FAU's Medical School to Work with foundation2recovery.org

FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine will work with foundation2recovery.org to combat the narcotic prescription drug epidemic using novel approaches for treatment, prevention and education programs.

By gisele galoustian | 9/9/2015

More people die from overdose of prescription opiate pain medications than from all other drugs combined, including heroin and cocaine. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), more than 2 million people in the United States suffer from substance use disorders related to prescription opiate pain medications, and overdose deaths have more than quadrupled in the past decade and a half. According to NIDA, in 2013, 207 million prescriptions were written for these pain medications.

Physicians and researchers in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University will work with foundation2recovery.org to target this major public health problem using novel approaches to support treatment, prevention and education programs. The brainchild of entrepreneur and founder Joe Randazza, foundation2recovery will develop a portfolio of tools and resources to address prevention and education as well as treatment programs that include the use of FDA-approved “opiate blockers.”

“The statistics are staggering and the causes for misuse of opiates are extremely complex,” said Randazza. “foundation2recovery.org has been put in motion to begin the dialogue and propel the effort needed to fight this scourge at its source, and we are very pleased to partner with FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine on our important mission.”

FAU and foundation2recovery.org have begun discussions to establish a national advisory board composed of medical, scientific and business experts who will help foundation2recovery.org identify highly effective and novel approaches to this growing problem, including vital resources that enable families to identify problems early. FAU’s College of Medicine will provide its expertise to help create educational programs and materials, treatment assessment criteria and prevention tools, and will work with the foundation to develop strategies to support evidence-based treatment programs.

“The misuse of opiate pain medication is a huge public health problem that impacts families all over the country, at all socioeconomic levels,” said John W. Newcomer, M.D., executive vice dean in FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine and an internationally renowned neuroscientist. “As physicians, we look forward to working with foundation2recovery to help them identify, assess and support highly effective approaches, both existing and novel, to address prescription opiate addiction.”

According to Partnership for Drug Free Kids, every day 2,000 teens in the U.S. try prescription drugs and 60 percent of them do so before age 15. Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that of the 22 million Americans who need treatment, only 11 percent actually receive the treatment they need.

“I’ve been very fortunate and successful throughout my career and in my business endeavors. Now, I want to use my knowledge and resources to give back and most importantly to save lives,” said Randazza.