As health demographers agree that the opioid epidemic is among the greatest health and life expectancy challenges in the United States today, with more than 47,000 deaths reported in 2017, the latest year in which statistics are available, Cal State Fullerton Assistant Professor of ISDS Yinfei Kong is leading the way in researching the gender differences among opioid users.
Kong’s research will examine differences between men and women in accessing opioids and continuing medication-assisted treatment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 36% of opioid deaths in 2017 involved prescription opioids.
Recognizing that women are particularly vulnerable in the opioid crisis, Kong hopes his research will save women’s lives and also help to alleviate the strain on the nation’s economy as well.
Health care policymakers in both the medical and governmental sectors will likely utilize the completed research, which is being funded by a $1.89 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, $367,000 of which has been awarded to Cal State Fullerton.