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Battling opioids - A project of Pennsylvania Public Media

Written by Merideth Bucher, Producer | Sep 24, 2018 4:37 AM

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What to look for on Smart Talk Monday, September 24, 2018:

Pennsylvania has one of the highest opioid overdose death rates in the nation; nearly 13 people die everyday. The disease knows no socio-economic boundaries, and because of the wide-ranging social impact on families and communities, the crisis affects all of us.

Across the state, Pennsylvania Public Media stations WHYY (Philadelphia), WITF (Harrisburg), WLVT/PBS39 (Greater Lehigh Valley), WPSU (State College), WQED (Pittsburgh), WQLN (Northwestern Pennsylvania), and WVIA (Northeastern Pennsylvania) are collaborating to produce educational programming that focuses on the opioid crisis and its impact. 

To begin the project "Battling Opioids," an hourlong television special produced by the partners, will air on all stations on Thursday, September 27, at 8 pm across the state.

Smart Talk will feature discussions relating to the opioid battle throughout this week. On Monday's program, WITF's Director of Programming and Promotions Fred Vigeant and WITF Transforming Health reporter Brett Sholtis join us to talk about the station collaboration and the opioid problem in Pennsylvania. Also with us is Dr. John Gallagher, chair of the Pennsylvania Medical Society's Opioid Advisory Task Force and Matt Null, referral development manager of Gaudenzia addiction treatment and recovery.

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Matthew Null and Dr. John Gallager

You can help increase awareness and reduce stigma in your hometown by joining WITF's Transforming Health project for a preview of the documentary and community conversation on Tuesday, September 25, at the WITF Public Media Center from 6:30-8pm. 

An expert panel will include Jack Carroll, executive director of Cumberland Perry Drug and Alcohol Commission, Dr. Matt Howie, executive director of the York Regional Opiate Collaborative, and Kristin Varner, chief communications officer for The RASE Project.

Watch, learn, and share your thoughts at this community conversation and watch event. Click here  to register. 

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