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Public Media to Examine the Addiction and Overdose Crisis

WCNY announced on Wednesday that the week of Feb. 13 will kick off a special collaborative effort to examine New York State’s addiction and overdose crisis. “Overdose Epidemic” programming will draw attention to this public health crisis and raise awareness of services available in local communities for those impacted by addiction.

Public media is renowned for its thoughtful and thorough approach to public affairs and social issues, and “Overdose Epidemic” will touch on topics as wide-ranging as the science of addiction, reducing the stigma of addiction and recovery, addiction among veterans and young people, and what public health officials are doing to combat the crisis.

WCNY has developed this effort in a collaboration with the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Support (OASAS), relying on their scientific and treatment expertise. OASAS is providing dynamic tools for New Yorkers to connect with local recovery resources in their community.

NYS Office of Addiction Services and Supports Commissioner, Dr. Chinazo Cunningham said, “We continue to experience the worst overdose epidemic in the history of our state and nation. Educating the public is essential to helping end stigma; ensure that people know how to access help; and to promoting the effectiveness of prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery services. We appreciate public media’s interest in highlighting this important issue and know that this collaboration will help us to raise awareness and save more lives.”

“Addiction and overdoses tragically increased during the pandemic,” said Mitch Gelman, President and CEO of WCNY. “We hope that by examining this epidemic and highlighting how and where help is available, that we can help save lives.”

“Overdose Epidemic” brings together public media across the state to focus on a single issue across multiple platforms—broadcast television, radio, podcasts, online streaming, social media, live events, and more.

The week of special programming will include a one-hour live broadcast, “New York State Public Media Special Report: COVID-19 and the Overdose Epidemic,” which will feature stories from across the state of New Yorkers in recovery, experts on addiction and the COVID-19 epidemic, government officials addressing the crisis, and local agencies providing services and support to those affected by the crisis. This broadcast is being produced by WXXI in Rochester and will be carried on all nine public television stations throughout the state. The program will air on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. on WCNY-TV.

“Overdose Epidemic” programming will continue to be produced and aired throughout 2023 and available to stream.

For more information and to view the program schedule, please visit wcny.org/overdose-epidemic.

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