Mini Bioethics Academy | Opioid Addiction in America: Leveraging Community Expertise

Opioid Addiction in America: Leveraging Community Expertise


This presentation identified ways that inter-professional community-engaged research, scholarship, and practice can be useful in combating opioid use disorder. Participants learned:

  • To articulate the benefits of inter-professional community coalitions in mobilizing against opioid use disorder
  • Explain the goals of treatment courts and key components of drug courts in addressing opioid use disorder
  • Describe multiple methods of engaging with health care systems and professionals to improve care for patients with opioid use disorder

Dr. Palombi was followed by a personal story of addiction. Most discussions of the opioid crisis tend to create a gap between “addicts” who are most likely to die of overdose, and “non-addicts” who are just an accident away from opioid addiction. Matthew F. Filner is a professor of political science who discussed how and why his serious accident turned into opioid addiction.


Laura Palombi, PharmD, MPH, MAT, received a B.S. in Biology, B.A. in Theology and Master of Arts in Theology from the University of St. Thomas. She received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Minnesota in 2012, then completed a Post-Graduate Year One Residency in Ambulatory Care through the University of Minnesota at Essentia Health in Duluth, Minnesota. Laura completed her Master of Public Health degree in spring of 2015. Dr. Palombi has been involved in a variety of projects and collaborations throughout northeastern Minnesota, working on substance use prevention, intervention, recovery and harm reduction initiatives with rural and Tribal communities.

Matthew Filner, PhD, holds a PhD in political science from Indiana University (2001) and teaches courses in constitutional law, American politics, global politics, and political philosophy. In 2015-16, Professor Filner was a Fulbright scholar in Japan, where he taught courses on the 2016 American Presidential election and global politics. He has published articles in journals such as The Chronicle of Higher Education, Polity, The State and Local Government Review, the International Journal of Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies, a chapter of Democracy’s Edges, a chapter in the recently published Future Courses in Human Societies, and is a contributor to the online journals Public Seminar and MinnPost.