My name is Dr. Neal Shah and I am an Anesthesiology Resident at UPMC. Every day I work to treat patients undergoing surgery. Often, I encounter patients who are taking very high levels of pain medication including opioids. As an anesthesiologist, I have seen patients devastated by the opioid epidemic. I am hoping to tackle this issue by supporting a local organization that is on the front lines of the opioid epidemic. The opioid problem in Western Pennsylvania and across the United States is a public health and public safety emergency.
US Opioid Epidemic Statistics
-Deaths from opioid overdose are on a rise in the past decade.
-In 2016, 42,000 people
died from opioid use disorder
-Over 130 people
die from opioid-related overdose DAILY.
-Over 2.1 MILLION
people have an opioid use disorder
people use heroin
people misuse prescription opioids
Pennsylvania Opioid Epidemic Statistics
-In 53 percent
of Pennsylvania’s overdose deaths in 2015, an opioid was found in the toxicology test results; of those deaths, more than 79 percent of victims tested positive for heroin.
-In 2014, Pennsylvania had the THIRD
-highest number of opioid deaths in the country (2,732), behind only California (4,521) and Ohio (2,744).
-Western Pennsylvania has had SIX of the TEN
counties with the highest drug-related death rates per 100,000 people in Pennsylvania
-Within Western Pennsylvania, Allegheny, Westmoreland, and Washington counties
represent 55 percent
of the overdose deaths in the region.
The above statistics are just the tip of the iceberg. We are still facing a growing public health problem with no solutions in place to stop its growth.
As the Junior Chief of Advocacy in my residency program, I have decided to organize a fundraiser to bring awareness to this issue and to help individuals in my local community. I hope this act can be replicated across the country to help those in need.
Money raised on this site and at the fundraiser will be sent to the Light of Life Rescue Mission Organization.
Light of Life Rescue Mission Organization:
Founded in 1952 on the North Side of Pittsburgh, the Mission was known as Harbor of Hope Rescue Mission. In 1957, it was named Light of Life Rescue Mission. Its Christian recovery programs offer a continuum of care from the first point of contact through street outreach, to programming and resources for graduates of its men and women’s programs. Last year, they provided over 250,000 meals and 10,000+ shelter stays for those in need.
At Light of Life, they offer hope to those who are turning away from addiction through their long term residential recovery programs for men and women.
They are developing new ways to serve the beloved community, to support those affected by addiction.
Please watch this awe-inspiring video regarding the opioid epidemic in Pittsburgh, PA: https://www.lightoflife.org/our-impact/eye-of-the-needle/
Date: January 25, 2020
Location: Phipps Conservatory Hall (1 Schenley Drive, Pittsburgh PA 15213)
Tickets: $40 (Includes appetizers, softs drinks, cash bar, and live auction).Buy Event Tickets Here Please come support this wonderful organization and help flight a national public health issue.
If you are not able to attend, I would encourage you to donate via GoFundMe to help Light of Life Rescue Mission continue the great work they do for those suffering from opioid addiction. Any donation would go a long way in saving someone's life.