Reversing the Tide of the Opioid Crisis

BWH investigators throughout the hospital are launching new research projects to combat the rise of opioid addiction and opioid-related deaths

Massachusetts has been one of the hardest-hit states in the nation’s opioid crisis, with the rate of opioid-related deaths seeing a fourfold increase between 2000 and 2015. In the span of just one year, 2013 to 2014, opioid-related deaths occurred in two-thirds of cities and towns in Massachusetts, according to the state’s Department of Public Health. In 2014, the fatal overdose rate in Massachusetts was more than double the national average.

In light of these grim statistics, BWH clinicians and researchers across departments and divisions are working to find new ways to stem the tide of opioid addiction and opioid-related deaths. Brian Mullen, PhD, of the Brigham Digital Innovation Hub (iHub), and Scott Weiner, MD, MPH, of the Department of Emergency Medicine and director of the Brigham Comprehensive Opioid Response and Education (B-CORE) Program, are working to bring innovators together to share ideas and resources. They have collected information on more than a dozen BWH projects so far.