Ohio State tackles opioid crisis from multiple angles

Wexner Medical Center's Enhanced Recovery After Surgery program has reduced post-op opiate prescriptions between 27 percent and 60 percent across four specialties.

Fighting the opioid epidemic in Ohio, which has the second-highest rate of opioid overdose deaths in the United States, is considered by many health practitioners at The Ohio State University not just a professional responsibility, but also a moral imperative.

That sense of obligation was a driving force behind the collaborative approach to Ohio State’s proposal for a HEALing Communities Study grant, said lead investigator Rebecca Jackson, director of Ohio State’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science and associate dean for clinical research in the College of Medicine.

With the $65.9 million federal research grant awarded in April, Ohio State is leading a consortium of academic, state and community partners that aims to reduce overdose deaths by 40 percent over three years. Ohio’s overdose death rate stands at 39.2 deaths per 100,000 people, compared to the national average rate of 14.6 deaths per 100,000 people.