We all know that addictions have a significant ripple effect. Not only do they impact the people using, they can also wreak havoc on their families and friends. That pain is intensified even more when the loved one passes away because of their dependency. To help address that angle of the problem, podcasters Stephanie Wittels Wachs and Jessica Cordova Kramer have launched a new online series called Last Day.
Last Day recently received some notable coverage from The Los Angeles Times. A lengthy article on their site went into the purpose and the passion behind the podcast, speaking with both Wittels Wachs and Cordova Kramer.
For the record, both women know this experience firsthand. Wittels Wachs lost her brother, comedy writer Harris Wittels, to an accidental heroin overdose back in 2019. Cordova Kramer also had a brother who fatally OD’d, so it is a shared experience that they speak passionately about on the program.
“We are members of the absolute worst club,” Wittels Wachs explained when describing her bond with Cordova Kramer. “There was a genuine curiosity and need on the parts of Jess and [me] to answer this question of What could we have done differently?’ We’re educated. We’re tenacious. Our brothers were smart, they were successful, they died. Like, what went wrong?”
Questions like that come up often on Last Day. As do personal revelations, such as Wittels Wachs admitting to her own addictions (that she has since overcome). So far, a large audience of people seem to be identifying with this scenario. Since launching several months back, the podcast has received over 4 million downloads. Wittels Wachs revealed that they are accumulating between 50,000 to 100,000 new listeners each month.
The Last Day format consists of the two women sharing personal stories, touching on addiction news stories and responding to emailers and callers from throughout the country. There are episodes devoted to bereavement and even comedy, when it comes to laughing in the face of pain.
High numbers already signal a strong future for the podcast. Wittels Wachs told The Times that they plan to expand the topics a bit as the program continues. One big focal point for the new season would be suicide and mental illness (which themselves are closely tied to addiction).
We certainly recommend giving Last Day a listen if you have downtime and want some solid informational entertainment. You can click here for their full list of episodes.