Overdosed: Are we taking in too much? Are opioids, new media, echo chambers and the disaffected workforce interconnected?

March 1 – March 2, 2018

Austin, TX

The Westin Austin at The Domain



WHAT? Chronic pain syndrome has long been understood to relate to profound interactions between physical, psychological and emotional factors. Last year’s increase in drug overdose deaths was the largest ever recorded of any mortality statistic in history and is now the leading cause of death in America for people under 50. The opioid epidemic is undoubtedly entangled in complex social, cultural, economic and medical policy issues. Our work and our workplaces can either mitigate or exacerbate societal ills.

WHY? This HERO Think Tank is dedicated to examining how employers can effectively respond to one of the most disturbing health, well-being and productivity threats of our time. Many consider there to be compelling associations between the growing “disaffected” in communities and dysfunctional pain management. Others also see overdoses as a symptom of disruptions in clinical and pharmacological disease management practices. Education, culture change, health policy advocacy, employee benefits design and benefits administration are all candidates for reform if we are to devise serious answers to questions about what is producing such untold suffering. Our goal is to equip HERO members with a deeper understanding of the root causes of the opioid epidemic and to accelerate strategic planning that integrates pain management and prevention solutions with their overall health and well-being initiatives. In particular, we will focus on supportive relationships at work and destigmatizing mental health issues. And we will be asking whether online tools and apps are a part of the solution for bringing people together, or paradoxically, may well be impeding empathy, understanding and companionate love in the workplace.

HOW? First, we will examine best practices in pain management with an emphasis on holistic approaches to ameliorating chronic pain. Drawing on insights from invited subject matter experts, we will learn about therapeutic regimens shown to have the greatest success in addressing the multi-faceted physical, social and psychological precursors to chronic pain. Building on these learnings, in the second half of our Think Tank we will examine the use of new media and how hyper-connectivity is affecting relationships. We will review innovations in web-based well-being interventions and discuss whether the 24/7 digital drag can be re-deployed to elevate trust, gratitude and authentic connectivity at work and in our communities.


  • Please include any special food needs

Travel Information

The Westin Austin at The Domain

HERO has negotiated a discounted room rate of $249. To make reservations with the HERO Forum discount rate go online.  The discounted rate expires February 7, 2018.

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