When in comes to addiction and depression, Dr. Jeffery Talbot has seen even the most unlikely person fall from grace.
He once watched a friend and former colleague who was a pharmacist lose everything after he developed an addiction to prescription medications.
“As a pharmacist, the pills were right behind him,” Talbot said. “He began to divert pills to feed his addiction.”
He was discovered.
“He lost his career and had serious legal ramifications,” Talbot said.
This isn’t the first and won’t be the last person to suffer from drug abuse or depression.
Roseman University of Health Sciences, 11 Sunset Way, recently announced the development of a research center devoted to substance abuse and depression.
The center is being directed by Talbot, an associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences for Roseman’s College of Pharmacy.
Talbot said the center will be reaching out to professionals in the medical industry. He said this serves two purposes: It educates health professionals on issues that might play a role while they are working with clients and patients, or it provides personal development training.
“Caregivers are predisposed to developing addictions,” Talbot said. “It’s important to instill a sense of caution for them early in their career.”
But outreach is also for the general public since the subject affects many lives.
About one in five Americans with a disorder such as depression also has a drug addiction.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 90 percent of people who commit suicide have a mental disorder that could have been diagnosed.
“Unfortunately, when not treated, suicide is a common result,” Talbot said.
These topics are applicable to the state, Talbot said.
“Las Vegas, and Nevada in general, has a tremendous need for this type of education and support,” he said.
According to Jason Roth, a spokesman with Roseman University, Nevada is fifth in the nation in suicide.
“The state is fourth on drug overdose mortality rate,” he said. “Nevada is home to many vices. With those vices come staggering statistics on depression and drug abuse.”
Talbot said in Nevada suicide is the third-leading cause of death for teens and the sixth-leading cause for those in rural areas.
“The theory is because they have less access to psychiatric help,” he said.
Talbot added that the center is focusing on depression and substance abuse because of how those topics are connected.
“Depression and drug addiction are two of the most common and debilitating mental health conditions that far too often go hand and hand together,” he said.
The center also collaborates with institutions around the country such as the University of Mississippi and the University of Michigan Medical School.
Talbot hopes the next year of outreach and education will culminate in a symposium in the spring of 2015.
“We just want to be a benefit to the community and provide it with resources,” he said.
In the future, Talbot is open to having trial studies.
However, that type of research requires considerable resources. He added that it is easier to partner with corporations in the drug industry that have the necessary resources to go forward with clinical trials. In the meantime, he thinks the Las Vegas Valley is a prime spot to have a center because emphasis on the health care industry is growing in the area.
With schools such as UNLV, Touro University Nevada and Nevada State College offering fields from nursing to pharmaceutical studies — and UNLV proposing a medical school — Talbot said this center could be a resource for those studying in the industry.
For more information, visit roseman.edu.
Contact Henderson View reporter Michael Lyle at email@example.com or 702-387-5201.