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Christopher Strickland: Modeling the prescription opioid epidemic

March 4 @ 4:15 pm - 5:15 pm

Opioid addiction has become a national health crisis in recent years, with involvement in 66% of all drug overdose deaths in 2016 and high economic costs. In contrast to the dynamics of a classic disease or illicit drug epidemic, opioid addiction has its roots in legal, prescription medication – a fact which greatly increases the exposed population and mathematically suggests non-contact based routes of infection.

In this talk, I will present a first epidemic model for opioid addiction and treatment. Through analysis of our model, we show that existence of an addiction-free equilibrium requires transforming the opioid dynamics into that of a purely illicit drug epidemic and that lacking prescription-induced addiction, the prescription drug epidemic may not be self-sustaining. Numerical analysis suggests specific targets for control. Following this, I will present preliminary results from a new model that examines the role of heroin and fentanyl on the epidemic in the context of data from the state of Tennessee. These results include a strong fit between model and data, and among other conclusions, suggest that an epidemic involving powerful, illicit opioids is now both self-sustaining and strongly on the rise despite a decline in prescription-based addictions.
 
 

Details

Date:
March 4
Time:
4:15 pm - 5:15 pm
Event Category:

Details

Date:
March 4
Time:
4:15 pm - 5:15 pm
Event Category: