Opioid Epidemic Waves

Opioid Epidemic Waves



Chase Alexander Hoffman, David A. Somodi


Presentation: 1:15 p.m.-2:30 p.m., Kennedy Union Ballroom

This project reflects research conducted as part of a course project designed to give students experience in the research process.

Course: MED 480



In 1999, Ohio saw only 327 overdose deaths. As of 2020, the number reported by the Ohio Department of Health was over 5000 deaths (Ohio University, 2021). The opioid epidemic can be traced in three significant “waves” as identified by the CDC: 1990s due to the over prescription of opioids, 2010 due to a rapid increase of overdoses involving heroin, 2013 due to the illicit production of fentanyl and its addition to heroin. As a result of the over prescription of opioids, new prescription laws in Ohio required physicians and pharmacies to log controlled substances into a database starting in 2006. Although there were new laws and regulations that were put in place, there was still rising cases of opioid overdoses. Additionally, there were significant cases of fentanyl being found in illicit drugs in lethal dosages. Currently, Fentanyl-related fatalities account for almost four out of five opioid overdose deaths (Georgetown Hospital 2021). Rehabilitation services are crucial to combatting addictive behaviors. During the pandemic, rehabilitation services addressing addiction were indefinitely suspended. As a result of this and other stresses that the pandemic placed on individuals and families, there was a significant rise in overdoses in Ohio (Perry, 2021). This poster explores the effect all these had on overdose deaths to determine which factors should receive the most attention.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Course Project

Primary Advisor

Nancy Gilles Romer

Primary Advisor's Department

Premedical Programs


Stander Symposium project, College of Arts and Sciences

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Good Health and Well-Being

Opioid Epidemic Waves