Drug Dealer, MD: Overprescription and the Opioid Crisis in America


WHAT:  Drug Dealer, MD: How Doctors Were Duped, Patients Got Hooked, and Why It’s So Hard to Stop


WHEN:  5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct 5


WHERE: UT Health San Antonio Pestana Lecture Hall, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, Texas 78229


WHO: Anna Lembke, M.D.


NOTE: Free and open to the public; Register here


Information from the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics, UT Health San Antonio

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.

In this Conversations About Ethics presentation, 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.  Register

Also join us for our luncheon keynote on Finding Balance in a Dopamine-Saturated World. Details.


Anna Lembke, MDAnna Lembke, M.D., 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 more than 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).

This presentation is provided by the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics, UT Health San Antonio; Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas Inc.; and the Ecumenical Center for Education, Counseling & Health.

Continuing Medical Education: The Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Long School of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 3.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 

American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) accepts certificates of attendance for educational activities certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ from organizations accredited by the ACCME.

Healthcare professionals receiving a certificate of attendance should consult with their licensing board for information on applicability and acceptance.

This activity is pending approval of ethics credit.

Continuing Education UnitsThe Ecumenical Center is an approved provider of continuing education by the state of Texas for the following: LPC, LMFT, LCDC and Social Workers. The lunchtime seminar provides 2 Ethics Continuing Education Unit, and the evening keynote provides 1 Ethics Continuing Education Unit.

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The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, with missions of teaching, research and healing, is one of the country’s leading health sciences universities and is now called UT Health San Antonio™. UT Health’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced more than 33,000 alumni who are advancing their fields throughout the world. With seven campuses in San Antonio and Laredo, UT Health San Antonio has a FY 2018 revenue operating budget of $838.4 million and is the primary driver of its community’s $37 billion biomedical and health care industry. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit www.uthscsa.edu.

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