Global Ethics Initiative- The U.S. Opioid epidemic: an overview
Sunday, July 17 at 11:00 am
2 West 64th Street
Nina B. Urban, MD, MSc
Free and open to the public
Since 1999, the amount of prescription opioid pain medications sold in the U.S. has nearly quadrupled. During the same time frame, the rate of overdose deaths involving opioids has increased by the same order of magnitude. From 2000 to 2014 nearly half a million people died from drug overdoses in the U.S., making it the leading cause of accidental death in the US. Opioid addiction is driving this epidemic, with nearly 19,000 overdose deaths due to prescription pain relievers, and over 10,000 deaths related to heroin in 2014 alone. Thus, among all substances of abuse, opioid addiction has by far become the problem with the most significant public health consequences for the nation. This presentation will explore the history, causes and relevance of the current opioid epidemic.
Dr. Urban is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University and New York University, until recently working in neuroimaging and treatment research for a variety of substance abuse disorders. As a psychiatrist and specialist in addiction medicine, Dr. Urban also provides clinical care to vulnerable patient populations, including those with drug- or alcohol addictions. She is a board member of the Global Bioethics Initiative and faculty on the GBI Summer School.