School of public health

Evaluating ED treatments for opioid addiction

The most cost-effective treatment for people with untreated opioid addiction who visit the emergency department (ED) is buprenorphine, a medication that reduces drug cravings and withdrawal. Yale researchers found that among patients who came to the ED, the ED-initiated medication strategy was most likely to be cost-effective compared to referral alone or a brief intervention with facilitated referral. Nationally, only about 1 in 5 individuals who needed treatment for opioid addiction received treatment in the past year, and fewer received the most effective treatments, such as buprenorphine.

Grant funds research on fracking

With a new $2 million grant from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Yale Schools of Public Health, Forestry and Environmental Studies, and Engineering and Applied Sciences will investigate the health effects of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” on drinking-water quality and neonatal health outcomes in the Appalachian Basin. Thousands of wells in the region have been hydraulically fractured during the past decade, and the practice is expected to continue. The process involves pumping a mixture of water, sand, and chemicals into a gas or oil well under high pressure to fracture surrounding rock and liberate trapped oil and gas.

Biostatistician named Elihu Professor

Jeffrey Townsend has been named to the Elihu Professorship in Biostatistics. Internationally renowned for his contributions to that field, Townsend created the first generally applicable quantitative theory of phylogenetic experimental design. This enables scientists to design more accurate and precise analyses of relationships between genes and between genomes. The theory identifies which genes in which genetic samples should be evaluated to answer genetic and evolutionary questions, with widespread applications for medicine, conservation, and public health.

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