ICTR in the News: Bill Clinton to Visit Johns Hopkins for Discussion of U.S. Opioid Epidemic

ICTR reseracher Ellen J. MacKenzie, dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, will be a panelist for the following event.

Bloomberg School to host experts Oct. 30 for forum on how to translate evidence to action and combat opioid crisis

Former President Bill Clinton will be among the participants Monday in a forum focused on high-impact solutions to the nation’s opioid epidemic.

Bill Clinton

Former President Bill Clinton

The event, at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in East Baltimore, will be co-hosted by the Clinton Foundation’s Health Matters Initiative and the Bloomberg School. Registration for the event is full, but a live web broadcast will be available beginning at 10 a.m. Monday.

The U.S. is in the midst of a deepening opioid crisis. More than 33,000 people—an average of 91 people per day—died from opioid overdoses in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, four times the number who died from overdoses in 1999.

The epidemic is being driven by a combination of the overuse of prescription opioids such as OxyContin and Vicodin for acute and chronic pain and an increasing supply of heroin and illicit fentanyl.

In the fall issue of Hopkins Bloomberg Public Health magazine, Clinton says the epidemic can be traced to three failures: a failure to address early pitfalls, including overprescription; a failure to incorporate alternative therapies for chronic pain; and a failure to crack down on illegal pills.

“This is the time to strengthen our efforts and our commitment,” he says, “and we need to make sure that in the years ahead when we do see progress, that we don’t let up on our efforts.”

This marks Clinton’s second visit to the Bloomberg School to discuss the opioid crisis. In May 2014, he gave the keynote address at a town hall event focused on prescription drug abuse.

At Monday’s event, speakers, panelists, and thought leaders will consider critical components needed to reduce the injury and death rates nationwide. Evidence-based recommendations that reflect the most current science—including recent research conducted by Bloomberg School faculty—will be the focus, and translating that evidence to action will be the goal.

Speakers and panelists