Opioid use disorder is commonly known to be dangerous. The media has effectively spread the message of the danger and fatal consequences of overdose from misused prescription opioids and illicit drugs such as heroin. What many people, including medical professionals, do not commonly know is that opioid use disorder is the psychiatric condition with the highest mortality. Each year opioid use disorder kills roughly 1% of the people with this condition. Expressed another way, the risk of death from this condition at ten years is 10%.
And when you factor in the estimates that more than two million Americans have opioid use disorder, then it makes sense that this condition has attained the status of public health crisis. Every day, more than one-hundred people die from opioid overdose. The vast majority of overdose deaths are from prescription opioids rather than "street drugs" such as heroin. Dr. Adam Bisaga will discuss opioid use disorder with us today. Learn about the clinical criteria for determining opioid use and how it is treated.
Dr. Bisaga is an academic psychiatrist, educator and clinician. He is a Professor of Psychiatry at the Columbia University Medical Center, and a Research Scientist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. He was a recipient of a Career Development Award and a Principal Investigator on grants funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse. His research interests include development of human laboratory and clinical trial models for testing medications to treat substance use disorders, including trials to improve effectiveness of antagonist-based treatment of opioid use disorder. Dr. Bisaga publishes and lectures in the area of addiction research and he is a member of the editorial board of the journal Addiction.