Addiction in America

Jan 24 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

The Provost’s Series on Wicked Problems

Reception to follow.

Admission is free. Reservations required. RSVP beginning Thursday, December 8, at 9 a.m. Please check back to RSVP.

America represents 5 percent of the world’s population but consumes 50 percent of the world’s prescription pills and more than 80 percent of the world’s prescription narcotics. Both licit and illicit use of these highly addictive substances leads to tragic consequences, including death, in nearly every community in America. Filmmaker Sasha Knezev and Dr. Gregory A. Smith, MD, explored this wicked problem in the documentary films American Addict and American Addict 2: The Big Lie, which reveal the relationships between the FDA, big pharma, physicians, and the media that lead to rising rates of addiction and unnecessary deaths. Smith and Knezev will join USC professor and health-policy expert Dana Goldman for a critical conversation about the American addiction epidemic, and what it might take to save lives.

The Provost’s Series on Wicked Problems brings together special guests and USC faculty to discuss the most intractable, multifaceted problems of our time. The series was established by Provost Michael Quick in 2016 out of a belief that institutions of research and higher education must take on “wicked problems” through interdisciplinary collaboration and the education of a new generation of leaders and innovators who just might create the solutions the world needs.

Participant Bios:

Dana Goldman is the Leonard D. Schaeffer Chair and a distinguished professor of pharmacy, public policy, and economics at USC. He also directs the Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics. Goldman is a health-policy advisor to the Congressional Budget Office, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Institute, and several health-care companies. He also serves on the editorial boards of Health Affairs and the American Journal of Managed Care, and is founding editor of the Forum for Health Economics and Policy.

Serbian American filmmaker Sasha Knezev is the director of the documentary films American Addict and American Addict 2: The Big Lie, and an alumnus of the USC School of Cinematic Arts. (IMdB)

Gregory A. Smith, MD, is the executive producer of the documentary films American Addict and American Addict 2: The Big Lie. He is the former director of pain management and assistant clinical professor at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center; the founder of the Comprehensive Pain Relief Group Inc. and the GS Medical Center Inc.; and the creator of the Nutritional, Emotional, Social, and Physical (NESP) Program to combat addiction and chronic pain. (Facebook)