Pennsylvania PBS “Battling Opioids” Television Series, airing Part 7  January 28, 2021, WHYY, WITF, PBS39, WPSU, WQED, WQLN, and WVIA.

Pennsylvania PBS “Battling Opioids” Television Series, Part 6 aired September 24, 2020, WHYY, WITF, PBS39, WPSU, WQED, WQLN, and WVIA.

Pennsylvania PBS “Battling Opioids” Television Series Addresses Current and New Treatments in Part 5 aired April 23, 2020 WHYY, WITF, PBS39, WPSU, WQED, WQLN, and WVIA.

Segments include:

Segments include:

WQED​: We revisit the story about “Chris’s Room”, Chris’s Room offers respite for those who find themselves without a home or family as they struggle to stay off drugs. The room was named for Chris Wall, a young professional who died of a heroin overdose in 2016.

WLVT:​ PBS 39 revisits Jeremy Wheaton who recommitted himself to recovery. Today, he has a steady job and is training to become a certified recovery specialist.

WITF​: Those in recovery are often told at the beginning of their journey towards sobriety that they can have a life beyond their wildest dreams. Many remember tuning out when they heard those words or questioning what they even meant. We take a look at the success of recovery.

WVIA: ​Shannon Pieck from Luzerne County battled his addiction for many years and continues his recovery. Shannon recently became a recovery specialist for Clean-Slate in Wilkes-Barre.

WHYY: The Opioid problem in Philadelphia and southeastern Pennsylvania has been challenging over the last 2 years. In 2017 Philadelphia had the highest overdose deaths of any major city in the United States. Maiken Scott and Nina Feldman of WHYY discuss some of the proposed solutions including one of the most controversial, safe injection sites.

Pennsylvania Public Media’s “Battling Opioids” Television Series Addresses Current and New Treatments in Part 4 aired January 30, 2020 WHYY, WITF, PBS39, WPSU, WQED, WQLN, and WVIA.

Segments include:

Blue Guardian program: Lehigh County’s Blue Guardian program pairs police with certified recovery specialists who visit individual’s within a few days of being revived by naloxone. The goal of this program is to offer support to families and to encourage those struggling with addiction to seek recovery programs.

PROSPER: The PROSPER program is an early intervention program that works with children and their families to help young people avoid substance abuse and behavioral problems.

Back On My Feet: Therapists and researchers agree that there are benefits of exercise, which can help individuals in recovery maintain their sobriety. Donald Davalos has struggled with substance use for more than 20 years. He recently discovered Back on My Feet, a national non-profit that serves people in recovery through organized running groups and other services.

Neonatal NAS Program: Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome is a group of problems that occur in a newborn who was exposed to opiate drugs while in the mother’s womb. NAS is a program created to help expecting mothers that are addicted to opioids.


Battling Opioids Part 3 aired September 26, 2019 on WHYY, WITF, PBS39, WPSU, WQED, WQLN, and WVIA.

Featured Stories

Mobile Help:​ Vivitrol is a once-a-month injection that is helping those with opioid addiction to move beyond cravings to sustained recovery. Although Vivitrol is proving to be an effective alternative to Methadone and Suboxone treatment, it is not yet widely available. In this story, we’ll learn about a new program that takes Vivitrol to Pennsylvania’s rural communities.

Peer Support for Recovery: ​While we hear a lot about the staggering number of people that lose their battle with opioids on a daily basis, we hear less about the number of people who enter recovery. In fact, some say peer support is what keeps those struggling with addiction in recovery.

Music and Art Therapy ​are alternative forms of treatment that are now being used in recovery. These treatments have been used to decrease symptoms of anxiety and repair damage caused by emotional trauma. New Roots Recovery Center provides hope and support to individuals with a Substance Use Disorder.

Panel discussion featuring:
Senator Gene Yaw​ represents the 23rd Senatorial District and serves on a number of Boards and Commissions. He is the Chairman of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania.

Raphael Barishansky​ is the Deputy Secretary for Health Preparedness and Community Protection at the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Deputy Secretary DiDomenico ​explains what ​resources are available through the PA HELP Hotline, 1-800-5662-HELP.

In Battling Opioids Part 2, Pennsylvania Public Media focuses on the impact of the opioid crisis on PA’s children, families and young adults. In the Battling Opioids project, Pennsylvania’s Public Media stations are coming together to produce educational programming that focuses on the opioid crisis and its effects, to share resources, and to convene community conversations. The first statewide Battling Opioids broadcast aired September 2018.

Part 2 aired April 11, 2019 on WHYY, WITF, PBS39, WPSU, WQED, WQLN, and WVIA.

Watch the Part 2 documentary and our individual stories below. Learn about the opioid crisis in Pennsylvania, its effects, and the people fighting to save their loved ones and communities.

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