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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, email or call 412.396.1330.

    Duquesne University

    Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic research universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. The University is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review for its rich academic programs in nine schools of study for nearly 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and by the Washington Monthly for service and contributing to students' social mobility. Duquesne is a member of the U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for its contributions to Pittsburgh and communities around the globe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges acknowledge Duquesne's commitment to sustainability.