Opioid Analgesics: Pain and Abuse
February 18, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm @ the LandCare Office
Dr. Linda Dykstra, Kenan Professor Emeritus in Psychology and Neuroscience, University of North Carolina (UNC) @ Chapel Hill will give a presentation titled: Opioid Analgesics: Pain and Abuse. Linda and her husband, Bill Hylander, became members of Grayson Landcare upon retiring to Grayson County where they own a farm in the Spring Valley community.
Linda received her PhD from the University of Chicago in 1972 and moved to North Carolina the following year to accept a position at UNC. During her 40+ years at UNC, Linda’s research interests focused on the behavioral pharmacology of opioid analgesics and the relationship between their analgesic effects and their abuse potential, in particular, their tendency to produce tolerance and dependence. At UNC, Linda also taught courses in Drugs and Human Behavior and directed a training grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse that provided predoctoral training in research on drug abuse. She also served as the Dean of the Graduate School, overseeing UNC’s numerous masters and doctoral programs. Although she is officially retired from UNC, she continues to serve as co-director for a postdoctoral training program at UNC and to team teach a course in Behavioral Pharmacology offered jointly between UNC and the Wake Forest School of Medicine.
Although we are well aware of the opioid epidemic and its devastating consequences at both local and national levels, we often lack basic knowledge of the drugs within the opioid class. Within this extensive class of drugs are opioids that have legitimate clinical applications, however, there are others which are responsible for the current opioid epidemic and yet others which can provide effective treatments for “opioid use disorder”. This presentation will provide background information about the opioids, their analgesic effects, their unique pharmacological profiles as well as their tendency to produce tolerance and dependence and lead to abuse. The presentation will also discuss current initiatives to reduce opioid abuse as well as some of the interventions available for individuals seeking treatment for “opioid use disorder (OUD).”