Battling Opioids: A Project of Pennsylvania Public Media

BattlingOpioids_Logo 600 x 340.png

What to look for on Smart Talk Wednesday, March 28, 2018:

A crisis of unprecedented proportions is killing 10 to 16 Pennsylvanians every day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that number is rising every year.

In the twelve-month period ending in May 2017, a staggering 5,260 Pennsylvanians died from drug overdoses. To put this number into perspective, that is nearly five times as many people than were killed in vehicle crashes on Pennsylvania roadways during the same year.

Pennsylvania’s drug overdose rate is more than twice the national average and it continues to rise.

In January, Governor Tom Wolf issued a disaster declaration for Pennsylvania’s “heroin and opioid epidemic.”

Against this backdrop, Pennsylvania’s Public Media is collaborating efforts to produce programming that focuses on the opioid crisis and the impact it is having.

WITF kicks of Battling Opioids: A Project of Pennsylvania Public Media on Wednesday’s Smart Talk.

WITF President and CEO Kathleen Pavelko appears on Wednesday’s program to describe the project and what’s it’s intended to do.

As part of the project, all seven of Pennsylvania’s public television stations will air Broken: Women • Families • Opioids Thursday night at 9.

Beth Dolinar is the documentary producer and she’ll be on Smart Talk to discuss the film and the implications of the opioid crisis on women and their families.

battling opioids.png

Documentary producer Beth Dolinar

Keira McGuire is a producer with WITF Public Media’s Emmy award winning news and information series, Health SmartFront Line of the Opioid Crisis, will air Thursday, at 8 p.m. on WITF-TV, and she’ll be Smart Talk Wednesday to highlight first responders on the front line of the epidemic.

Kiera McGuire, Matthew Null.png

Keira McGuire, Matthew Null

Finally, while the number of overdose deaths indicates the crisis continues to grow, what do the people who work and treat those addicted to opioids, but are still living, see?  Matthew Null, the Referral Development Manager for the Central Region of Gaudenzia tells us on Smart Talk.


This story is part of Transforming Health’s Battling Opioids coverage which is a project of Pennsylvania Public Media. It is supported statewide by Geisinger and supported locally by Capital BlueCross and WellSpan Health.

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »

Up Next
Smart Talk

IFO says severance tax may cost landowners