PBS Shines The Spotlight On Addiction
For generations, PBS has been broadcasting moving documentaries covering everything from sports, to politics, to British aristocracies. Now, however, they are turning their cameras toward addiction and the devastating opioid crisis that is spreading across the country. Titled America Addicted, the new NewsHour docu-series has been playing on local stations and across the web with heartfelt, informative case studies.
Visiting the feature page on their site, one can scroll through detailed stories broken apart into four phases. Phase 1 is labeled The Problem and includes personal interviews, growing statistics, interactive polls and much more. This is where you see the humanistic angle to the disease and how it is literally ripping communities apart.
The video below is taken from that section and profiles the town of Huntington, West Virginia. Interviewing police officers, medical personnel and even the mayor, PBS’ camera crew is able to get a haunting glimpse of the crisis firsthand.
Huntington mayor Steve Williams appears in the clip and, in an emotional moment, offers both hope and despair.
“I really want us to end up on the right side of it,” he explains. “What I am constantly trying to do is lift people up. ‘Square your shoulders. We are from Huntington, West Virginia, and we’re showing an example to the rest of the country how you can defeat this.’ And then, as soon as I do that, then we will end up hearing the fire trucks going by. And they’re going after another overdose.”
Phase 2 of the site is titled The Drugs and delves square into the substances doing the damage. Here, you’ll see profiles of fentanyl, oxycodone and heroin, as well as the effects they can have on the brain. To their credit, PBS uses this page as an information resource too; offering readers tips on how to properly dispose and lock up their medications.
Then it’s on to Phase 3, which is labeled The Treatments. Here is where recovery comes into play and the options available for people looking to conquer their addictions. There are also uplifting stories of former users who have now turned their lives around and are working to help others.
And finally we get to New Approaches, which is Phase 4 of the PBS experience. This section covers topics we’ve referenced in our blogs many times. Everything from virtual reality recovery treatments, to innovative jail programs, to the laws politicians are hoping to put in motion to help curb the epidemic.
One piece from this section, which we found helpful dealt with struggling parents and how to open up the conversation to family members about the crisis. We highly recommend taking a tour of the entire America Addicted site and then passing it along to someone who may benefit. There are a lot of great resources there that can hopefully save a life.