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Luncheon Keynote: Regaining Balance in a Dopamine Saturated World   more info Free  
Evening Keynote: Drug Dealer, MD   more info Free  

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Three out of four people addicted to heroin probably started on a prescription opioid, according to the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the United States alone, 16,000 people die each year as a result of prescription opioid overdose. But perhaps the most frightening aspect of the prescription drug epidemic is that it’s built on well-meaning doctors treating patients with real problems.

Join us for two riveting conversations: 

Luncheon Keynote: Regaining Balance in a Dopamine Saturated WorldThe Ecumenical Center, 8310 Ewing Halsell, 11:30 am to 2 pm

Evening Keynote: Drug Dealer, MD @ UT Health, Pestana Hall, 7703 Floyd Curl Dr., 5:30 pm reception, 6 to 7 pm lecture

In this Conversations About Ethics, Dr. Anna Lembke will uncover the unseen forces driving opioid addiction nationwide. Combining case studies from her own practice with vital statistics drawn from public policy, cultural anthropology, and neuroscience, she explores the complex relationship between doctors and patients, the science of addiction, and the barriers to successfully addressing drug dependence and addiction. Even when addiction is recognized by doctors and their patients, she argues, many doctors don’t know how to treat it, connections to treatment are lacking, and insurance companies won’t pay for rehab.

This conversation is for anyone whose life has been touched in some way by addiction to prescription drugs - whether those who have struggled personally or those who are providing care on the front lines. Dr. Lembke gives voice to the millions of Americans struggling with prescription drugs while singling out the real culprits behind the rise in opioid addiction: cultural narratives that promote pills as quick fixes, pharmaceutical corporations in cahoots with organized medicine, and a new medical bureaucracy focused on the bottom line that favors pills, procedures, and patient satisfaction over wellness. Dr. Lembke concludes that the prescription drug epidemic is a symptom of a faltering health care system, the solution for which lies in rethinking how health care is delivered.

Learning Objectives:

  • build an understanding of how the brain's pleasure-pain balance works and how it is unsuited for today's world of plenty
  • identify the invisible forces driving opioid overprescription and describe the ethical dilemmas facing compassionate physicians in this regard, along with the motiviations of drug-seeking patients
  • understand how addiction activates the brain's reward pathway
  • describe more effective strategies for helping individuals who are misusing or addicted to prescription drugs


Anna Lembke, MD, received her undergraduate degree in Humanities from Yale University and her medical degree from Stanford University School of Medicine. She completed a residency in Psychiatry, and a fellowship in mood disorders, both at Stanford, and is currently Associate Professor and Chief of the Stanford Addiction Medicine Dual Diagnosis Clinic. She has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles, chapters, and commentaries, and is author of the book: Drug Dealer, MD: How Doctors Were Duped, Patients Got Hooked, and Why It’s So Hard to Stop (Johns Hopkins University Press, November 2016).

Have questions about Drug Dealer MD? Contact Conversations About Ethics

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The luncheon keynote will be held at The Ecumenical Center, 8310 Ewing Halsell, and the evening keynote will be held in Pestana Hall at UT-Health, 7703 Floyd Curl


Conversations About Ethics

Conversations About Ethics is a collboration of UT-Health and The Ecumenical Center with underwriting provided by Methodist Healthcare Ministries.

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Drug Dealer MD
Seminar Health

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