With the federal government declaring a public health emergency, the growing opioid epidemic in America has become more visible with more than1,000 people treated dailyin emergency rooms for misusing prescription opioids. Closer to home, Texas has experienced asignificant increasein opioid overdose death in recent years, with fentanyl now on the streets in many Texas communities. Texas A&M University Health Science Center has responded by forming a multidisciplinary opioid task force to reduce the burdens of opioid addiction, misuse and overdose on individuals, families, communities and the health care system.
The Texas A&M Health Science Center Opioid Task Force is made up of representatives from all five Health Science Center components (dentistry, medicine, nursing, public health and pharmacy) as well as the Coastal Bend Health Education Center. It will serve as a focal point for research, education and practice issues critical to addressing the opioid epidemic and its impact on Texas.
“I established the task force in recognition that many of our health science faculty were individually already engaging in research, education and practice activities relevant to addressing the opioid epidemic,” said Carrie L. Byington, MD, dean of the Texas A&M College of Medicine, senior vice president of the Texas A&M University Health Science Center and vice chancellor for health services at The Texas A&M University System. “By working together, we can create an even greater impact in preventing and managing the devastating consequences faced by Texans and others around the country.”