Opioid addiction, vaping, politically correct medicine a few of the topics Dr. Sally Satel discussed at Purdue

The numbers of people falling ill and dying from opioids is tragic, but where does the blame fall – the failure of grief counseling or breakdowns in public policy? Are public policy solutions healing or harming as the nation copes? And, what did we learn from opioids that we can apply to vaping?

Sally Satel and President Mitch DanielsAddiction – its nature and myths – was one of the many health topics that author and psychiatrist Dr. Sally Satel addressed on Oct. 29 at Purdue University. Purdue President Mitch Daniels joined Satel for a dialogue about a variety of medical topics. The event was sponsored by the College of Pharmacy.

The “What IF We Went Beyond a Disease Model of Addiction?” event was a part of Purdue’s Ideas Festival, the centerpiece of the university’s Giant Leaps Sesquicentennial Campaign this past year, which is a series of events that connect world-renowned speakers and Purdue expertise in a conversation on the most critical problems facing the world. One of the Ideas Festival’s themes is health, longevity and quality of life.

Satel has written widely in academic journals on topics in psychiatry and medicine and has published articles on cultural aspects of medicine and science in numerous magazines and professional journals. She has testified before Congress on veterans’ issues, mental health policy, drug courts and health disparities. In addition to her scholarship and medical practice, she has experienced working in Appalachia with addicts and personally received a kidney through organ donation.

Satel is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington, D.C., think tank. She serves on the National Advisory Council of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, part of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.Sally Satel


An assistant professor at Yale University from 1988-93, she continues to lecture there. From 1993-94 she was a Robert Wood Johnson Policy Fellow with the U.S. Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee.

Satel’s most recent book, which she co-authored, is “Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience.” It was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in science. Earlier books she authored or co-authored include “Drug Treatment: The Case for Coercion,” “PC, M.D.: How Political Correctness Is Corrupting Medicine,” “When Altruism Isn’t Enough: The Case for Compensating Kidney Donors,” “The Health Disparities Myth: Diagnosing the Treatment Gap” and “One Nation Under Therapy.”

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