Advancing Health Equity in our Nation's Opioid Response

In the age of COVID-19, the opioid epidemic has taken a sharp turn for the worse. According to provisional data released by the CDC, drug overdose deaths in the U.S. rose by nearly 30 percent in 2020 ‒ the largest single-year increase ever recorded.

Between isolated lockdowns, economic devastation, and unprecedented times of uncertainty, overdose deaths surged. And consequences of both the COVID-19 and overdose crises have hit vulnerable populations particularly hard. Ranging from Black, Brown, and rural communities to the growing patient populations throughout the prison system, disrupted and unequal access to addiction support and treatment continues to persist.

As we continue to combat our nation’s opioid epidemic, how should we be addressing disparities in addiction treatment and provide Americans the help they need? What changes can be made to the way the criminal justice system responds to opioid use disorder? How can leaders put in place solutions that tackle these issues and the stigma surrounding them?


Tuesday, September 21, 2021
1:00 PM ET / 10:00 AM PT



  • Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), Member, Committee on Energy & Commerce; Member, Bipartisan Heroin Task Force
  • Edwin C. Chapman, MD, Specialist, Internal Medicine & Addiction Medicine 
  • Dr. Miriam Delphin-RittmonAssistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, Department of Health and Human Services
  • Regina LaBelle, Acting Director, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy
  • Mark Parrino, President, American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence
  • Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH), Member, Addiction, Treatment, & Recovery Caucus
  • Dr. Tisha Wiley, Chief of the Services Research Branch & Associate Director for Justice Systems, National Institute on Drug Abuse

Sponsor Perspective:

  • Christian Heidbreder, Chief Scientific Officer, Indivior


  • Steve Clemons, Editor-at-Large, The Hill


Join the conversation! Tweet us: @TheHillEvents using #TheHillOpioids




It’s time to rethink opioid addiction. Let’s focus on ending the stigma around opioid use disorder and removing barriers to treatment for vulnerable populations.