A Co-Occurring Epidemic:
The Challenge of Addressing Opioid Addiction, HIV, and Viral Hepatitis

A Congressional Briefing Sponsored by The Friends OF NIDA
In Cooperation with the Congressional Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

On December 1, 2015, the Friends of the National Institute on Drug Abuse held a congressional briefing titled “A Co-Occurring Epidemic: The Challenge of Addressing Opioid Addiction, HIV, and Viral Hepatitis.” It was the most recent event in the coalition's Charles R. Schuster congressional briefing series. The briefing drew more than 85 guests from congressional offices, federal agencies, professional societies and others interested in addressing the interrelated opioid addiction, HIV, and viral hepatitis (HCV) epidemics.

Wilson M. Compton, the deputy director of NIDA, was the first speaker. He introduced the topic by presenting some of the troubling data that shows the trends and impacts of these crises. He also discussed what NIDA is currently doing to combat these issues and how research can help change the trajectory of what has developed into a public health crisis.

The second speaker was José Szapocznik, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of the Department of Public Health Sciences at University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He discussed research about at-risk populations, including the importance of evidence based intervention and services such as needle exchange programs, which have been proven to lead to a decrease in risk behaviors and in cases of HIV.

Finally, Scott Stokes, Director of Prevention Services at AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin, continued the discussion of needle exchanges in his presentation on harm reduction, in addition to discussing overdose intervention.

For more information about the briefing, please contact Geoff Mumford, Ph.D., Associate Executive Director of the Government Relations Office of APA’s Science Directorate.

Pictures from the briefing:

Szapocznik, and Stokes Compton

L to R: Wilson M. Compton, José Szapocznik, and Scott Stokes
O’Keefe, Szapocznik, Stokes, and Compton

L to R: Charles O'Keefe, José Szapocznik, Scott Stokes, and Wilson M. Compton