CHERISH Director Bruce R. Schackman and CHERISH Research Affiliate Natasha Martin Receive Conference Grant from NIDA to Improve Simulation Modeling That Will Support the Public Health Response to the Opioid Crisis in North America

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) awarded Bruce R. Schackman, CHERISH director and Saul P. Steinberg Distinguished Professor at Weill Cornell Medicine, and Natasha Martin, CHERISH Research Affiliate and associate professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of California San Diego, a scientific conference grant to provide simulation modeling groups an opportunity to swiftly develop best modeling practices to inform public policy and reduce fatal opioid overdoses and injection-related hepatitis C and HIV infections in North America.

Drug overdose deaths have been increasing rapidly in the United States, contributing to nearly 90,000 deaths in the 12 months ending November 2020. Overdose deaths have also been rising in Canada during 2020, and the risks for greater opioid use are increasing in Mexico. Simulation models have demonstrated their relevance in informing policies and interventions to control the spread of COVID-19 and will continue to be a valuable tool to address the opioid crisis that is surging in this continent. 

During the next three years, Schackman and Martin will bring simulation modelers and policymakers together to further the science of simulation modeling by addressing issues of model design, data availability, integrity, and translation. This NIDA grant builds on previous workshops co-sponsored by the Center for Health Economics of Treatment Interventions for Substance Use Disorder, HCV, and HIV (CHERISH) in 2018 and 2019 and will also support the development of early career researchers and individuals from underrepresented minority groups interested in modeling to inform the opioid crisis in North America.

Read more on the benefits of using simulation modeling to address the opioid crisis in North America.


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