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Penn State hosts summit to combat the opioid epidemic

Kristie Auman-Bauer

January 23, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Opioid overdose deaths in Pennsylvania increased 37 percent in 2016, ranking the state fourth in the nation. Coming on the heels of Gov. Tom Wolf’s declaration of the opioid crisis as a disaster emergency, Penn State recently held its first University-wide summit on the opioid epidemic.


The summit drew together almost 200 researchers, practitioners and educators from across the Penn State system with the goal of developing an interdisciplinary and translational agenda aimed at combating the opioid epidemic. In his welcome message, Executive Vice President and Provost Nicholas Jones stressed to attendees that “the rapid growth and spread of the opioid epidemic and its tragic consequences demand our faculty’s best efforts. Our faculty can and will make a significant difference in addressing this alarming problem in Pennsylvania and beyond.”


“The summit was an opportunity for us to talk about our work and learn about one another’s expertise toward developing novel research and community collaborations and identifying a distinctive leadership role for the University in combating the opioid crisis,” said Susan McHale, director of the Social Science Research Institute, which hosted the event.


The summit featured 14 flash talks on topics ranging from the neuroscience of opioid addiction treatment outcomes, to estimating societal costs due to the epidemic. Other projects shared by Penn State researchers included identification of opioid trafficking networks, establishing community-university collaborations for prevention programs, building a state integrative data system to address policy questions, evaluation of state prescription drug monitoring programs, and more.


“The summit was an opportunity for our faculty to make new connections that can advance research aimed at combating the opioid crisis,” explained Sue Grigson, director of the Penn State Addiction Center for Translation and professor of neural and behavioral sciences at Penn State College of Medicine. “Our goal is to... [ CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE ]


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[CURATED CONTENT: Written by Kristie Auman-Bauer, January 23, 2018

- originally published on Penn State News: (news.psu.edu).]


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