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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Pittsburgh Dean Proposes “Forecasting the Opioid Epidemic”

Since 2000, almost half a million Americans have died from drug overdoses. This modern plague — largely driven by opioid addiction — degrades health, saps productivity, spawns crime, and devastates families, all at enormous societal cost. How did we get here, and what do we do now?

[Photo: Dean Donald S. Burke]

Dean Donald S. Burke, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, and UPMC-Jonas Salk chair of global health, asks the question and lays out a path forward that involves coordinating efforts and finding creative ways to gain insight into the opioid epidemic in a recent issue of Science.

“Law enforcement officials have realized that ‘we can’t arrest our way out of the epidemic’ and that a new, public health–oriented approach is needed,” Dr. Burke wrote. “How can a new approach be designed? Better understanding of the underlying system dynamics may prove critical.”

Read the entire editorial at