Dr. Donald S. Burke, dean of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health and Jonas Salk Professor of Global Health at UPMC, discusses how behaviors of substance abuse are transmitted from person to person, similar to an infectious disease. His primary concern is the number of lives lost due to accidental overdose mortality rates, which is now the main cause of death in Pennsylvania.
Western Pennsylvania is in the midst of a drug overdose epidemic, prompting Pitt Public Health to create a pilot grant project that funds several studies exploring different aspects of the problem.
This post is part of a blog series entitled “The Opioid Epidemic,” a collaboration between UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences highlighting the doctors, researchers and nurses making significant efforts to reduce diversion and misuse of prescription opioids. For more information about the series or resources to help with drug addiction, click here.