Broadcast programs and web-based content focus on state’s opioid addiction crisis
OWINGS MILLS, MD – Building on a slate of similar program a year ago, Maryland Public Television (MPT) will present its second “Addiction & Recovery Week” in early February. This schedule of special programs, February 7 to 9, examines the impact of opioid addiction gripping Maryland and the nation as a whole and highlights stories of hope, treatment, and recovery.
“One of the things we’ve all learned is that the opioid addiction plague is no respecter of age, sex, income or residency,” said MPT President and CEO Larry D. Unger. “Through our ongoing ‘Addiction & Recovery Week’ programming, we hope to shed light on ways to beat this implacable enemy.”
On Wednesday, February 7 the documentary Understanding the Opioid Epidemic airs at 10 p.m. on MPT2. The one-hour film combines stories of people and communities affected by the opioid epidemic along with information from experts and those at the frontlines of the battle. The program examines how the nation arrived at this crisis point, as well as possible solutions for dealing with the still expanding epidemic.
The following evening, on Thursday, February 8 at 10 p.m. on MPT-HD, the station airs Maryland’s Opioid Crisis: Strength and Shame. Produced by Capital News Service’s ViewFinder storytelling team through the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, this one-hour program takes an in-depth look at the opioid epidemic over the period of one year in Anne Arundel County. Viewers meet affected parents, children and community members and see how law enforcement is working to address the problem.
On Friday, February 9 at 9:30 p.m., MPT offers a special one-hour adaptation of the PBS NewsHour series America Addicted. MPT’s Jeff Salkin introduces three stories that address the depth of the opioid epidemic across the country and speaks about the crisis in Maryland with Dr. Yngvild Olsen, medical director, Institutes for Behavioral Resources, Inc. and Thomas Cargiulo, clinical professor at University of Maryland Eastern Shore School of Pharmacy. Viewers also hear from three of the state’s political leaders – Gov. Larry Hogan, Senate President Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael Busch – about plans to fight the problem in Maryland.
In addition to its broadcast programs, MPT has produced web-exclusive content that addresses the opioid crisis. MPT Digital Studios has been collecting stories over the past year from people on the battle lines to build awareness about their work. The “Overcoming Opioids” series brings viewers a greater understanding of the nuances, challenges, and humanity contained in this topic. This content includes new segments about an innovative approach to the issue, the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program, being piloted in Baltimore. This web content can be viewed at mpt.org/digitalstudios/overcomingopioids/lead/.