Expert Says Opioid Crisis Should be National Emergency Rather Than Health Emergency

Article ID: 683927

Released: 26-Oct-2017 12:05 PM EDT

Source Newsroom: Stony Brook University

Expert Pitch
  • Credit: Stony Brook University

    George Leibowtiz

Newswise — As you know, President Donald Trump will use an event at the White House today to declare the opioid crisis a public health emergency.

Opioid addiction expert Dr. George Leibowitz of Stony Brook University's School of Social Welfare reacts to this news and says:

“The fact that attention is being given to the opiate overdose problem is great, it is also important to declare this issue a national emergency, rather than a public health emergency, in order for federal funding to be allocated to address opioid poisonings. There has been an upward trajectory of heroin and prescription painkillers use in the US, exceeding the traffic accident rate. There were over 33,000 deaths in 2015 due to opioid poisoning. There is a pressing need for opiate overdose reversal interventions, including effective alternatives to pain management, as well as prevention efforts. Integrated behavioral health care approaches are needed to develop a systematic process for early identification and intervention to prevent progression of possible opiate use disorders."

​​Let me know if you'd like me to connect you with Professor George Leibowitz.  If needed, Stony Brook University has access to a ReadyCam television studio system that provides remote access to television networks. 

About George Leibowtiz
Dr. George Leibowitz, PhD, LICSW​, is an expert on opioid addiction and the negative impact these drugs can have.​ Leibowtiz has been working as an interdisciplinary researcher, consultant, trainer, and licensed clinician in the related fields of adult and adolescent mental health and substance abuse assessment and treatment across the lifespan. He serves as cluster leader for Stony Brook University on a PCORI grant investigating the integration of evidence-supported Behavioral Health (BH) and primary care services. He was recently awarded a $1.8 million dollar HRSA grant, a collaboration between the Schools of Social Welfare and Nursing, to deliver behavioral health screening, brief intervention, and referral to underserved populations within Suffolk County, NY. 

Let me know if you'd like me to connect you with Professor George Leibowitz. 

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