Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

The opioid crisis, a comparison: the United States, Portugal, and Spain

Sonntag, Halley (2018) The opioid crisis, a comparison: the United States, Portugal, and Spain. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

Download (307kB) | Preview


The opioid crisis has negatively affected many people around the world, claiming many lives from overdoses, creating financial distress from loss of employment, and destroying family units. The opioid crisis has particularly taken a life toll in the United States, where over 63,000 deaths have been reported in 2016 (CDC). The crisis in the United States gained increased attention when it began to affect young, white, wealthy individuals. Portugal and Spain, two additional developed Western countries, with a high proportion of Caucasian populations, but with a national health care system were selected for comparison.
In response, all three countries have addressed their perspective crisis in subjective manners. Portugal has seen the best outcomes due to the steps they implemented to overcome their crisis, especially when compared to the United States and Spain. Portugal’s success resulted from a multidisciplinary approach, including a change in its cultural perspective on individuals who misuse drugs. Spain, unlike the United States, has had stagnant numbers of drug misusers, and overdose deaths within their population. Although the statistics are not increasing, they have also not decreased, as seen in Portugal.
As an intervention and with further observation of Portugal’s successful changes, specific examples can be implemented in the United States for improvement. Barriers will exist when including aspects of Portugal’s model, but modifications can be applied to overcome them.
The opioid crisis has had tremendous public health implications due to the significant number of individuals suffering from substance use disorder, increasing mortality rates resulting from opioid overdoses, and the impact across geographic and socioeconomic populations.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Sonntag, Halleyhas154@pitt.eduhas154
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairVan Nostrand, Elizabethevannostrand@pitt.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberHernandez, Inmaculadainh3@pitt.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date: 24 April 2018
Date Type: Submission
Submission Date: 25 April 2018
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 41
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Health Policy & Management
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Opioid Crisis, health system comparisons, laws to combat the crisis
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2019 17:05
Last Modified: 21 Aug 2019 17:15


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item