Last weekend the UGA Law School hosted an interdisciplinary Opioid Symposium to bring together researchers from various fields with expertise on the Opioid Epidemic. Topics ranged from social work perspectives of how to support addicted and recovering parents to how to hold doctors accountable for over-prescribing opioids. SPIA was well represented by several professors, students, and alum.

SPIA’s Department of Public Administration and Policy (PADP) had several representatives giving panel and poster presentations. PADP professor David Bradford presented research he’s working on with MPA alum Ashley Bradford and fellow PADP colleagues, professor Amanda Abraham and PhD student Samantha Harris, as part of a Social Sciences panel. Bradford’s presentation focused on the group’s work relating to recent research of medical cannabis and specifically how medical cannabis can be used as an alternative to opioids.

Dr. Abraham presented as a part of the Behavioral/Life Sciences Panel. Her research discussed the benefits of Medical Assisted Treatment (MAT), which is a technique for treating opioid dependence with a combination of medication, counseling, and behavior therapies. Also on the Behavioral/Life Sciences Panel was Dr. Grace Bagwell Adams, PADP PhD alum and professor in the School of Public Health. Dr. Adams presented research she’s currently working on with Bradford, Abraham, and Harris, about the correlation between doctors receiving financial gifts from pharmaceutical companies and then over-prescribing opioids.

PADP PhD students Samantha Harris and Emily Zier presented posters during the afternoon poster sessions. Harris’s poster compared access to different opioid pharmacotherapies across the United States and Zier’s evaluated the impact of four types of policies on opioid-related deaths.