Skip to main

The Opioid Crisis

Season 2 - Episode 4 The Opioid Crisis

  • 115 mins
  • Aired September 28, 2020

The opioid crisis in Georgia will be examined throughout this two-hour special which includes an hour-long episode and an expert panel discussion with questions from GPB viewers. The episode documents the roots of the opioid crisis and how it took hold in Georgia and addresses the latest information about the increase in addiction rates and overdose deaths during COVID. It takes an in-depth look at medication-assisted treatment and public health efforts to reach Georgia’s underserved communities to help battle the opioid crisis. The panel discussion will accompany the episode, providing a robust primetime special filled with information and resources for the people of Georgia and beyond.

Watch in Segments

alt
alt

Opioid Introduction

5 mins

This episode is removing the opioid stigma with straight talk and facts and hope – and we hope to answer some of the questions that you in the audience have sent us -- because there is a way forward out of this crisis.

alt
alt

Eastern Kentucky and Opioids

3 mins

The special takes a look at the Appalachian region of eastern Kentucky as a place that has been dragged through decades of a crisis that has ruined generations of families. Emory University and the University of Kentucky partner for a study called Care2Hope, studying community responses to the opioid crisis.

alt
alt

Erica Walker

3 mins

Erica Walker discusses her addiction to opioids and what led her to recovery. Now, a dozen years into recovery, she helps people like herself as a therapist. Dr. Sharon Walsh at the University of Kentucky also discusses bringing an integrated set of evidence-based practices into communities that have been highly affected by the opioid crisis.

alt
alt

Georgia Opioid Statistics

3 mins

Opioid statistics in the state of Georgia for doses prescribed and related deaths are discussed. Dr. Claire Coles, one of the world's leading experts on neonatal abstinence syndrome, discusses how babies are affected.

alt
alt

Caleb Alexander

3 mins

Dr. Caleb Alexander at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Alexander and his team examined policies for Medicaid, medicare and major private insurers, looking at their coverage policies for drugs to treat chronic lower back pain with the conclusion these policies steer people toward opioid use instead of safer and effective treatments like physical therapy and acupuncture.

alt
alt

Addiction Alliance of Georgia

8 mins

Jaye Watson sits down for a discussion with Dr. Justine Welsh, Director of Addiction Services at Emory Healthcare, and Dr. Marvin Seppala, Chief Medical Officer at Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, to discuss opioid use during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the creation of the Addiction Alliance of Georgia.

alt
alt

Christopher Wolf

3 mins

We sit down with Cammie Wolf Rice as she talks about her son Christopher who she lost to opioid addiction.

alt
alt

Evidenced-Based Treatments

5 mins

Dr. Justine Welsh, Director of Addiction Services at Emory Healthcare, discusses evidenced-based treatments for opioid use disorder. Hannah Cooper at the Emory Rollins School of Public Health shares a dramatic example of just how much illicit fentanyl has infiltrated the drug supply.

alt
alt

Brian Waronker

2 mins

Steve and Mitzi Waronker talk about their son Brian who they lost to an opioid overdose.

alt
alt

Frankie McCaffrey

2 mins

Jeanette McCaffrey remembers her son Frankie, who died from an overdose.

alt
alt

Stephen Boykin

11 mins

Stephen Boykin and his parents, Frank and Karen, tell the story of Stephen's opioid addiction and how medication-assisted treatment saved his life. The Addiction Alliance of Georgia, a partnership between Emory and Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is introduced.

alt
alt

Cammie Wolf Rice

6 mins

Cammie Wolf Rice discusses the stigma of addiction and advice for families in this position trying to help their child, husband or parent, who are dealing with the stigma.

alt
alt

Patrice Harris and Judy Fitzgerald

11 mins

Dr. Patrice Harris and Judy Fitzgerald join Jaye Watson in studio to discuss why there is such a stigma against medication-assisted treatment, what is currently happening at the national level that might help impact the crisis here in Georgia and providing access to treatment for the under-served community.

alt
alt

Davis Owens

2 mins

Missy Owens remembers her son Davis who died from an opioid overdose, and her creation of The Zone, a recovery organization with the goal of helping people in recovery stay in recovery.

alt
alt

The Christopher Wolf Crusade

1 min

The Christopher Wolf Crusade is focused on prevention, taking this message to children. Over 500 kids have been trained and certified in this peer to peer program. Kids helping kids stay away from opioids.

alt
alt

The Pittard Clinic

3 mins

The Pittard Clinic in Toccoa, GA, provides medication assisted treatment to people with opioid use disorder. The majority of those served by the clinic are uninsured, with patients paying for medication and counseling.

alt
alt

Andy Gish

2 mins

Andy Gish, an ER nurse who lives in the Little Five Points area of Atlanta, makes sure businesses in the area have the overdose reversing drug naloxone in their first aid kits. Andy also works with Georgia Overdose Prevention, an advocacy group of volunteers who worked to pass Georgia’s medical amnesty law.

alt
alt

Resources in Georgia

6 mins

Resources in Georgia are highlighted including the Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition's syringe exchange program, the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities expanded medication assisted treatment services and the Georgia Council on Substance Abuse training to be peer specialists. Tony Sanchez tells his story of recovery and how he is now a certified peer specialist.

alt
alt

CDC Director Robert Redfield

6 mins

CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield discusses the country's opioid problem and one of the most powerful ways to confront stigma is to speak out, to share our truth with others. He also talks about his son becoming addicted to opioids and finding a path to recovery.

alt
alt

Frank and Karen Boykin

7 mins

Frank and Karen Boykin provide advice for families who are right now in the position they were in years ago with their son Stephen who battled opioid addiction before medication assisted treatment led to his recovery.

alt
alt

Opioid Q&A

14 mins

The four experts come together for an opioid question and answer session.

alt
alt

Tony Sanchez

4 mins

A follow-up conversation with Tony Sanchez on opioid addiction and recovery. Tony is now the director of the office of recovery transformation at the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities.