February 7, 2018 – State and local governments are struggling to develop a strategy to address the opioid epidemic and the disease of addiction. To find potential solutions, a local university has introduced a competition encourage students to propose ideas to help.
The 2018 Public Policy Case Competition is open to all University of Pennsylvania students with hopes of fostering discussion and collaborative research on opioid use prevention. According to the Daily Pennsylvanian, the contest is challenging participants to design a government policy or program to prevent opioid use disorder.
This week, students gathered to learn more about the difficult task. The event, called “The Opioid Epidemic: Where We Are and How We Got Here,” addressed key statistics and existing treatment methods:
Second-year Penn graduate student, Matt Miclette, led the event. As a Policy Associate at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, he devotes a major portion of his career to addressing the opioid crisis.
Miclette noted two major causes of the current crisis. First, the release of OxyContin as a long-acting pain reliever was extremely popular in the late nineties, leading to doctor’s consistently prescribing it. Second, there was a major culture shift to treat pain as an illness itself rather than something to live with. This is reflected by the Joint Commission’s 2001 decision to include pain as another vital sign, he said.
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Read more on the Daily Pennsylvanian‘s website.