Co-PIs: Sydney Silverstein, Danielle Gainer
Graduate Research Assistant: Whitney Jenkins
Funded by the Boonshoft School of Medicine Collaborative, Translational Research Seed Grant
Across the United States, communities are suffering from a “triple-wave epidemic” of pharmaceutical opioid, heroin, and illicit fentanyl use. The Dayton, Ohio region is an epicenter of opioid overdose deaths, with Montgomery County reporting the highest per capita overdose mortality rates in the country in 2017. However, fatal overdose is not the only type of overdose experienced by people who use drugs. Nonfatal overdoses are more common and may represent a critical turning point, motivating engagement with treatment and other forms of support services. Ecologies of Overdose-Related Risk is a research project that includes several sub-studies exploring facets within a local ecology of overdose risk as well as trajectories following non-fatal overdose events. This study builds on an interdisciplinary, clinical-applied research partnership between Dr. Danielle Gainer, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, and Dr. Sydney Silverstein, Assistant Professor of Population and Public Health Sciences. The strength in our partnership is built from the merging of discrete domains of analytical focus—the neurobiological and clinical expertise of psychiatry combined with anthropology’s close attention to the sociocultural and structural factors that shape individual experience in particular settings. In merging a clinical and basic science approach in studying overdose experiences and post-overdose trajectories, the study aims to generate preliminary findings regarding disparities in overdose and post-overdose experiences and characterize the psychological, sociocultural, and structural barriers to post-overdose care.