Institute for Honor Symposium: Addiction and Alienation in America

Banner image of the opioid epidemic promoting the Institute for Honor Symposium

Institute for Honor Symposium

Addiction and Alienation in America: Corporate Responsibility and the Opioid Crisis

March 8-9, 2024

*The registration period has closed. If you are interested in attending this event, please call Lifelong Learning at 540-458-8723.


The 2024 Institute for Honor (IFH) symposium will consider “Addiction and Alienation in America: Corporate Responsibility and the Opioid Crisis.” Exacerbated by the pandemic, recent estimates indicate that over one million people have died from opioid overdoses in the U.S. since 2000, prompting experts to declare a public health emergency. This crisis has had a profound impact on society, affecting individuals from all socioeconomic and racial groups but disproportionately impacting communities with limited access to healthcare and support systems. Fueled by over-prescription and misuse of painkillers, the opioid crisis has prompted urgent discussions on policy reform, equitable treatment access, and greater awareness and education about opioids.

This year, the IFH symposium will explore a range of ethical considerations, from pharmaceutical company culpability to physician prescribing practices. The 2024 IFH keynote address, “Raising Lazarus: The Search for Solutions—And Hope—To Addiction, The No. 1 Destroyer of Families in Our Lifetime,” will be delivered by journalist Beth Macy. Macy is the bestselling author of multiple books, including two critically acclaimed and incisive works addressing the opioid epidemic, Dopesick and Raising Lazarus. She was also a writer and executive producer for “Dopesick," the Emmy award-winning Hulu series based on her book.

Macy will be joined by a range of experts including, Tammi Etheridge, Visiting Professor of Law at W&L; R. Edward Freeman, University Professor and Academic Director of the Institute for Business in Society at the University of Virginia; and Kate Nicholson, Founder and Executive Director of the National Pain Advocacy Center. The symposium is directed by Kish Parella, the Class of 1960 Professor of Ethics and Law, who will engage each of the panelists in a ranging discussion about the ethical considerations inherent in the opioid crisis and its consequences.

Established in 2000 at Washington and Lee by a generous endowment from the Class of 1960, the Institute for Honor includes an array of initiatives and specific programs designed to promote the understanding and practice of honor as an indispensable element of society. The Institute for Honor Symposium is dedicated to the advocacy of honor as the core value in personal, professional, business, and community relations.

W&L's weekend seminars offer participants a getaway in Lexington coupled with unique lifelong learning and social networking opportunities. Participants stay in local inns and hotels, while the program, receptions, dinner, and lunch are on the W&L campus. Programs begin on Friday afternoon and conclude after lunch on Saturday.

Supplementary Material for the Keynote Address:

*Five-Star Festival participants are automatically registered for the symposium.


Speaker headshots for Institute for Honor Symposium: Addiction and Alienation in America

If you are unable to attend the on-campus event, please contact our office via email for details on how to register for a livestream of the keynote address.