’ll remain active with the University. He reflected on his career, including time in the military and international work in two dozen countries and shared concerns about scientific denialism. "As a scientific community... (07/03/2019)
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Does the overdose plunge mean the epidemic is over? Burke says no.  

Does the overdose plunge mean the epidemic is over? Burke says no.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - "What I'm worried about is that, if in fact it is a statistical aberration or an epidemic anomaly, that we psychologically, in public health, take credit for it and presume that we're doing enough," said Dean Donald Burke. "The response still has not been proportionate to ... (06/27/2019)
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Inpatient opioids influence at-home use, Donohue reports 

Inpatient opioids influence at-home use, Donohue reports

MEDPAGE TODAY - Patients given opioids during their hospital stay were more likely to continue using them post-discharge. Compared with patients who were not prescribed opioids, those who did get a prescription were also twice as likely to continue using them in outpatient settings three months out... (06/24/2019)
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National, county research partnerships use AI to better predict opioid overdose risk 

National, county research partnerships use AI to better predict opioid overdose risk

PITTWIRE - HPM's Walid Gellad is using machine-learning algorithms to predict who is at risk of opioid misuse and overdose, teaming up with Allegheny County officials and national health care databanks in two separate studies.  (05/29/2019)
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Brent and colleagues show that children of opioid users more likely to attempt suicide 

Brent and colleagues show that children of opioid users more likely to attempt suicide

US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT - EPI's David Brent (MSHyg '87) was one of the authors on a study published in JAMA Psychiatry that found children whose parents were prescribed opioids were twice as likely to attempt suicide as the offspring of people who did not use those drugs.  (05/28/2019)
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Burke on overdose deaths in Pittsburgh declining sharply 

Burke on overdose deaths in Pittsburgh declining sharply

PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW - "At this point, I'm not confident it is a permanent change for the good or if we're just returning to the expected curve," Dean Donald Burke said. "In our paper in Science a few months ago, we showed overdoses from all drugs, not just opioids, have been growing exponenti... (03/04/2019)


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