Skip to main content

We’ve updated our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy. By using this site, you agree to these terms.

Addiction - What Lies Beneath the Behavior details what to do when ’windows of opportunity’ arise

SCRANTON – According to Dr. Gary Stoner, there’s a moment in time in the life of a person struggling with substance misuse when compassionate intervention has the power to change lives. Unfortunately, all too often that moment is marred by guilt, stigma and judgment. Dr. Stoner wants to change that by helping care providers, friends and family of a person struggling with addiction to recognize those moments and empowering them to respond effectively.

On Thursday, Aug. 29 at 5:30 p.m., he will deliver a free educational talk at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine on the subject entitled, “Addiction - What Lies Beneath the Behavior.”

“Life-changing events often act as a wake-up call for people who have long desired to change their destructive behaviors,” he said. “This window of vulnerability is an opportunity for health care providers and loved ones to engage them with the utmost compassion and avoid making them feel stigmatized and reluctant to seek care.” 

·       Addiction - What Lies Beneath the Behavior, a free educational talk

·       Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, 525 Pine Street, Scranton

·       Thursday, Aug. 29 at 5:30 p.m.

·       Register here:

·       Continuing education credits available

Dr. Stoner’s talk will help prompt self-reflection of our own maladaptive behaviors that reinforce prejudicial attitudes have significant adverse effects on those afflicted with the disease of addiction. 
The session will help attendees:

·       Recognize that language matters and that judgmental attitudes result in fear and stigma which are significant barriers to care

·       Know that successful management for recovery requires involving the patient’s input into their plan of care

·       Be mindful that behind every statistic, stands a human being who represents the face of addiction

Dr. Gary Stoner is the former OB/GYN physician director of Geisinger’s Women’s Health Opioid Use Disorder Program.  He obtained his Buprenorphine waiver in 2014 and for nine years his sole focus of practice was the treatment and management of OUD during pregnancy.  He lectures widely on the topic of stigma considering it the rate limiting step towards successful recovery. His presentations often include patients who have completed a program for OUD to impart their lived experience to enhance a fuller appreciation of this disease from the perspective of a patient.  Dr. Stoner obtained his medical degree from Marshall University School of Medicine and completed his residency at Geisinger Medical Center in 1994 where he remained on staff until his retirement in 2023.


About Geisinger
Geisinger is among the nation’s leading providers of value-based care, serving 1.2 million people in urban and rural communities across Pennsylvania. Founded in 1915 by philanthropist Abigail Geisinger, the nonprofit system generates $10 billion in annual revenues across 126 care sites — including 10 hospital campuses — and Geisinger Health Plan, with more than half a million members in commercial and government plans. Geisinger College of Health Sciences educates more than 5,000 medical professionals annually and conducts more than 1,400 clinical research studies. With 26,000 employees, including 1,700 employed physicians, Geisinger is among Pennsylvania’s largest employers with an estimated economic impact of $15 billion to the state’s economy. On March 31, 2024, Geisinger became the first member of Risant Health, a new nonprofit charitable organization created to expand and accelerate value-based care across the country. Learn more at or follow on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and X.


For education media inquiries

Elizabeth Zygmunt
Marketing and Communications Strategist for Education
Office: 570-504-9687
On call: 570-687-9703

Content from General Links with modal content