Episode #24 High Truths with Gary Mendell on Stigma of Addiction

Episode 24 June 07, 2021 00:58:22
Episode #24 High Truths with Gary Mendell on Stigma of Addiction
High Truths on Drugs and Addiction
Episode #24 High Truths with Gary Mendell on Stigma of Addiction

Jun 07 2021 | 00:58:22


Show Notes

The pain of stigma comes out as Gary Mendell, CEO of Shatterproof talks about his son Brian. It is now his life mission to make a difference, and Shatterproof is doing just that. Shatterproof, under Gary’s leadership shows that words matter. For example, addiction is not just a chronic disease of the brain – it is a treatable chronic disease of the brain. Treatment gives hope. But how do we balance stigma as a stool for prevention – “don’t smoke” “drugs are bad” while we eliminate the stigma against a human being with a problem? Listen to Dr. Lev and Gary discuss this issue.

Gary Mendell

Gary Mendell, Founder and CEO, Shatterproof

Gary Mendell is the founder and CEO of Shatterproof, a national nonprofit dedicated to reversing the addiction crisis in the United States. After losing his son Brian to addiction in 2011, Gary founded Shatterproof to spare other families the tragedy his had suffered.

Since founding Shatterproof, Mr. Mendell has been recognized as a national leader in the addiction space, working to transform how opioid and substance use disorders are treated. His priorities include advocating for state and federal policy change, ending the harmful stigma of addiction, and supporting and educating our communities.

Mr. Mendell has testified in front of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis and his opinions are frequently reflected in the media.  He also serves on the Executive Advisory Board of the University of Pennsylvania’s Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, is a member of the National Quality Forum’s Technical Expert Panel for Opioid and Opioid Use Disorder, and is an advisory member of The Opioid Policy Research Collaborative at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.

Before Shatterproof, Mr. Mendell spent decades as an entrepreneur. He founded HEI Hotels & Resorts, a multi-billion-dollar company that oversees a portfolio of approximately 70 first class hotels.

Mr. Mendell received his B.S. from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and his MBA with distinction from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Shatterproof.orgLearning Points:

Ending the stigma of addiction

  1. Education – that addiction is a treatable disease
  2. Appropriate Language – make an impact on attitude
  3. Policy changes


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