Researchers, doctors and public health professionals from around the country were in Rochester to discuss how science can help combat the opioid epidemic.

 During the first four months of 2018, 356 people overdosed in Monroe County alone; 51 of which were fatal. Compared to this time last year, there were 142 reported overdoses and 29 ended in fatalities. 

But this epidemic isn’t just affecting Monroe County, but the entire country. Saturday’s event at the University of Rochester Medical Center focused on topics like developing non-addictive strategies to manage pain and creating new ways to encourage those with opioid use disorders to participate in research.

“We have new approaches that are being developed in the research and in the laboratory that have not yet made it to the clinic. or approaches that have made it to the clinic but have not had large scale clinical trials yet. What do we need to do to build the bridge between those sides of the canyon,” said Dr. Martin Zand from the University of Rochester. 

The event was hosted by the center for leading innovation and collaboration at the University of Rochester.