Journalist and author Beth Macy is going to be speaking at the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday, Sept. 26. Macy’s lecture will explore the relationship between mental health and addiction through the stories of people she has interviewed in her work. The lecture is hosted by SUBOG and the UConn Suicide Prevention Committee.
Macy’s lecture is one of many events that will take place during Suicide Prevention Week. Every year, according to Assistant Director, Director of Outreach in Mental Health Erin Cox, the UConn Suicide Prevention Committee hopes to bring a speaker to campus for Suicide Prevention Week who has a personal story or professional knowledge on the topic of mental health and suicide prevention. In the past few years, the committee has hoped to raise more awareness on how mental health and addiction often go hand in hand.
“When Beth Macy came to our attention (courtesy of Professor Mike Stanton) we knew her groundbreaking work on the opioid epidemic would be the opportunity to bridge these intersecting worlds,” Cox said.
Macy is the author of the New York Times bestseller “Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company that Addicted America.” The book delves into America’s opioid crisis and how it has been rooted in our nation’s history for over two decades. According to Jorgensen’s event description, “Overdose deaths are now the equivalent of a jetliner crashing in our country every day, and yet the government response to the epidemic remains, in a word, impotent.” Macy analyzes this issue through her wide array of research, whether it’s from the perspective of doctors who accepted the norm of overprescribing painkillers in the 90s or the stories of families across the country who have been torn apart from opioid addiction. Through books, court cases and true stories, Macy builds hope for a better future for those affected.
“Her work on the opioid epidemic and the related mental health issues hits on an issue that has touched many lives at UConn, in Connecticut and across the country,” Cox said. “Not only will her talk focus on specific stories of people she has interviewed and known, but she will also focus on the ways in which we can come together to overcome this epidemic and provide support to those who desperately need it.”
Brandon Barzola is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.