What You Can Do About Addiction and the Opioid Epidemic with Dr. Pierluigi Mancini, PhD

Dr. Pierluigi Mancini

Dr. Pierluigi Mancini is one of the most sought-after national and international consultants and speakers on the subject of mental health and addiction. He has over 30 years of experience in culturally and linguistically appropriate behavioral health treatment and prevention. He recently led a project to train clinicians in Latin America who are taking care of the over 4 million displaced Venezuelans suffering from trauma, PTSD, and other conditions.

He is the Chair of the Georgia Behavioral Health Planning and Advisory Council, and has been recently appointed to the Mental Health America National Board of Directors. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Wellstar Hospital, the Georgia Council on Substance Abuse, and the National Association of Mental Health Planning and Advisory Councils.

Dr. Mancini’s public service announcement and documentaries addressing underage drinking, suicide, and prescription drugs have won a combined six Emmy awards. He has been honored with the National Latina/o Psychological Association Star Vega Distinguished Service Award, the National Council of La Raza - Helen Rodríguez-Trías Award for Health, and the Mental Health America “Heroes in the Fight” Award, among others.


Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • Dr. Pierluigi Mancini shares how he began working with people who have behavioral health and addiction issues
  • Dr. Mancini shares why prevention and promotion is important in the fight against alcohol and drug addiction
  • Changes in the treatment and usage of opioids in the U.S. that Dr. Mancini has observed
  • How the huge increase in U.S. potent opioid prescriptions between 1980 to 2000 led to the most recent opioid epidemic
  • The economic burden that comes with the opioid epidemic
  • The potential danger for children who have been exposed to the use of pills to manage their mental state and behavior
  • Dr. Mancini explains why open conversations and honesty are important in preventing alcohol and drug abuse
  • Is marijuana really a gateway drug?
  • How the isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the opioid epidemic — and how people can find help

In this episode…

This isn’t the first opioid crisis that the US has experienced. When the crisis hit the country in the 70s and 80s, people who stopped using heroin ended up hooked on methadone. But, according to Dr. Pierluigi Mancini, the approach to rehabilitation and treatment has come a long way — so much so that they have started using an opiate antagonist drug in the short term for successfully treating patients.

Dr. Mancini is an expert at cultural and linguistic competence, immigrant behavioral health, and health disparities — and he says that the key to making headway in the fight against the abuse of any substance is prevention and promotion. He explains that by turning conversations into informative discussions on addiction, we can start answering the questions around why people become addicted and why they are unable to get the help they need.

Tune in to this episode of Top Minds, as Dr. Scot Gray talks with the renowned consultant on mental health and addiction, Dr. Pierluigi Mancini, about the opioid epidemic. They discuss the negative effect of prescribing opioids for pain medication, the economic burden of the opioid epidemic, the importance of open and honest conversations in preventing alcohol and substance abuse. Plus, Dr. Mancini explains the effect of the COVID-19 isolation on people who are struggling and more.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

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