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Opioids: Fighting Addiction with Chemistry

You're Bust, Let ACS plan your next event for free! ACS Program In A Box

These days it is difficult to escape the tragic news of yet another story referring to the growing opioid epidemic. In the United States, overdose deaths from opioids have nearly tripled in the last 15 years. In 2016 alone they have claimed more than 30,000 lives.

Learn what makes these compounds so addictive, the treatments and medications that are being used to help those who suffer, and profile the work that chemists are doing to make prescription pain killers safer and harder to abuse. Gather a group and interact with our expert panel of medical experts, and chemists to discover why this problem has become so widespread and how the power of chemistry can be used to fight the rising tide of addiction.

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What Your Group Will Learn

  • How the current opioid crisis and epidemic came to be
  • What are the neurobiological pathways in addiction and the role of dopamine
  • What are the current clinical pharmacotherapeutic approaches to opioid treatment
  • How opioid addiction differs from other types of addictions 
  • The medicinal chemistry approaches that are being used to reduce the side effects and addictive potential of opioids by taking advantage of opioid receptor biology
  • Several novel alternative pathways and targets that are being investigated by medicinal chemists for alternative opioid treatment
  • Why translatability of preclinical models of pain and biomarkers are key hurdles in the development of better pain therapeutics

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What is ACS Program-in-a-Box?

ACS Program-in-a-Box is the easiest event you'll ever host because "it's all in the box."  With very little effort (acquire the space and gather the crowd), you can host an energetic science event that engages chemistry students and early career chemists.

ACS Program-in-a-Box™ is an exclusive benefit for ACS Local Sections, Technical Divisions, and Student Chapters. Due to international shipping restrictions, physical box kits can be sent to the United States, Canada, and US territories. Please contact us ( if you would like to receive an ACS Program-in-a-Box™ from outside these shipping locations.


Not an ACS Local Section, Technical Division, or Student Chapter?  That’s okay! We want chemists to join the party and connect with each other. We’ll send you a “digital box” to download handouts included in the physical box for you to print and share with your attendees. We can also help you use ACS Program-in-a-Box™ to start your Student Chapter, or get your Local Section or Student Chapter back into an active status, so next time you’ll see an ACS Program-in-a-Box™ on your doorstep!"


ACS Program-in-a-Box™ does not endorse any products or services. The views expressed in this presentation are those of the presenters and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the American Chemical Society.


Rita Valentino
National Institute on Drug Abuse

Marc Fishman
Medical Director
Maryland Treatment Centers

Steven McKerrall
Chemistry Team Leader 

Dan Sutherlin
Vice President


Tien M. Nguyen
Science Reporter
Chemical & Engineering News

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