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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Arnold named one of Pittsburgh Magazine's 40 under 40 

Arnold named one of Pittsburgh Magazine's 40 under 40

PITTSBURGH MAGAZINE - The Center for Disease Control estimates that 130 people die in this country every day from opioid-related drug overdoses. As the executive director of Prevention Point Pittsburgh, Aaron Arnold (BCHS '13) is working to change that. In addition to offering a needle exchange pro... (11/04/2019)
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Burke talks about how to control the river of legal painkillers flowing through Allegheny County 

Burke talks about how to control the river of legal painkillers flowing through Allegheny County

PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE REVIEW - There were 76 billion pills prescribed across the country from 2006-2012. In that time, prescriptions in Allegheny county went from 46 pills per person per year to 58. EPI's Donald Burke said that there is still a long way to go in terms of controlling this first step of... (10/01/2019)
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Nowalk authors chapter in upcoming public health guide to opioid epidemic 

Nowalk authors chapter in upcoming public health guide to opioid epidemic

Alex Nowalk (BCHS '16), program director at Pitt's Program Evaluation and Research Unit, recently co-authored a chapter in an upcoming book, A Public Health Guide to Ending the Opioid Epidemic. Nowalk's chapter presents screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment as a public health and... (08/25/2019)
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Rural Pennsylvanians Have Nearby Access to Opioid Treatment, but Still Travel Far to Receive it 

Rural Pennsylvanians Have Nearby Access to Opioid Treatment, but Still Travel Far to Receive it

INSIDE UPMC - Rural Pennsylvania Medicaid enrollees diagnosed with opioid use disorder are driving an average of four times as far as their nearest prescriber to receive medication-assisted treatment, according to an analysis led by HPM's Evan Cole. The study, published in the  Journal of General I... (08/10/2019)
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Inequity Remains Pittsburgh's Biggest Health Risk, Hacker Says 

Inequity Remains Pittsburgh's Biggest Health Risk, Hacker Says

THE CONFLUENCE (WESA) -- Outgoing director of the Allegheny County Health Department, adjunct professor in HPM and BCHS, and Pitt Public Health board of visitors member, Dr. Karen Hacker discusses the population health issues of this region as well as her plans to head the CDC's National Center for... (07/31/2019)
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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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