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Forensic Fridays Explores Death by Medication, Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic

With accidental drug overdose being the leading cause of death in Allegheny County, a majority of which are due to prescribed medications, prescription drug abuse seems to have reached epidemic proportions.

The Forensic Fridays continuing legal education (CLE) and professional education seminar series kicks off this Friday with Death by Medication: Investigating the Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic, which will provide an in-depth look at this increasingly widespread, concerning issue.

Featured presenters and panelists include:

  • The Hon. David J. Hickton, U.S. Attorney
  • Dr. Bruce Dixon, former director of the Allegheny County Health Department
  • Dr. Fred Fochtman, professor of pharmacy at Duquesne and former chief forensic toxicologist for the Allegheny County Coroner’s Office
  • Dr. Mary Mihalyo, assistant professor of pharmacy practice at Duquesne and clinical pharmacy coordinator for Trinity Health System
  • Dr. Cyril Wecht, forensic pathologist.

Hickton will provide an overview of the prescription drug abuse issue in Western Pennsylvania. Other topics include the risks of opioid use in pain management and palliative care; determining cause and manner of death in prescription drug abuse cases; forensic toxicology in prescription drug abuse and sudden deaths.

Forensic Fridays is a four-part series presented by the Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law at Duquesne University.

When: Friday, Sept. 7, from 1 to 4:30 p.m.

Where: The Africa Room, Duquesne Union, Duquesne University, 600 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh.

Information: For more information, including cost and available continuing education credits, visit www.duq.edu/forensics/forensic-fridays/, email wechtinstitute@duq.edu or call 412.396.1330.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.