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School & Program Updates

School & Program Updates

East Tennessee: Center for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment becomes ETSU Addiction Science Center (ASC)

The East Tennessee State University Center for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment, established in 2016, began 2020 with a new name: the ETSU Addiction Science Center (ASC).

The change is part of a concerted effort to keep pace with the evolving nature of the opioid crisis, whereby heroin and fentanyl are now the leading cause of unintentional overdose death in the U.S. – not prescribed pain medications.

In addition, the new name provides an opportunity to expand research efforts to include the study of co-morbid health conditions and poly-substance misuse, incorporating studies focused on the resurgence of methamphetamine use across the country.

“The country has been reeling from the impact of the opioid crisis and taking action to mitigate resulting harm,” said Dr. Robert Pack, ASC executive director. “However, while federal, state and local public health systems and services were finally focused on opioids, psychostimulant-related harm increased dramatically.  We have been working on that problem and many related topics over the last few years and decided to adopt a simpler name that would also reflect the broader nature of our work.”

The ASC works in collaboration with the multi-sector community-facing Working Group that has been meeting both on and off campus to address the regional opioid crisis since 2012. As a result of this partnership, ASC, affiliated faculty and community partners have submitted 44 grant proposals, 19 of which have been funded for a total of $7.5 million dollars in extramural funding.

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