Amy Bohnert, PhD, MHS—Prescription Drug Use & Overdose Prevention

Member Highlight—December 2015

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan Medical School
  • Research Investigator, Department of Veterans’ Affairs, National Serious Mental Illness Treatment Resource and Evaluation (SMITREC), HSR&D Center of Excellence, Ann Arbor, MI

What is the focus of your current injury research? What are you currently working on?

The focus of my research is prescription drug overdoses. I’m currently working on two trials of brief motivational interventions. The first intervention aims to improve safe use of opioids among VA patients and the second aims to reduce overdose risk among individuals in residential addictions treatment. I am also working on analysis of medical records data linked to mortality data in order to improve prescribing practices, which is supported by an intergovernmental personnel agreement with the CDC.

Why is this interesting to you?

I became interested in the problem prescription drug overdose when surveillance data indicated that the problem was increasing in the U.S. This corresponded to increases in opioid prescribing, suggesting that the problem may be addressed partly through healthcare-based interventions.

What are the practical implications for this research in preventing injury, or in changes to injury-related policy?

Because the amount of focus on overdose was relatively low in the years before it became a key contributor to injury morbidity and mortality, there is relatively little research to guide policy decisions at this time. Consequently, there is a tension between the strong desire to “do something” about the problem and the lack of research and evaluation available to guide decisions and ensure that investments made in programs and systems will pay off.

Click here to view Dr. Bohnert’s Michigan Experts profile.  

Publication Date: 
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Article Type: