Optimization of the Production of Lofexidine; A Comparative Study on the Cultural Perception of Pain Management

Nguyen, John, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Anderson, Eric, EN-Chem Engr Dept, University of Virginia
Ku, Tsai-Hsuan, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

The technical section of this document discusses a scheme for the optimization of lofexidine, an opioid withdrawal drug that is designed to quickly deal with the withdrawal symptoms of opioid addicts. Unlike other opioid withdrawal drugs, lofexidine is not a weaker opiate, and can be quickly administered in a couple weeks. The technical section seeks to treat the opioid epidemic through a scientific method, treating the current addicts. It provides a description and analysis of the technical, economic, and safety aspects of a production scheme for lofexidine. Though it has some minor financial issues, it is advised that the project should be done, as it presents a high financial return while helping to alleviate a crucial social issue.
Though the technical section approaches the issue through science, the STS section of the document has the same goal of challenging the opioid epidemic. Science alone is not enough to incur change, which requires an analysis of its societal, legal, and cultural aspects. To challenge the current cultural problems with opioids, it is necessary to approach its social and cultural roots: pain and its management. The STS section of the thesis examines the use of pain management in both American and Chinese cultures to demonstrate its effects on the use of painkillers and opiates. In reflecting on the cultural roots of the misuse of pain management, only then can America begin to deal with its parasitic relationship.
The technical and STS theses attempt to analyze and provide solutions for the opioid epidemic, hoping to combat it through both a technical and social lens.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
lofexidine, opioid, opioid epidemic, pain, pain management

School of Engineering and Applied Science
Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering
Technical Advisor: Eric Anderson
STS Advisor: Sharon Ku
Technical Team Members: Julia Andreozzi, Daniel Lim, Nicholas Malmgren, Christian Mcilvenna

Issued Date: