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Gene Tinelli, MD, Ph.D.

Why are Prisons Packed with Non-violent Drug Users? Gene Tinelli, MD, Ph.D., an addiction psychiatrist and former Commander, U.S. Navy Medical Corps, speaks passionately about the need to treat drug users with dignity and respect. Dr. Tinelli has developed interview methods that are based on this premise, which he uses with clients to motivate them to take charge of their health. To show the effectiveness of these methods, Dr. Tinelli often interviews drug users as part of his presentations. Dr. Tinelli is also highly knowledgeable about successful European "harm reduction" policies, such as prescribing heroin to addicts to help relieve the physical, mental, and emotional suffering they experience as they buy, sell, and use drugs in the illegal market. He advocates replacing the U.S. War on Drugs with such policies, which he says, help addicts to more easily overcome their addictions.

"Whether addressing students, treatment specialists, drug users, parents or partners, Dr. Tinelli is a dynamic speaker. His enthusiasm and excitement enrapture the audience. At the core of every talk he gives is his unwavering belief in the inherent value, worth and dignity of the individual. He will often interview patients as part of his training presentations; you literally watch as he teaches you how to motivate patients into wanting treatment and to be in control of their lives and their health. It as an awesome experience. He is so human. I've been a psychiatric social worker for nearly forty years and I'm still learning from him." -- George Blakeslee, Director, Formal Institute for Applied Psychiatry, SUNY Upstate Medical University