Reframing the problem ‘essential’ to alleviating opioid crisis

A West Virginia University health policy expert says The Washington Post analysis of targeted markets for opioid distribution sheds further light on the fact that substance use disorder has many causes and consequences. Accountability for addiction rests not only with the individual, but within the social and economic context that create an environment conducive to drug access and abuse, according to Chris Plein, professor of public administration.

WVU focusing on preparing social work professionals to deal with opioid addiction

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that West Virginia has the highest rate of opioid-related deaths in the United States; also alarming, the state has a shortage of mental health professionals to provide treatment for people coping with addiction and recovery, according to West Virginia University expert Deanna Morrow.

Systemic flooding of pain pills into Appalachia ‘obscene’

Dr. James Berry, West Virginia University’s director of Addiction Services, says data from the Drug Enforcement Administration revealing the targeted distribution of pain pills and the corresponding rise in overdose deaths is alarming, if unsurprising to those who treat addiction.

DEA has shirked responsibility when it comes to opioids

While the Drug Enforcement Administration dealt decisively with previous drug epidemics– speed in the 70s and Quaaludes in the 80s – it has allowed large pharmaceutical companies free rein in producing opioids, according to West Virginia University’s John Temple, the author of “American Pain: How a Young Felon and His Ring of Doctors Unleashed America’s Deadliest Drug Epidemic” which examined the genesis and proliferation of the opioid epidemic.

Do we have the ‘resources and will’ to confront the opioid crisis?

Data released this week from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Automated Reports and Consolidated Orders Systems shows disproportionate pain pill distribution into Appalachian and rural communities, which resulted in an opioid crisis for West Virginia and the region. West Virginia University expert Robin Pollini says the data underscores the depth of the problem and the need to confront it.

Moon landing still has effect on U.S. after 50 years

On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 landed on the moon and Neil Armstrong famously took “one small step” onto its surface. As the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing nears, experts from the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences at West Virginia University reflect on the cultural, scientific and geopolitical importance of the Apollo program and its powerful messages of curiosity, ambition and scientific discovery. The anniversary also shines a spotlight on issues of equality in math and science.

Increased dangers present when prescribing opioids in hospitalized patients

Under the direction of Dr. Sunil Sharma, a team of researchers found that 26 percent of high-risk patients with heart failure and undiagnosed sleep apnea who received opioids required urgent transfer to an ICU as opposed to only 4 percent of those not receiving opioids. The study shines light on the lesser-known impacts of the opioid epidemic, including the impact of narcotics in hospitalized patients.

Safety precautions should be taken while setting off fireworks

As Independence Day approaches, a West Virginia University fireworks expert suggests people attend a public fireworks show where trained pyrotechnists are in charge of ignition. But Mark Lambert, Fire Service Extension and State Fire Training Director, offers tips for those purchasing their own fireworks, including avoiding alcohol and having viewers stand at least 50 feet from the display.

Ebola outbreak worsens because of unstable political climate

Since the start of the Ebola outbreak in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Conga in August last year, at least 1,223 people have died out of 1,847 confirmed cases. Of those who died, 30 percent were children, according to the World Health Organization. West Virginia University expert Tamba M’bayo believes political unrest is the cause of the disease’s deadly spread.

WVU expert: Alternative fuel vehicles offer lower maintenance costs

With a mission to educate the nation about alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles, a West Virginia University expert notes that electric cars are safe and have lower maintenance costs. Micheal Smyth, interim director of the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium, will “demystify electric vehicle systems” this weekend on PBS’ “Motorweek.” Next month, NAFTC will host EXP III, including a tour of the Center for Alternative Fuel Engines and Emissions and WVU’s Personal Rapid Transit System.