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The Opioid Crisis: A Community Dialogue

WGBY's The Opioid Crisis: A Community Dialogue

Watch "The Opioid Crisis: A Community Dialogue"

Confronting Opioid Addiction

Some call it an epidemic. Some call it a crisis. Whatever the label, too many western New Englanders know someone affected by opioid misuse. Addictive painkillers and illegal narcotics have affected thousands of local families — and will affect thousands more without the intervention of community, medical, and political stakeholders. View a list of community resources about addiction.

In partnership with the Center for Human Development (CHD) and the Berkshire Eagle, WGBY facilitated  a town hall-style discussion, entitled The Opioid Crisis: A Community Dialogue. The goal of the effort is to give voice to those concerned about opioid addiction in western New England. The forum was broadcast live on Thursday, May 11 at 8 p.m.

PERSPECTIVES & PARTICIPATION

More than 1,400 Massachusetts residents died last year due to opioid-related overdose (non-suicide), according to the Mass. Dept. of Public Health. Daunting numbers like these led to the Massachusetts Legislature and Governor Charlie Baker to enact “An Act Relative to Substance Use, Treatment, Education, and Prevention.” They have also inspired initiatives like the Opioid Taskforce, which aims to reduce opioid addiction in Franklin County and the North Quabbin Region.

The Opioid Crisis: A Community Dialogue features a panel of experts on the topic that includes treatment providers, government leaders, and individuals who themselves struggled with the disease of addition. Producer and host Carrie Saldo discussed topics that covered the science of addiction, the mental and physical impact of opioid abuse, treatment options, and the stigma of recovery.

 “We hope people will come together to better understand not only the challenges of abusing these drugs,” Saldo says, “but also to discuss potential solutions to this problem.