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 http://science.sciencemag.org/content/354/6312/529.full.