The David and Lyn Silfen

University Forum

Irvine Auditorium | Thursday, April 11, 2019 | 3:00 p.m.

Is There an Antidote for the Opioid Epidemic? 
Seeking a Cure for the Worst Drug Crisis in American History 


    The burgeoning abuse of opioids – including prescription pain relievers, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and heroin – and their devastating impacts ARE well-documented. The data are as shocking as they are staggering. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 130 people now die from opioid overdoses each day in the United States. As a result, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, life expectancy in the U.S. is declining at rates not seen in more than a century. How bad has it become? In the U.S., drug overdoses in 2017 exceeded the highest-ever recorded incidences of car crash deaths (1972), HIV deaths (1995), and gun deaths (1993). The CDC now estimates that the total economic impact of opioid misuse in the U.S. is $78.5 billion a year. Hospitals and healthcare providers, social service agencies, the criminal justice system, and other resources are being severely stressed. Families and entire communities are being shattered. And the problem is not limited to the U.S.: a recent report indicated that the rate of opioid use is increasing globally.

    Is there an antidote for the opioid epidemic, the worst drug crisis in American history? What brought us to this point? What is now being done, and what more can and should be done? Join Penn President Amy Gutmann and a panel of distinguished guests for a wide-ranging discussion of the opioid crisis.

We welcome you back to the David and Lyn Silfen University Forum website. We’re in our ninth year. This year's event provided once again great speakers and conversation you’ve come to expect from Penn.

President Amy Gutmann, moderator

The Christopher H. Browne Professor of Political Science and Professor in the Annenberg School for Communication.

More about Amy Gutmann

Hon. Joseph R. Biden Jr.

47th Vice President of the United States, Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice Professor at the University of Pennsylvania

More about Joe Biden

Hon. John Ellis “Jeb” Bush Sr.

43rd Governor of Florida, Presidential Practice Professor at the University of Pennsylvania

More about Jeb Bush

Hon. James F. Kenney

Mayor of Philadelphia

More about Jim Kenney

Hon. Bertha Madras

Professor of Psychobiology, Harvard Medical School; Former Deputy Director for Demand Reduction, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy

More about Bertha Madras

Jeanmarie Perrone

Professor of Emergency Medicine and Director of Medical Toxicology, Perelman School of Medicine

More about Jeanmarie Perrone

Amy Gutman, David and Lyn Silfen

About The Silfen Forum

Learn about the Silfen family and how the forum began.

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