Social Dynamics of Opioid Use Harm Reduction

Tuesday, December 12, 2017
12:15pm to 1:00pm
Health Discovery Building 3.110 | 1701 Trinity Street

Recent increases in opioid use disorders and overdose deaths have brought new attention to decades-old harm reduction interventions like methadone and naloxone. While both of these harm reduction tools also have a strong evidence base, the scientific support and increased attention has not resulted in a wholehearted destigmatization and acceptance of harm reduction. Please join the Department of Population Health for a presentation by Erin Madden, PhD, MS, assistant professor of sociology and public health at the University of Texas at San Antonio, where she unpacks two studies to explore the complex social dynamics around these topics.

Madden will inform attendees about a national database to examine disparities in naloxone prescription by race and ethnicity. She will also discuss a community-engaged qualitative project that explores stigma towards methadone with treatment workers like counselors and clinic managers. These two studies demonstrate shifting issues of stigma and inequity around the diffusion of harm reduction interventions, and signal the need for attention to how broader social structures and inequities mediate opioid treatment.

About the Speaker
Madden earned a master's degree and doctoral degree in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is currently completing an master's of public health degree at the University of New Mexico. Madden researches inequity in health care access and quality, especially among low-income patients and patients of color. Her research has examined issues such as barriers and strategies for health care access among mixed immigration status families in South Texas, how health care providers at community health centers navigate the care system when working with uninsured patients, primary care teams building trust with patients diagnosed with co-occurring behavioral and physical conditions, and issues of racism and stigma in harm reduction interventions for opioid use.