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“New York’s Opioid Crisis” Combining Original Content, Multi-Platform Resources,
Statewide Partnerships, and Local Special Programing

WPBS-TV announced today that public broadcasting stations across New York State will air special programing examining the opioid crisis during the week of October 14.  “New York’s Opioid Crisis” is a first of its kind partnership to draw attention to this public health crisis and raise awareness of services available in local communities for those impacted by opioid addiction.

Public broadcasting is renown for its thoughtful and thorough approach to public affairs and social issues, and “New York’s Opioid Crisis” will touch on topics as wide-ranging as the science of addiction, reducing the stigma of addiction and recovery, opioids and the arts, opioid addiction among veterans, and what public health officials are doing to combat the problem.

WPBS-TV also announced that this special programing was made possible through a unique partnership with the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS).

“Substance use disorder is chronic, and so people very often will need to stay in some level of treatment for a longer period of time. Maybe the idea was that you could recover really quickly. All you had to do was stop using and everything would turn back to normal. That’s certainly not true, and when you’re talking about people that are using opioids, the negative impact on their life, in general, is quite severe, in many, many ways. People do start, at times, very early in their lives, so they have many, many ways that they could use assistance. Someone can remain on medication-assisted therapy for as long as they choose, and that could be the rest of their life.” – Caryn White

“New York’s Opioid Crisis” brings together nine PBS television stations and five NPR stations in a first of its kind effort to focus on a single issue across multiple platforms—broadcast television, radio, podcasts, online streaming, social media, and more.

Program information about public broadcasting’s “New York’s Opioid Crisis” special programing is included below.

– Wednesday, October 17 at 9 pm on PBS
Discover how opioid addiction affects the brain and how evidence-based treatments are saving lives.  Hear firsthand from individuals struggling with addiction and follow the cutting-edge work of doctors and scientists as they investigate why addiction is not a moral failing, but a chronic, treatable medical condition. Easy access to drugs like heroin, fentanyl, and even prescription medications like OxyContin has fueled an epidemic.

– Monday, October 15 at 9 pm repeats Saturday, October 20 at 5 pm
Highlights the work being done in New York State to combat addiction and reminds viewers that addiction is a chronic disease that is treatable. The film, narrated by acclaimed television journalist Laurie Dhue, profiles multiple people in various stages of recovery, who share their stories and experiences.

“Overdose: Inside the Epidemic”
– Thursday, October 18 at 9 pm
Just eight weeks after their son Patrick died of a heroin overdose, Mary and Joe Mullin courageously share their story in this one-hour special, Second Opinion—Overdose: Inside the Epidemic.  A panel of experts discuss the drug epidemic in the U.S., and offer solid, timely information about prevention and treatment.

“United to Fight it”
– Monday, October 15 at 10 pm repeats Saturday, October 20 at 6 pm
Available online at wpbstv.org/watch beginning October 14 at 6am.
WPBS-TV hosts a panel of experts from the Tri-County Region to discuss the latest resources and strategies being utilized in Northern New York to combat opioid addiction.

“Understanding the Opioid Epidemic”
– Monday, October 15 at 10:30pm
Understanding the Opioid Epidemic will combine stories of people and communities impacted by this epidemic along with information from experts and those at the frontlines of dealing with the epidemic.

The Association of Public Broadcasting Stations of New York represents all nine public television stations throughout the state.  They are: WNED (Buffalo), WXXI (Rochester), WCNY (Syracuse), WSKG (Binghamton), WPBS-TV (Watertown), Mountain Lake PBS (Plattsburgh), WMHT (Troy), WNET (NYC), and WLIW (Long Island).

WPBS-TV is a non-profit public television station serving approximately 650,000 households throughout Northern New York and Eastern Ontario. WPBS-TV’s mission: Trusted as the source for life-long education, entertainment, and information to our two-nation regions through quality media content, partnerships, and service that inspires those we serve. More information about WPBS is available at www.wpbstv.org, or by following WPBS on Twitter and Facebook.