Heroin and the Law of Unintended Consequences

Sep. 10, 2014
Alumnus Offers Unique Perspective on Growing Problem

William A. Roberts, M.D., Ph.D., alumnus of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry (SMD) and medical director of Vermont’s biggest narcotics management practice, is speaking at the University on Friday, September 19.  His lecture, titled Heroin and the Law of Unintended Consequences: Insights to Overdose Risk Reduction, is scheduled from noon to 1 p.m. in the SMD Class of 1962 Auditorium.  The lecture is free and open to the public.

While Roberts is on the front line helping users overcome their addiction, he has also spent time tracing the origin of today’s heroin crisis to a series of specific events with unintended consequences.

“You have to think about how the pool balls are all going to hit one another, and how that could result in the eight ball going in the wrong pocket,” Roberts says.

An anesthesiologist, Roberts began working to expand substance abuse treatment services in his community after a friend succumbed to heroin.  He has gone on to work with the Vermont State Police and other organizations to develop solutions, and he provides drug addiction and treatment expertise to groups across the region.  Roberts is also a candidate for Vermont State Senate.