BROADCAST AND WATCH EVENTS
“Battling Opioids,” an hourlong television special produced collaboratively by seven Pennsylvania Public Media stations, aired statewide on Thursday, September 27, at 8 p.m. It will re-air December 20 at 8 p.m. on your local public media channel, with an all-new guest panel. You can help increase awareness and reduce stigma in your hometown by joining or hosting a community conversation. You can watch the documentary or our individual stories below.GET INVOLVED
Watch the full, 90-minute "news magazine" program and panel featuring stories and expert commentary on the opioid crisis from across Pennsylvania.
Stories of Hope
Voices of Hope
Seven people from Western Pennsylvania offer simple words of encouragement that may help others fighting opioid addictions.
Paris lost both of her parents to complications from their drug use. Following their deaths, she became one of the over 437,000 American children in foster care. The Program Director at The Bair Foundation, a foster care agency in York, says foster care agencies do not have enough foster families for teenagers, like Paris. She says fostering teens can be challenging but also rewarding and she hopes more families will come forward to meet the need.
Drug Take-Back Boxes
Dr. Kim Burns, Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine School of Pharmacy, explains why Drug Take-Back boxes are an important focus on alleviating the health and safety concerns stemming from the diversion and abuse of prescription drugs, by helping our citizens properly dispose of unused prescription medications.
Access to the Antidote
Since Montgomery County issued its own standing order for naloxone prescriptions in October 2015, independent pharmacies have distributed about 1,000 packs of the life-saving overdose antidote. Advocates say the access has saved lives -- and given addicts and their families another chance for recovery.
Opioids in Rural Pennsylvania
Living in the isolated rural counties of Pennsylvania poses unique challenges to those seeking treatment for opioid addiction. In Susquehanna County, Barnes Kasson Hospital and the community action agency Trehab are working to make recovery treatment more effective for those who chose that path.
Predicting to Prevent
A new, simple, test promises to identify patients at risk of becoming addicted to opioids. The CEO of Prescient Medicine, doctor Keri Donaldson, believes this test will give doctors the type of information they need to make a more informed decision about prescriptions and patient care. Mother and advocate Brenda Goldman describes how opioid addiction has impacted her family and how a test like this could help.
Hitting Bottom, Giving Back
Former Philadelphia sportscaster Don Tollefson knows he couldn't have gotten sober in prison without help. Now he mentors others. Tollefson and others talk about how best to help people who are dealing with substance use issues.
Opioids and Antidotes
Dr. Fred Mirarchi, of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center - Hamot's Emergency Department, talks about how opioid overdose reversal drugs like Narcan act on the body and brain—and why they can’t always save someone.
Alexis Johnson: Fall, Rise, Believe
Prescribed pain medication after a serious car accident, Alexis Johnson struggled with years of addiction, multiple overdoses, self-harm and jail sentences. Today, after three years in recovery, she's a successful model and motivational speaker with a message that spreads hope to those who have fallen on hard times.
Chris Wall died of an opioid overdose. But his death inspired the creation of a quiet retreat in Washington, PA, where others find solace and support in battling their addictions.
Opioids and Babies: Lisa and Isabella's Story
Every day in the U.S., 25 babies are born dependent on opioids. Lisa, who used heroin until she discovered she was 23 weeks pregnant, had to watch her baby, Isabella, go through opioid withdrawal. Lisa feels stigma prevents some pregnant women from getting the help they need.
Medication-assisted treatment is sometimes called the "gold standard" of addiction care. However, negative public perceptions surround treatment clinics. In this video, medical professionals and patients discuss providing and receiving the treatment they describe as life-changing.
Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs
Dr. Kim Burns, of the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine's School of Pharmacy, talks about the importance of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs). PDMPs continue to be among the most promising state-level interventions to improve opioid prescribing, inform clinical practice, and protect patients at risk.
A Home for Redemption
At Hogar Crea in Freemansburg, Pa., just outside Bethlehem, people struggling with substance use disorder submit to an intense, 20-month residential treatment program aimed at restoring the whole person and reclaiming lives.
Sex, Drugs & Rock 'N Roll - The Journey of Addiction
Hosted by Erin Anastos, a recovering drug user, the program sheds light on the dangers of addiction through candid interviews with...WATCH
Heroin Addiction Robs Lancaster County Family of Son
The story of Anthony Perez, who died of a heroin overdose in 2014.LISTEN