I want to help find a solution to America’s opioid crisis—and if that sounds a bit too lofty, I'll settle for making clear, incremental progress in a responsible, evidence-based way.
A philosopher by training, bioethicist by profession, and communicator by passion, I write and speak on a variety of ethical and policy issues raised by both prescription and illicit opioid use.
This wasn’t always my beat, though. Both in my doctoral training at Georgetown University, and as faculty at Johns Hopkins University’s Berman Institute of Bioethics, I've published widely on a variety of topics in philosophy and ethics. My interest in opioids came about suddenly, after a very intimate run-in with the American healthcare system left me with a profound dependence on oxycodone. In the wake of that experience, I became driven to discover why medicine is so bad at dealing with prescription opioids, and how that problem is related to the broader drug overdose epidemic.
My first article on the topic, in the journal Health Affairs, was one of the most-read essays in 2017 and was excerpted by the Washington Post. Since then, I have written and spoken extensively on the topic for both scholarly and general audiences. The culmination of my first three years of research on the topic is my book, In Pain: A Bioethicist’s Personal Struggle with Opioids.