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President Clinton Will Bring Faith and Science Leaders Together to Fight the Overdose Crisis

As overdose deaths hit 1 million since 1999, the Clinton Foundation, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and The Centre for Responsible Leadership continue this critical series of convenings.


On Tuesday, February 1, President Bill Clinton will bring leaders from faith and science together to take action on the worsening addiction and overdose crisis in the U.S. Based on recent data, overdose deaths are expected to surpass the 1 million mark since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began measuring them in 1999. And, according to CDC data released last summer, more than 100,000 individuals died from a drug overdose in the U.S. during the 12-month period ending in April 2021, the most of any year on record.

Public health experts agree on many approaches to reduce harm from addiction and overdose, such as reducing stigma, expanding treatment, and providing mental health support. These approaches can be advanced in many ways, including through public policy. However, communities of faith have been under-utilized in the public health effort to fight substance use disorders. This virtual series offers an opportunity to explore this topic in depth and to inspire leaders to action.

Bridging Faith and Science to Combat the Overdose Crisis event details:


  • Tuesday, February 1, 1–2 p.m. EST


  • President Bill Clinton, Founder and Board Chair, Clinton Foundation; 42nd President of the United States
  • Patrick J. Kennedy, Former U.S. Representative; Lead Author, Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (Federal Parity Law); Founder, The Kennedy Forum; Co-chair, National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s Mental Health & Suicide Prevention National Response to COVID-19; Co-chair, Bipartisan Policy Center’s Behavioral Health Integration Task Force
  • Dr. Chinazo Cunningham, Acting Commissioner of the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports
  • Rabbi Arthur Schneier, Senior Rabbi, New York City’s Park East Synagogue; human rights activist; Founder and President, Appeal of Conscience Foundation
  • H.E. Dr. Mohammad Abdulkarim Al-Issa, Chairman of The Centre for Responsible Leadership
  • Ellen J. MacKenzie, PhD, ScM, Dean, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

The convening is the third in the virtual series “Bridging Faith and Science to Combat the Overdose Crisis,” co-hosted by the Clinton Foundation, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and The Centre for Responsible Leadership.

Sign up for updates on this convening, and watch the event next month at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School website, here.

With the series’ inaugural event in May 2021, The Centre for Responsible Leadership launched an Addiction and Overdose Crisis Action Center with concrete steps that faith and community leaders could take to fight the overdose crisis, informed by expertise from the Clinton Foundation and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

In addition to working with faith leaders, the Clinton Foundation has worked for nearly a decade to address the opioid crisis, bringing together experts from across sectors to research, compile, and disseminate the best available science on substance use disorder. A 2017 convening with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health led to a widely cited white paper, “The Opioid Epidemic: From Evidence to Impact,” that recommends specific actions to address this crisis. The Foundation also works to distribute the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone across the country, with more than 500,000 doses deployed so far to recovery residences, schools and universities, and other community organizations through ongoing partnerships.

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Media contacts: Carly Kempler at and B
arbara Benham at

Learn more about the Clinton Foundation at, on Facebook at, and on Twitter @ClintonFdn.

Learn more about the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: You can follow the Bloomberg School’s work on substance use disorder here and by subscribing to our newsletter.

Learn more about The Centre for Responsible Leadership: The Centre for Responsible Leadership is dedicated to assembling global thought leaders to find sustainable solutions to the major challenges plaguing our world today and drive their rapid adoption. Learn more at