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College of Social Work

Andrews Invited to Serve on Opioid Commission

Aug. 26, 2019
Chris Woodley • 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. In addition, approximately 68 percent of the drug overdose deaths in 2017 involved an opioid. College of Social Work Associate Professor Christina Andrews was recently invited to serve on a commission that intends to provide solutions for the opioid crisis.

Andrews, a leading researcher on opioid use disorder treatment, will be one of 20 leading experts on the Stanford-Lancet Commission on the North American Opioid Crisis. The commission is led by Keith Humphreys, Ph.D., the Esther Ting Memorial Professor at the Stanford University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and Rebecca Cooney, Ph.D., executive editor at The Lancet, one of the world’s most prestigious medical journals.

“It was a surprise to receive an invitation,” Andrews says. “It's a great honor to have the opportunity to participate.”

The goal of the commission is to summarize the best science on the nature, causes, and solutions to the opioid crisis in North America, and provide information to other nations on how to avoid the tragedy. While the commission’s primary focus will be the misuse, addiction and overdose from opioids, they will also discuss how opioid policies impact the appropriate use of medications.

“Given the magnitude of the crisis, the challenges tend to evolve pretty quickly,” Andrews said. “There is a need for this on-going dialogue and conversation about the most recent challenges and trends, and the emerging research that possibly suggests the best ways to tackle those problems.”

The commission’s major project will be a 20,000-word review of evidence and public policy options that will be published in The Lancet. Commission members will also be invited to participate as a co-author. Most of the literature review and compilation of the main statement will be completed at Stanford University, but Andrews and other commission members will assist in shaping key questions, identify essential data sources, and review drafts over an 18 to 24-month period.

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