Why you should listen
A philosopher by training, bioethicist by profession and communicator by passion, Travis Rieder writes and speaks on a variety of ethical and policy issues raised by both prescription and illicit opioid use.
This wasn't always his beat, though. Both in his doctoral training at Georgetown University, and as faculty at Johns Hopkins University’s Berman Institute of Bioethics, Rieder published widely on a variety of topics in philosophy and ethics. His interest in opioids came about suddenly, after a motorcycle accident, when he took too many pills for too long and suddenly found himself with a profound dependency. In the wake of that experience, he 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.
Rieder's 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, Rieder has co-authored a Special Publication of the National Academy of Medicine on physician responsibility for the opioid epidemic, written several essays for the popular media and spoken widely on the topic to physicians, medical students and the general public. He expands on all of this work in a new book project forthcoming with HarperCollins, tentatively titled In Pain In America.