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Student & Alumni Achievements

Student & Alumni Achievements

Penn State: Group to Present Opioid Research at National Meeting

Pennsylvania State University Public Health Program (MPH) alumna Ms. Edeanya Agbese will present research on adolescents and opioid use at the Academy Health’s 2019 Annual Research Meeting in Washington, DC, on June 2-4.

Working with Dr. Douglas Leslie, from the Penn State College of Medicine, their findings shed light on addiction and could help inform future research and prevention strategies.

Ms. Kyungha Kim will share her November 2018 presentation: Characteristics of Pediatric Patients with Persistent Opioid Medication Use After Hospital Discharge. Although opioid-based medications can be an effective way to control pain, clinicians and policymakers should be aware of the long-term risks of opioid use following hospitalizations. Ms. Kim’s findings show that characteristics of post-operative, opioid medication use among pediatric patients are associated with persistent opioid use.

Similarly, many adolescents are obtaining opioids via means other than a personal prescription. Another presentation, An Examination of Opioid Pain Medication Use Among Adolescents with an Opioid Use Disorder (OUD), will focus on understanding the demographics of adolescents with OUD and associations with opioid prescriptions among family members, highlighting the need to properly store and destroy unused medications.

Lastly, Ms. Agbese’s research reveals that young children diagnosed with OUD are not receiving treatments for their opioid dependence/abuse. Her presentation, Patterns of Treatment for Children with Opioid Use Disorder, shows the underutilization of current treatment options and stresses the importance of developing age-appropriate treatments and education for this young population.