Course Details

210: Evolution of the Opioid Crisis

July 15-18, 2019
1:45 PM - 3:15 PM

In the 1980s, stepwise changes in medical practice encouraged the development and distribution of modern opioids prescribed for moderate chronic pain in addition to cancer-related pain. The increased availability of these prescription drugs significantly enlarged the population of people addicted to narcotics. The current crisis has evolved beyond the earlier promotion of prescription narcotics to a situation where traditional illegal drugs, laced with newer, more potent narcotics, are flooding the market. What is the scope of this problem, how did it evolve, what is being done to combat it, and what still needs to be done? Will this epidemic ever be resolved?

Class Format: Lecture and Discussion

Hours of Reading: Less than 1 hour/session

Study Group Leader(s):

Paul Van Nice
The discussion leader, Paul S. Van Nice, MD, PhD, MA, is a retired anesthesiologist, physiologist, and bioethicist. He led one prior study group at OLLI, based on the book Extreme Medicine, that examined physical and medical problems encountered in extreme environments.