America is in the grip of an opioid epidemic that is increasing in both death toll and severity of threat to the public health. In 2015, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, 12.5 million people misused prescription opioids and nearly another million used heroin, leading to 46,000 overdose deaths and $78.5 billion in economic costs.

While those numbers are staggering, the true impact of the epidemic is most often felt on a personal and local level – almost everyone now has a story of struggles with opioids, whether it be their own or that of a friend or family member.

In the College of Health Sciences’ Marquette Presents forum on the opioid epidemic, a number of experts from Marquette, Aurora, The Bridge and the city of Milwaukee addressed how this epidemic is affecting the city and what is being done to counteract it from both scientific and policy standpoints.

The Marquette Presents Series is a research series on issues of community health from the College of Health Sciences.