In the first half of this two-part episode, Just Science sat down with Dr. Jon Zibbell, a Senior Public Health Analyst from RTI International, to discuss the waves of the opioid epidemic and their impact on communities.
The world of medical anthropology offers a very different perspective of the current rise in illicit substance abuse. While much of the research surrounding overdose and drug trends tends to be retrospective, anthropologists like Dr. Jon Zibbell are working on ways to predict trends instead of identifying them posthumously. Listen along as he discusses the waves of the opioid epidemic, the impact they have on communities, and how we can apply the data we’re gathering in this episode of Just Science.
This season is in collaboration with the Bureau of Justice Assistance Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program funding to respond to illicit substance use and misuse in order to reduce overdose deaths, promote public safety, and support access to services.
This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].
Original Release Date: January 22, 2021
Jon E. Zibbell, PhD, conducts behavioral and community-based epidemiological research on risk factors and health outcomes associated with the opioid epidemic and injection drug use. He is a medical anthropologist with two decades of field experience in the areas of injection drug use, opioid use disorder, drug overdose, and injection-related infectious disease.
Previously, Dr. Zibbell worked as a CDC health scientist in the Divisions of Viral Hepatitis and Unintentional Injury Prevention, conducting epidemiological and surveillance research on viral hepatitis and drug overdose while assisting states during outbreak investigations to respond to injuries and infections caused by drug use behaviors. In addition to research, he has conducted rapid ethnographic needs assessments for community-based syringe service and overdose prevention programs and continues to assist states and community organizations to develop evidence-based approaches to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with the opioid epidemic.
Dr. Zibbell’s work has appeared in both academic and professional journals and he holds a joint adjunct appointment in the Center for the Study of Human Health and the Department of Anthropology at Emory University.