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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The opioid crisis didn’t disappear amid the pandemic. It still calls for urgent action. 

The opioid crisis didn’t disappear amid the pandemic. It still calls for urgent action.

THE WASHINGTON POST - Despite the predominance of the coronavirus pandemic among national priorities, the paper's editorial board urges the dedication of public health funds and attention to the ongoing opioid crisis, citing data gathered by HPM's Hawre Jalal and EPI's Donald S. Burke which suggest... (10/20/2020)
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Jalal research shows fatal overdoses in U.S. rebounded in 2019 

Jalal research shows fatal overdoses in U.S. rebounded in 2019

TRIBUNE-DEMOCRAT – “We are concerned that policymakers may have interpreted the one-year downturn in 2018 as evidence for an especially effective national response or the start of a long-term trend,” said lead author Hawre Jalal, HPM. “Unfortunately, that isn’t supported by the data.” The data sugg... (09/17/2020)
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Burke on Allegheny County’s increase in opioid overdose deaths 

Burke on Allegheny County’s increase in opioid overdose deaths

POST-GAZETTE - “The epidemic has a lot of drivers that go deep into society. It’s a combination of the persons who are susceptible to drug use because of unemployment and a sense of despair in many parts of our country,” Dean Emeritus Donald Burke said. And now that the world is in the middle of a ... (07/10/2020)
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Jalal study finds birth year helps predict drug overdose risk 

Jalal study finds birth year helps predict drug overdose risk

90.5 WESA - “If you are born after 1945, then your risk of overdose death increases exponentially from one birth year to the next,” said lead author, PHDL's Hawre Jalal. “Those patterns are too regular to be random. There’s some reason why drug overdoses are transmitting from one birth year to the ... (05/11/2020)
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BCHS alum Arnold on harm-reduction during the coronavirus shutdown 

BCHS alum Arnold on harm-reduction during the coronavirus shutdown

PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER/SPOTLIGHT PA - At Prevention Point Pittsburgh, staff have been trying to raise awareness of COVID-19 for weeks. “If someone shows symptoms, they’re given gloves, a face mask, and extra harm reduction supplies so they can self-quarantine,” said executive director Aaron Arnold (... (03/31/2020)
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BIOS's Buchanich awarded contract with PA Department of Health 

BIOS's Buchanich awarded contract with PA Department of Health

Jeanine Buchanich has been awarded a 3 year $1.2 million contract with the PA Department of Health to evaluate the state's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program as part of the CDC’s Overdose Data to Action cooperative agreement. Evaluations will cover the impact of continuing medical education, firs... (03/13/2020)
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Jessica Frankeberger, modeling social-ecological contributions to postpartum opioid use 

Jessica Frankeberger, modeling social-ecological contributions to postpartum opioid use

In her dissertation work, doctoral student Jessica Frankeberger (BCHS '23) will use spatial analysis and modeling approaches to understand the social-ecological contexts that contribute to opioid use and related problems among postpartum women. (03/05/2020)


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