Experts Available to Speak About Evidence on and Solutions to Opioid Overdose Epidemic

opioid prescription bottle and pills
© thinkstock / Charles Wollertz

The United States is experiencing an opioid overdose epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), three out of five overdose deaths involve an opioid, either prescription or illicit.

The Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research (CDUHR) at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing – led by Sherry Deren, PhD, and Holly Hagan, PhD, MPH, RN – has long been a leader in research to end the HIV and hepatitis C epidemics among drug users. In recent years, the center’s research has increasingly focused on opioid abuse, both in urban and rural settings.

National Leadership
Holly Hagan, PhD, MPH, RN, co-director of CDUHR and professor at NYU Meyers, has been appointed as the chair of the Executive Steering Committee for the National Institutes of Health and CDC’s Rural Opioid Initiative. The initiative, which launched this fall, funds nine projects to help rural U.S. communities develop comprehensive approaches to prevent and treat consequences of opioid injection.

An epidemiologist, Hagan’s research has principally focused on the infectious disease consequences of substance abuse, including trends in HIV and hepatitis C risk behaviors and infection among people who inject drugs and needle/syringe exchanges. She is currently studying why young people transition from prescription opioids to injecting drugs in rural New York.

Ongoing Research
CDUHR affiliated investigators are leading seven studies related to opioid misuse, prevention, and treatment:

Evidence and Solutions
CDUHR develops and releases implementation briefs that synthesize research on an important topic and provide evidence-based recommendations for policymakers and health practitioners. Two recent briefs and one forthcoming brief focus on facets of the opioid epidemic:

The mission of the Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research (CDUHR) is to end the HIV and HCV epidemics in drug using populations and their communities by conducting transdisciplinary research and disseminating its findings to inform programmatic, policy, and grass roots initiatives at the local, state, national, and global levels. CDUHR is a Core Center of Excellence funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (Grant #P30 DA011041).  It is the first center for the socio-behavioral study of substance use and HIV in the United States and is located at the New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing. For more information, visit

About NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing (@NYUNursing)
NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing is a global leader in nursing and health. Founded in 1932, the College offers BS, MS, DNP, and PhD degree programs providing the educational foundation to prepare the next generation of nursing leaders and researchers. NYU Meyers has three programs ranked in the top 10 by U.S. News & World Report and is among the top 10 nursing schools receiving NIH funding, thanks to its research mission and commitment to innovative approaches to healthcare worldwide.

About NYU Langone Health
NYU Langone Health is a world-class, patient-centered, integrated academic medical center, known for its excellence in clinical care, research, and education. Included in the 200+ locations throughout the New York area are five inpatient locations: Tisch Hospital, its flagship acute-care facility; Rusk Rehabilitation, ranked as one of the top 10 rehabilitation programs in the country; NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital, a dedicated inpatient orthopedic hospital with all musculoskeletal specialties ranked top 10 in the country; Hassenfeld Children's Hospital at NYU Langone, a comprehensive pediatric hospital supporting a full array of children's health services; and NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn, a full-service teaching hospital and level 1 trauma center located in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Also part of NYU Langone Health is the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute–designated cancer center, and NYU School of Medicine, which since 1841 has trained thousands of physicians and scientists who have helped to shape the course of medical history. For more information, go to, and interact with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

About NDRI
National Development and Research Institutes, Inc. (NDRI) is a non-profit research and educational organization dedicated to advancing scientific knowledge in the areas of drug and alcohol use, treatment and recovery; HIV, AIDS and HCV; therapeutic communities; youth at risk; and related areas of public health, mental health, criminal justice, urban problems, prevention and epidemiology. For more information, visit

Press Contact

Rachel Harrison
Rachel Harrison
(212) 998-6797