The opioid crisis, responsible for more than 50,000 deaths in 2015, continues to affect communities across the United States. But how did the opioid crisis begin, and how have we gotten to this point? In March 2017, President Trump established the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis to begin answering this question and study ways to combat the crisis.
Dr. Bertha Madras, professor of Psychobiology at Harvard Medical School and one of the members on the commission recently presented her seminar, “The Opioid Crisis – Made in America! Fade in America?” at RTI as a part of RTI’s Fellow Seminar Series.
According to Dr. Madras, the opioids crisis in the US started with poor science and poor scientific judgement, and has been fueled by more than two dozen additional factors. Dr. Madras’ talk discusses the Commission’s recently published 56 recommendations, which break apart and study these factors and recommend new medicinal chemistry initiatives, among other things.
“Dr. Madras is an outstanding scientist who has made major research contributions to several areas of the substance abuse problem (opioids, cocaine, cannabinoids and others) and is the ideal person to inform us about the opioid crisis problem,” said RTI Distinguished Fellow for Medicinal Chemistry Dr. Ivy Carroll, who served as the seminar's host and introduced Dr. Madras at the event.
Dr. Madras has had an illustrious career. She serves at McLean Hospital, with a cross-appointment at Massachusetts General Hospital. Her multidisciplinary neuroscience research focuses on drugs effects in the brain and the neurobiology of addiction.
RTI International is leading research in the understanding, treatment, prevention, and intervention of opioid misuse and abuse. Learn more about RTI’s opioids research.