Just Science Podcast

Illicit Substance Use Response

Despite national efforts to reduce the impact, illicit substance abuse continues to rise in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that there were an average of 128 opioid related deaths per day in 2018. These numbers continue to rise. In order to meet the challenge head on, scientists, community leaders, justice professionals, and everyday citizens are working tirelessly to slow the abuse of opioids and reduce the impact that they have on our communities. In this season of Just Science, we’re sitting down with experts in the field to discuss topics like stigma, recovery, policy solutions, public safety systems, identifying drug trends, and much more.

This season is in collaboration with the Bureau of Justice Assistance Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program funding to respond to illicit substance use and misuse in order to reduce overdose deaths, promote public safety, and support access to services.

This season is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence.

Episodes

Episode 154 | Just Partnerships To Enhance Overdose Fatality Review

Episode Overview In episode five, Just Science interviews Dr. Mallory O’Brien, Assistant Professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin, to discuss how partnerships can enhance Overdose Fatality Reviews.  The National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) is the only state-based reporting system that covers all types of violent deaths, including homicides and suicides. It pools more than 600 unique […] read more

Episode 153 | Just the Story of the Healthy Grandfamilies Project

Episode Overview In episode four, Just Science sat down with Bonnie Dunn, Co-Director of the West Virginia Healthy Grandfamilies Project, to discuss a free initiative that provides information and resources to grandparents who are raising one or more of their grandchildren.  Children can be deeply impacted if their parent or parents are suffering with substance use disorder, which could ultimately mean […] read more

Episode 152 | Just The Importance of Identifying Emerging Drug Threats

Episode Overview In episode three, Just Science sat down with Amanda Mohr and Dr. Alex Krotulski from the Center for Forensic Science Research and Education to discuss the analytical and interpretative challenges associated with emerging drug threats.  The Center for Forensic Science Research and Education, otherwise known as the CFSRE, oversees a collaborative effort to better understand emerging drug threats. CFSRE researchers Amanda Mohr and Dr. […] read more

Episode 151 | Just the Intersection of Opioids and Illicit Stimulants: Part 2

Episode Overview This week, we continue the conversation with Dr. Zibbell as he discusses the American history of drug epidemics, what we can learn from past stimulant crises, and the importance of tailoring interventions in this episode of Just Science.  This season is in collaboration with the Bureau of Justice Assistance Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program funding to respond to illicit […] read more

Episode 150 | Just the Intersection of Opioids and Illicit Stimulants: Part 1

Episode Overview In the first half of this two-part episode, Just Science sat down with Dr. Jon Zibbell, a Senior Public Health Analyst from RTI International, to discuss the waves of the opioid epidemic and their impact on communities.   The world of medical anthropology offers a very different perspective of the current rise in illicit substance abuse. While much of the research surrounding overdose and drug trends tends to be […] read more


Just Forensic Genetic Genealogy and GEDmatch:  Verogen’s Approach

In this Forensic Science Week special episode, Just Science interviews Brett Williams, the CEO of Verogen, about the GEDmatch database, how it can be used by law enforcement to perform forensic genealogy searches for investigative leads, and the short- and long-term plans Verogen has for the widely used database and related services.

Verogen is a spin-off of the Illumina corporation and has grown to be an innovator in the realm of forensic genomic technologies. Since their inception, Verogen has evolved from forensic applications to focus on biometrics-based human identification, as a whole. Following this vision, in December of 2019 Verogen  acquired GEDmatch, a crowd-sourced database used by millions of genealogy enthusiasts to trace their family trees, but more recently it has been adopted by law enforcement to aid in cold case investigations.

Listen along with our guest host, Donia Slack, as she and Brett Williams discuss the impact that genetic genealogy and GEDmatch have had on the criminal justice system in this episode of Just Science.

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

 


Just COVID-19: The Impact to Supporting Victims of Sexual Assault

This week on Just Science, we are publishing a special release episode in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Social distancing, shelter in place, and other responses to COVID-19 can create a stressful environment for survivors of sexual assault especially if they feel they cannot access resources or are physically unable to seek help. In addition, highly stressful situations that result from significant amounts of change, such as unemployment, disruption in ‘normal’ activities, and social isolation may increase the risk of domestic violence and sexual assault. In this podcast, we will discuss what services are available to survivors of sexual assault, including leveraging on-line platforms and modified strategies for first responders, rape crisis centers, and victim advocates. We will also discuss how we as a friend, family member, and community can be prepared to respond to a victim of sexual assault in this challenging time.

Listen to last year’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month episode “Just the Evolution of Sexualt Assault Evidence Collection” with guest Dr. Pat Speck by clicking here.

If you or someone you know is need of emotional support, advice, or crisis intervention please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673), or visit, www.rainn.org, the rape, abuse and incest national network, for advocacy support online.

 

Episode 154 | Just Partnerships To Enhance Overdose Fatality Review

Episode Overview In episode five, Just Science interviews Dr. Mallory O’Brien, Assistant Professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin, to discuss how [...]

Episode 153 | Just the Story of the Healthy Grandfamilies Project

Episode Overview In episode four, Just Science sat down with Bonnie Dunn, Co-Director of the West Virginia Healthy Grandfamilies Project, to discuss a free initiative [...]

Episode 152 | Just The Importance of Identifying Emerging Drug Threats

Episode Overview In episode three, Just Science sat down with Amanda Mohr and Dr. Alex Krotulski from the Center for Forensic Science Research [...]

Episode 151 | Just the Intersection of Opioids and Illicit Stimulants: Part 2

Episode Overview This week, we continue the conversation with Dr. Zibbell as he discusses the American history of drug epidemics, what we can learn [...]

Episode 150 | Just the Intersection of Opioids and Illicit Stimulants: Part 1

Episode Overview In the first half of this two-part episode, Just Science sat down with Dr. Jon Zibbell, a Senior Public Health Analyst from RTI International, to discuss the waves of [...]