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OPRC in the News

2021 News

2020 News

  • Brandeis Opioid Policy Research Collaborative and partner awarded grant to continue fentanyl test strip distribution project December 21, 2020 

    The Opioid Policy Research Collaborative within the Institute of Behavioral Health at Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA and its partner, the Police Assisted Addiction & Recovery Initiative (PAARI), were awarded a $299,000 grant from the University of Baltimore’s Center for Drug Policy and Prevention (CDPP) to mount a police-based program to save lives through outreach, distribution of fentanyl test strip (FTS) kits, and support to people at risk of opioid overdose.  This project is a continuation of a successful pilot funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

    The Brandeis evaluation team includes Mary Jo Larson, PhD’92 (evaluation director), Becca Olson, MPH (research associate) and Traci Green, PhD, MSc (senior advisor). The PAARI executive director is Allie Hunter, who operates police community initiatives across the nation. “Each death from an opioid overdose is a tragedy and is preventable. To intervene effectively requires treating people who use drugs as people, not criminals,” said Larson. “Through the One2One project, PAARI will provide the police with FTS kits and engagement strategies that will save lives and encourage use of health care resources.” The funds are from the federal Combating Opioid Overdose through Community-Level Interdiction (COCCLI) Initiative. This team is one of eight community-based programs across the nation that received awards totaling $1.5 million.

     About PAARI
    The Police Assisted Addiction & Recovery Initiative (PAARI) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to help law enforcement agencies nationwide create non-arrest pathways to treatment and recovery. Founded alongside the groundbreaking Gloucester MA Police Department Angel Initiative in June 2015, PAARI has been a driving force behind this rapidly expanding community policing movement. We provide technical assistance, coaching, grants, and other capacity-building resources to more than 550 police departments in 35 states. We currently work with more than 130 law enforcement agencies in Massachusetts alone. PAARI and our law enforcement partners are working towards a collective vision where non-arrest diversion programs become a standard policing practice across the country, thereby reducing overdose deaths, expanding access to treatment, improving public safety, reducing crime, diverting people away from the criminal justice system, and increasing trust between law enforcement and their communities. Our programs and partners have saved thousands of lives, changed police culture, reshaped the national conversation about the opioid epidemic and have placed over 24,000 people into treatment since its founding in June 2015. Learn more at paariusa.org.

  • Middlesex Sheriff’s Office Awarded $1.15 Million Federal Grant to Address Opioid Use Disorder
    The Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Site-based Program (COSSAP) grant was awarded to the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office (MSO) by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA).  The funding will be used to launch the Involving Families in Treatment of Inmates with Opioid Use Disorder Project. The project will be advised and evaluated by OPRC's Dr. Andrew Kolodny and Dr. Gail Strickler of Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management. November 17, 2020.
  • Dr. Andrew Kolodny, Medical Director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative at Brandeis University interviewed with EveryDay Health, Opioid Crisis Response Leaves Black Americans Behind. November 9, 2020
  • Dr. Andrew Kolodny, Medical Director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative at Brandeis University interviewed with MedPage Enterprise & Investigative Reporting, OxyContin Maker to Take Plea on Federal Criminal Charges October 21, 2020
  • Medscape Medical News, Reworked OxyContin Fails to Cut Overall Opioid Abuse, FDA Panel Says, September 14, 2020
  • Dr. Andrew Kolodny, Medical Director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative at Brandeis University interviewed with MedPage Today, FDA Panel: Reformulated OxyContin Did Not Reduce Overall Abuse offered that "Purdue would like medical community regulators and the public to believe that the opioid crisis is a drug abuse problem," said Dr. Kolodny, speaking on behalf of the organization Physicians for Responsible Prescribing. "But we don't have an epidemic of drug abuse," Dr. Kolodny continued. "We have an epidemic of opioid use disorder."
  • The National Conference on Addiction Disorders (NCAD) along with the Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit announces Brandeis University Launches Site to Help Communities Formulate Opioid Crisis Response . The Brandeis Opioid Resource Connector (BORC) website provides 150 community-based program models for initiatives and policies to reduce opioid addiction and overdose, as well as 500 additional resources, including toolkits, reports, peer-reviewed articles, and data and mapping assets, and COVID-19-specific tools. August 6, 2020
  • In Bloomberg Law, Drug Overdose Deaths Hit All-Time Record Before Coronavirus , Dr. Andrew Kolodny, Medical Director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative says the rise in drug overdose deaths in recent years is probably the result of a drop in price and an increase in the potency of certain drugs, namely opioids and methamphetamine. July 15, 2020
  • New online tool to help communities respond to the opioid crisis, with COVID-19-related resources led by Dr. Cindy Parks Thomas, Associate Dean for Research and Professor at the Schneider Institutes for Health Policy and Research, Brandeis University, offers communities models for initiatives and policies aimed at reducing opioid addiction and overdose. The Brandeis Opioid Resource Connector (BORC) website (opioid-resource-connector.org) offers stakeholders more than 150 community-based program models across the continuum of care, which can serve as models for initiatives and policies aimed at reducing opioid addiction and overdose. July 08, 2020

In Memory of Aubri EstersThe OPRC mourns the loss of our friend and colleague Aubri Esters. Aubri was an amazing member of our study team for three years, and a fierce advocate for the rights, health and dignity of people who use drugs. She is greatly missed. June 14, 2020

  • Dr. Traci Green, Director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative, puts public health first with new services for users to test their drugs. Tracking Fentanyl in the Drug Supply, June 03, 2020
  • Dr. Traci Green, Director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative at Brandeis University in Massachusetts, told The Daily Beast that community programs should push to secure as much naloxone as possible and provide easy access to treatment in light of stimulus checks. Don’t Forget the Other Pandemic Killing Thousands of Americans, May 4, 2020
  • Could ICE detention centers be the next coronavirus hotbed? In the Hill, Dr. Traci GreenDirector of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative at Brandeis University says keeping immigrants in detention is exacerbating what is already a public health crisis, and her team recommends a prompt widespread release of immigrants from these dangerous environments. April 29, 2020

2019 News

  • The Boston Globe reports that Traci Green, the new Director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative, will work with the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative to deploy more sophisticated testing technology for street drugs, Mass. to Open Monitoring Centers for Drug Users who Overdose, December 24, 2019.
  • In the Heller Magazine 2019 Winter Edition, Maria Madison, ScD in Public Health is Heller’s Associate Dean for equity, inclusion and diversity and Andrew Kolodny, Senior Scientist and Medical Director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative (OPRC) at the Heller School, Brandeis University discuss how the prevailing narrative around the opioid addiction epidemic fails to recognize its effects on nonwhite populations, Perspectives: Bridging the Disparities Gap in the Opioid Crisis, December 19, 2019
  • Buzzfeed News: This was the decade drug overdoses killed nearly half a million AmericansAndrew Kolodny, Medical Director of the OPRC at the Heller School quoted, December 6, 2019
  • New York Times: Tufts removes Sackler name over opioids: ‘Our students find it objectionable’ Andrew Kolodny, Senior Scientist and Medical Director of the OPRC at the Heller School quoted, December 5, 2019
  • Andrew Kolodny, Medical Director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative (OPRC) at the Heller School, Brandeis University quoted in New York Times: A rare case where racial bias protected African-Americans, December 2, 2019
  •  Wall Street Journal: Major League Baseball close to a new opioids policy, Senior scientist and Medical Director of the OPRC Andrew Kolodny quoted November 27, 2019
  • Senior Scientist Andrew Kolodny says settling opioid-related cases prevents the public from learning more about the opioid crisis and how it came into existence. The opioid settlement will fund desperate counties—but could come at a steep costOctober 21, 2019.
  • PolitiFact: Opioid epidemic shifts from prescription painkillers to street drugsAndrew Kolodny of the Heller School quoted. October 14, 2019
  • Discussion with Andrew Kolodny, Medical Director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative (OPRC) at the Heller School, Brandeis University in the BBC Documentary: Addicted: America's Opioid Crisis. Oct 2, 2019
  • Researchers from the Opioid Policy Research Center presented at the Massachusetts Health Policy Forum in Western Mass on September 6, 2019. The forum, “Addressing the Opioid Crisis in Small and Rural Communities in Western Massachusetts,” at the UMass Amherst Campus Center concentrated on the numerous ways in which the Opioid crisis has impacted Western Massachusetts, with particular attention paid to the social and economic consequences on employers and small and rural communities. Unique challenges and innovative solutions were equally highlighted in the discussion.
  • Andrew Kolodny was recently interviewed by the Brandeis Hoot Newspaper. Professor testifies in lawsuit, J&J pays $572 million, September 6, 2019
  • In an interview with public radio, Background Briefing Andrew Kolodny, Medical Director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative (OPRC) at the Heller School, Brandeis University discusses the opioid trials and the future of big pharma. September 5, 2019.

  • Andrew Kolodny welcomes the verdict in the Johnson & Johnson ruling in the Oklahoma opioid trial as an opinion contributor in USA Today. August 29, 2019.

  • Andrew Kolodny discusses U.S. Opioid Prescribing in the British Medical Journal. August 22, 2019.
  • Los Angeles Times, Associated Press article: Andrew Kolodny, Co-Director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative (OPRC) at the Heller School, Brandeis University is quoted on Florida "pill mills" were "gas on the fire" of the opioid crisis. July 20, 2019.   
  • In the New York Times: The Upshot, Opioid Policy Research Collaborative Co-Chair Andrew Kolodny says there’s a light at the end of the tunnel regarding the opioid crisis, but that the death toll is still very high. July 17, 2019. 
  • Andrew Kolodny, Co-Director of the Opioid Policy Research, Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University presented “How the Opioid Lobby Protected the Status Quo” at the PharmedOut Opioids Conference at Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC on June 13, 2019.

  • In an interview with WBUR Andrew Kolodny comments on the Care Zone van at North Station in Boston, MA, June 12, 2019. 
  • As an expert witness on the opioid crisis Andrew Kolodny reviews discovery documents for a historic trial in Oklahoma. June 11.2019.
  • In interview with WBUR Andrew Kolodny is quoted on prescribing patterns of buprenorphine. May 8, 2019.
  • Andrew Kolodny told an Rx Summit audience that it is time to close the cash pipeline that helped feed the opioid epidemic in his discussion of the Opioid Makers' Deception Merits Dramatic Responses. April 24, 2019
  • In a live radio interview Andrew Kolodny spoke with the Cats Roundtable at WNYM studio’s in NYC about how the FDA missed the chance to control the opioid epidemic, April 14, 2019.

  • Eyewitness News Anchor, Diana Williams will host a WABC-TV special program Saturday, March 30, 2019 at 7:00PM, Protect Our Children: The Opioid Crisis.  As part of the program she will interview Andrew Kolodny, co-director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative (OPRC) at the Heller School, Brandeis University. 
  • Proto - Massachusetts General Hospital//Dispatches from the Frontiers of Medicine - Andrew Kolodny weighs in on disciplining physicians for over-prescribing opioids. Published January 22, 2019. 
  • Cummings to Reveal Witnesses for Drug Pricing Hearing.  Andrew Kolodny comments on price hikes, published January 14, 2019.
  • Former Insys CEO Pleads Guilty to Bribery Scheme. Doctors, pharmacists, and other medical professionals caught up in a marketing scheme.  Andrew Kolodny weighs in on the investigations, published January 9, 2019.

2018 News


2017 News

OPRC Events

Events

Event Archives

  • Invited presenter: Traci Green, PhD, MSc, Professor and Director, OPRC and Jeffrey Bratberg. Multimodal Harm Reduction Advocacy and Education for Pharmacy-Based Nonprescription Syringe and Needle Services. 4th Annual Kansas Opioid Conference, November 2020.
  • Traci Green, PhD, MSc, Professor and Director, OPRC, J Bratberg. Multimodal Harm Reduction Advocacy and Education for Pharmacy-Based Nonprescription Syringe and Needle Services. 4th Annual Kansas Opioid Conference, November 2020.
  • Andrew Kolodny, Co-Director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative gives key note address: Understanding and Responding to an Epidemic of Addiction, at the College of the Holy Cross, McFarland Center, Worcester, MA on November 7, 2019 
  • JW Hughto, A Tapper, P Case, TJ Stopka, WR Palacios, TC Green, PhD, MSc. Patterns of substance use and medications for opioid use disorder: Findings from a statewide sample of people who use drugs. Poster presented at the APHA's 2020 VIRTUAL Annual Meeting and Expo Oct. 24-28, 2020. https://apha.confex.com/apha/2020/meetingapi.cgi/Paper/481667?filename=2020_Abstract481667.pdf&template=Word 

  • Andrew Kolodny, Co-Director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative gives key note address: Understanding & Responding to an Epidemic of Addiction, at the Appalachian Addiction & Prescription Drug Abuse Conference, Morgantown, WV on October 17, 2019  
  • Andrew Kolodny, Co-Director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative gives key note address: The opioid crisis in USA: Strategies and Therapeutic Options, at the VIII Federserd National Congress on Clinic of Addictions, Milan Italy on October 11, 2019 
  • Andrew Kolodny, Co-Director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative gives key note address: Understanding & Responding to the Opioid Crisis, at the New England Law Center Conference, Boston: The Opioid Epidemic – Origins & Responses on October 3, 2019 
  • Andrew Kolodny, Co-Director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative gives key note address: The Neuroscience, Demography, Treatment, and Social Factors Associated With the Ongoing Opioid crisis, at the University of Colorado Judicial Seminar, Denver on Sept 24, 2019
  • JMW Hughto, P Case, WR Palacios, S Ruiz, B Reilly, A Tapper, TJ Stopka, Traci Green. Understanding Fentanyl Overdose Risk among People who Use Cocaine. Poster presentation at the CPDD 82nd CPDD Annual Scientific Virtual Meeting June 22-24, 2020

  • J Ozga-Hess, A Walley, Z Xuan, TC Green, R Pollini. A Statewide Pharmacist Survey on Standing Order Naloxone in Massachusetts. Poster presentation at the CPDD 82nd CPDD Annual Scientific Virtual Meeting June 22-24, 2020
  • Presenter: Jaclyn M.W. Hughto, PhD, MPH, Patricia Case, ScD, MPH, Wilson R. Palacios, PhD, MA, Sarah Ruiz, Brittni Reilly, Abigail Tapper, MPH, Thomas J. Stopka, PhD, Traci Green, PhD. Understanding Fentanyl Overdose Risk among People who Use Cocaine. Poster presentation at the CPDD 82nd CPDD Annual Scientific Virtual Meeting June 22-24, 2020

  • Presenter: Scott Formica, Katherine Waye, Allyn Benintendi, Shapei Yan, Sarah Bagley, Julia Keosaian, Leo Beletsky, Jennifer Carroll, Traci Green, PhD, Ziming Xuan, Alexander Walley. Characteristics of Emerging Post-Overdose Outreach Programs in Massachusetts. Poster presentation at the CPDD 82nd CPDD Annual Scientific Virtual Meeting June 22-24, 2020

  • Presenter: Jenny Ozga-Hess, Alexander Walley, Ziming Xuan, Traci Green, PhD, Robin Pollini. A Statewide Pharmacist Survey on Standing Order Naloxone in Massachusetts. Poster presentation at the CPDD 82nd CPDD Annual Scientific Virtual Meeting June 22-24, 2020

  • TC Green, J Bratberg. Using State PDMP Naloxone Data to Monitor Novel Co-Prescribing Policies” and “Multimodal Harm Reduction Advocacy and Education for Pharmacy-Based Nonprescription Syringe and Needle Services. Rx Abuse and Heroin Summit, virtual. June 2020.

  • Kachoria, A., and Nicholson, J. “Improving Care Coordination Between Accountable Care Organizations and Community Partners: Early Findings from the Massachusetts Delivery System Reform Program.” Presented at “Research and Relevance in State Health Policy Virtual State-University Partnership Learning Network Adjunct Meeting,” sponsored by AcademyHealth, June 2020.
  • Mitra, M., Reif, S., Adams, R.S., Nicholson, J., and Thomas, C.P. “Intersecting Research on Opioid Misuse, Addiction and Disability.” Presented at Disability Statistics Compendium, Washington, D.C., February 2020.
  • Andrew Kolodny, Co-Director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative gives the lead speaker address: Addressing Over-Prescribing of Opioids by Health Care Professionals, at the Fels Institute for Government at the University of Pennsylvania's Opioid Symposium on May 10, 2019.  
  • Andrew Kolodny, Co-Director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative will be presenting, Autopsy of a Man-made Epidemic: Lessons to Prevent Future Public Health Catastrophes, at the 2019 Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit on April 23, 2019 in Atlanta, GA.
  • Peter Kreiner, Co-Director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative will be presenting, Trajectories of PDMP-Based Patient Risk Indicators and Likelihood of Overdose Death, at the 2019 Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit on April 23, 2019 in Atlanta, GA.
  • Aetna interviews Andrew Kolodny for its prescriber education program, a partnership with Alosa Health, published on Apr 17, 2019
  • At the Angel of Hope Gala on April 11, 2019 Partnership for a Drug Free New Jersey will be presenting an award honoring the work of Andrew Kolodny, Co-Director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative.
  • On April 2, 2019 Andrew Kolodny will be a panelist on the Hot Buttons, Cool Conversations Discussion Series hosted by Jonathan Samen.  The event, sponsored by JCC Greater Boston will  be a discussion on America's Opioid Addiction.  It will be 7:30-9:00pm. Tickets and additional information.
  • Andrew Kolodny partners with Mediaplanet to collaborate on their Opioid Awareness campaign. The campaign highlights resources for those directly affected and their loved ones regarding prevention, pain management, treatment and recovery from opioid misuse. The campaign was distributed through USA TODAY on March 27, 2019 and is published online.
  • The Sackler family, philanthropy, and Purdue Pharma. Andrew Kolodny comments on how they are related to the current opioid epidemic, published on March 22, 2019.  
  • Andrew Kolodny interview February 24, 2019 on 60 Minutes. Did the FDA Ignite the Opioid Epidemic? 
  • Andrew Kolodny is presenting, The Opioid Crisis: Rethinking Policy and Law, sponsored by the American University Washington College of Law on Friday, February 22, 2019. 
  • James Freeman hosts DeepDive on Fox Nation, Friday, January 25, 2019 in New York.  Andrew Kolodny is among a panel of experts discussing the opioid crisis.
  • Andrew Kolodny will speak at the Harvard Medical School event "The US Opioid Epidemic: Where Do We Go From Here?" on September 14, 2018 from 12:30-2:00pm in Boston, MA. 
  • Andrew Kolodny addressed the National Governors Association Conference Friday, July 20, 2018 in Sante Fe, NM.
  • Understanding the Opioid Crisis: 
    A Timely Discussion with Andrew Kolodny, MD
    Tuesday, June 5, 2018
    Boston, MA
    The United States is in the midst of an opioid crisis: more than 100 Americans die every day from overdosing on opioids. 
    Join Dr. Andrew Kolodny, one of the nation's leading experts on the prescription opioid and heroin crisis, for a timely presentation and discussion. Dr. Kolodny is co-director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. He is also the executive director of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, an organization with a mission to reduce morbidity and mortality caused by overprescribing of opioid analgesics.
    A Q&A will follow Dr. Kolodny's presentation.  Hosted by Brandeis Alumni Association.
  • Wednesday, February 28, 2018, Andrew Kolodny, MD, Co-Director of the OPRC testified before the Committee on Energy & Commerce, Subcommittee on Health U.S. House of Representatives hearing. 
  • November 16, 2017, the OPRC celebrated its launch at Brandeis University by hosting two events:
    • film screening & expert panel discussion on HBO’s “Warning: This Drug May Kill You,” held at the Wasserman Cinematheque. Panelists included film producer Perri Peltz, the OPRC’s Andrew Kolodny, Secretary of Massachusetts Health & Human Services Marylou Sudders, and Dr. Myechia Minter-Jordan, CEO of Dimock. The expert panel was moderated by NBC’s Cynthia McFadden and can be viewed here.
    • dinner and salon-style conversation at the Brandeis University Faculty Club. The dinner convened various stakeholders in the opioid epidemic, with remarks from Congresswoman Katherine Clark and Senator Ed Markey
      Click here for more information & photos of the OPRC Launch
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