Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Global Health Interdisciplinary Symposium Series

About the Symposium

About the Roundtable

The opioid epidemic has highlighted several lacunae in America’s historical approach to addiction, leading to questions about long-standing policies and assumptions. Among these are siloed professional approaches, lack of community engagement in prevention, and limited understanding of addiction as a disease.

In stark contrast to prior epidemics, the high mortality rate and devastating costs of the growing opioid crisis have been widely felt by white, middle to upper class America. This, in turn, has led to more money and new priorities for prevention and treatment that call for a more holistic and compassionate approach, including the importance of interdisciplinary responses, community support systems to prevent addiction, and disease and harm reduction models. Widely criticized for the biased focus, professionals have realized that these approaches can be, none-the-less, creative and innovative. New calls to expand these new approaches and enforce greater restorative and interdisciplinary methods when approaching all forms of addiction are being heard across the field.

This one-day roundtable brings together people from across Chicagoland who are working in the law, law enforcement, policy, and public health fields to discuss successes and failures of addiction responses, with an emphasis on the growing opioid epidemic. With the goal of creating a special working group to facilitate experts from across fields to meet on a semi-regular basis, the culmination of the roundtable will be a white paper identifying the metrics of success in the struggle to prevent, treat, and respond to addiction through a multi-disciplinary lens. At the same time, the round-table will identify cost-effective, high impact practices that can be incorporated across the different disciplines to address a wider range of addiction responses, as well as aspirational and policy-focused approaches that participants can work together to implement and enforce through the lens of the working group. Participants have been identified specifically based on a demonstrated interest to engage in an interdisciplinary working group to push forward optimal programs and policies. The event is invitation only.

About the closing address

We are pleased to announce that Chicago Corporation Counsel Ed Siskel will be joining us from 4:30pm – 5:30pm on Friday, October 27, in Rubloff 150 Aspen Hall to talk about the path-breaking litigation initiated by the City of Chicago in 2014 against several pharmaceutical companies for deceptive marketing practices that have cost the citizens of Chicago so much in human and financial capital. This talk will be open to the public. This course has been approved for a total of 1 CLE credit hour in the state of Illinois.

Closing Remarks: Step One, Admitting We Have a Problem:  Leadership Responses to the Opioids Epidemic at Federal, State, and Local Levels

Edward N. Siskel
Corporation Counsel