Next week: Penn experts discuss ways to fix the opioid crisis - Philly


Sep. 8, 2017 12:13 pm

Next week: Penn experts discuss ways to fix the opioid crisis

Last year, there were 900 drug overdose deaths in Philly. Can we talk about this?

On Sept. 15, Penn researchers shed light on the opioid epidemic.

(Photo by Flickr user Steve Snodgrass, used under a Creative Commons license)

Philly has a very real problem with opioid addiction.

According to the CDC, opioid addiction is a driving factor in the rise in drug deaths overall. Some 91 Americans die everyday from an opioid overdose, a figure that has quadrupled since 1999.

Penn experts from a handful of science verticals will join a discussion Friday, Sept. 15 to present their latest findings about opioids and addiction. Here’s the lineup of experts:

  • Dr. Peggy Compton: The van Ameringen Chair in Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing and associate professor in the School of Nursing. Dr. Compton will discuss misconceptions about this prescription drug epidemic.
  • Dr. Eliott Hersh: Professor in the School of Dental Medicine’s Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery/Pharmacology. Dr. Hersh has performed FDA trials to test the efficacy and safety of non-opioid painkillers for use following dental surgery for more than 25 years.
  • Dr. Kyle Kampman: Professor of psychiatry in the Perelman School of Medicine and medical director of the Penn Center for Studies of Addiction Dr. Kampman specializes in alcohol, cocaine, and opiate addiction treatment. He will discuss the challenges many patients face when trying to detox from opioids, the important need for medical support to ease withdrawal symptoms, and new strategies to help prevent relapse.
  • Dr. Mary Robinson: Director of the Equine Pharmacology Laboratory at the School of Veterinary Medicine’s New Bolton Center and acting director of the Pennsylvania Equine Toxicology and Research Laboratory in the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Dr. Robinson studies the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of drug usage in horses.
  • Dr. Jeffrey Saven: Professor in the School of Arts & Sciences’ Department of Chemistry. Dr. Saven’s work uses computational techniques to redesign the mu-opioid receptor, one of the human body’s most important receptors which is critical in the action of painkillers and anesthetics.

RSVP by Monday by emailing


Roberto Torres

Roberto Torres became Lead Philly Reporter in May 2016. Prior, he was a freelance contributor to and Al Dia News. The native Venezuelan moved to Philadelphia in 2015 after reporting on research at his alma mater, the University of Zulia. Whenever he's not fencing deadlines, he can be found standing in line at Overbrook Pizza in West Philly, running Netflix/Hulu marathons with his wife or reading news from Venezuela.

  • Jessie Hemmons

    HI, Where is this discussion being held?

  • Craig Cardella

    Another discussion. Have any of the experts been in NA rooms?? Need to be in the environment. (i’m not a doctor
    /counselor or healthcare worker.) Some suggestions… #1. 30mg opiates should be perscribed in hospital enviorment ONLY (its my understanding that dosgage is for post-surgery only) #2. Suboxone. D.O./ (family practice) are perscribing it for pain. Off label use. My neighborhood is burried with “strips” #3. 30 day rehabs….. relapses w/ heroin KILL people. lost 3 friends with “Florida” model for sobriety. Mental health resources are integral combined w/ medicine. There is PLENTY of money. Big Pharma is murdering people in the name of profits. Finally, decriminalize drugs. Portugal is a blueprint. Cant arrest our way out of drug abuse. Dosent everyone agree on that!

  • jack

    None of you know what you’re talking about. Stop blaming the addicts. These killer compounds were given permission by the federal level politicians. They voted in harmony to permit selling extra-high-potent narcotics. It’s simply a business ploy, and they all divide the money.
    Why aren’t they arrested for drug dealing. So much for the war on drugs. Our government perpetuates it.


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