Leading RTI International experts in the opioid epidemic will be presenting and available for media interviews during the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit (Rx Summit) to be held in Atlanta from April 2-5, 2018. At Rx Summit, the largest annual conference to address the opioid crisis, RTI opioid researchers will be sharing the latest research and discussing how accelerating the pace by which we access, integrate, analyze, and utilize opioid data to provide near real-time surveillance and actionable intelligence will address the crisis more effectively and with increased timeliness.
RTI Experts Available for Media Interviews:
- Laura Dunlap, PhD, will be discussing how telehealth can help address the opioid epidemic in rural and economically challenged areas in the session, “Expanding Access to OUD Treatment: The Role of Telehealth.” Dr. Dunlap is the senior director of RTI’s Behavioral Health Services, Policy, and Economics Research program. She is experienced in data collection and econometric analysis; evaluations of substance abuse and health services interventions, including process, outcome, and cost estimation, cost-effectiveness analysis, and cost benefit analysis; and public policy analysis.
- Nick Peiper, PhD, will be discussing efforts to detect fentanyl and other synthetic opioids in the field in the session, “Drug Checking: A Novel Evidence-Based Strategy for Preventing Overdose.” Dr. Peiper, a behavioral health scientist, focuses his research with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on injection drug use, prescription opioids, and opioid policies in Appalachia. He also evaluates prescription drug monitoring programs for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and provides technical assistance for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to investigate service needs among adults with mental illness.
- Nicholas Richardson, MS, will present on innovative actions police are taking to address the opioid crisis in the session, “Law Enforcement and Harm Reduction: Merging Public Safety and Public Health Roles.” Dr. Richardson is a research public health analyst with experience in the areas of homicide, policing, and substance abuse and addiction. He recently published in the area of incarceration and desistance from crime.
- Hope Smiley-McDonald, PhD, will also present on innovative actions police are taking to address the opioid crisis in the session, “Law Enforcement and Harm Reduction: Merging Public Safety and Public Health Roles.” A research sociologist, Dr. Smiley-McDonald is experienced in the areas of substance use and abuse, drug offenders, and corrections research. Her research interests include health, social, and justice issues in the context of substance use, and she has published in the areas of inmate mortality, drug courts, offender health and mental health, and women and substance abuse.
- Jon Zibbell, PhD, will also be discussing efforts to detect fentanyl and other synthetic opioids in the field in the session, “Drug Checking: A Novel Evidence-Based Strategy for Preventing Overdose.” Dr. Zibbell is a senior public health scientist, conducting behavioral epidemiological research on risk factors and health outcomes associated with the opioid epidemic and injection drug use. He is a medical anthropologist with two decades of field experience in the areas of injection drug use, opioid use disorder, drug overdose, and injection-related infectious diseases.