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Finding Solutions to the Opioid Crisis: What Becoming a Patient Taught Me About America’s Problem with Opioids

Travis Rieder, PhD (Berman Institute of Bioethics), began his journey down the rabbit hole of opioid dependence with a motorcycle accident in 2015. Enduring half a dozen surgeries, the drugs he received were both miraculous and essential to his recovery. But his most profound suffering came several months later when he went into acute opioid withdrawal while following his physician’s orders, and experienced what it means to be "dope sick."

The Yale Program in Addiction Medicine welcomes Dr. Reider to share about his personal struggle with opioids and how his experience speaks to the broader history of opioid prescribing in the U.S., approaches in pain management and the science of addiction, as well as the systemic and cultural barriers we must overcome to address the opioid crisis effectively.

Dr. Rieder is the Assistant Director for Education Initiatives, Director of the Master of Bioethics degree program and Research Scholar at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. He is also a Faculty Affiliate at the Center for Public Health Advocacy within the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. A philosopher by training, bioethicist by profession, and communicator by passion, Dr. Rieder is author of In Pain: A Bioethicist’s Personal Struggle with Opioids.

This event is part of the Yale Program in Addiction Medicine's Finding Solutions for the Opioid Crisis speaker series made possible by generous support from the Sandgaard Foundation.


  • Johns Hopkins Berman Institute for Bioethics

    Travis Rieder, PhD
    Assistant Director of Educational Initiatives and Director of the Masters in Bioethics Program



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