NEWTON, MA—The Opioid Epidemic is devastating communities across the country. Overdoses have become the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 55. This panel will examine its origins and expose the role pharmaceutical companies played in pushing it into the American market.

Barry Meier, Moderator

Barry Meier is the author of Pain Killer: An Empire of Deceit and the Origin of America’s Opioid Epidemic.He was a member of the NYT reporting team that won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting. Moreover, and the first journalist to shed a national spotlight on the abuse of OxyContin.

Rick Dyer, Panelist

Rick Dyer is an attorney and advocate for recovery who has been on both sides of the law. Moreover, he overcame a heroin addiction, homelessness and incarceration. Having received a Governor’s pardon, he presently practices law in the same court out of which he was sentenced over eight times. He has appeared in numerous national and international publications and broadcasts.

Dr. Andrew Kolodny, Panelist

Dr. Andrew Kolodny is one of the nation’s leading experts on the prescription opioid and heroin crisis. He is also currently Co-Director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.

Professor Bertha Madras, PhD, Panelist

Professor Madras is a professor of psychobiology at Harvard Medical School and director of the Laboratory of Addiction Neurobiology at McLean Hospital, with a cross-appointment at Mass Gen.  In addition, she is a member of the National Academy of Medicine Collaborative on the opioid crisis and has received numerous awards for her work.

Panel discussion will take place on Tuesday, April 2 from 7:30-9pm at the JCC Riemer Goldstein Theater (333 Nahanton Street) in Newton.

America’s Opioid Crisis is part of the Jonathan Samen Hot Buttons, Cool Conversations Discussion Series at JCC Greater Boston. This is a program of the Ryna Greenbaum JCC Center for the Arts. Tickets are $20 (www.bostonjcc.org/hotbuttons). Contact 617-558-6522 or cpo@jccgb.org for more info.

As a 501(c)(3), JCC Greater Boston does not endorse or oppose candidates for public office or political parties.