Dr. Talal Khan

Upcoming ‘Your Health’ lecture explores opioid crisis

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich.– Lake Superior State University will be hosting the latest Your Health lecture at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 8, in room 204 of LSSU’s Crawford Hall. Admission is free and open to the public. Dr. Talal Khan, an assistant professor with Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine, will lecture and mediate an informative conversation about opioid addiction.

Dr. Talal Khan

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), pharmaceutical companies reassured the medical community during the late 1990s that patients would not become addicted to prescription opioid pain relievers, and healthcare providers began to prescribe them at greater rates. This led to widespread diversion and misuse before it became clear that these medications could indeed be highly addictive.

Opioid overdose rates began to increase. According to the CDC, by 2015 more than 33,000 Americans died as a result of an opioid overdose, including prescription opioids, heroin, and illicitly manufactured fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid. That same year, an estimated two million people in the United States suffered from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers.

CDC statistics peg the total economic burden of prescription opioid misuse in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement.

Dr. Khan will explore the magnitude of this opioid epidemic, why addiction is considered a disease, and how to recognize the distress of an addict.

Aside from his work as a medical school professor, Khan is chief of addiction services, psychiatrist, and an addictionologist at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services.

Kahn received a fellowship in Addiction Psychiatry from Yale University School of Medicine, where he gained extensive experience with different aspects of addiction psychiatry including outpatient substance abuse treatment, inpatient detoxification, and methadone and buprenorphine clinics. The fellowship also provided training in motivational interviewing and acupuncture addiction protocol.

The Your Health Lecture Series is a collaborative community event sponsored by Lake Superior State University, War Memorial Hospital and Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Upper Peninsula Region Campus. Click here for more information on this and other upcoming lectures in the series.


CONTACTS: John Shibley, e-mail, 906-635-2314; Danielle Hendrick, WMH Community Relations, e-mail, 635-4351.