Taking note on addiction — hard lessons learned by NJ journalists
Everyone's talking about the opioid crisis — because it's everywhere. But too few of those making the important decisions and trying to bring light to the problem really understand it.
For the latest edition of Heroin Uncut, the Truth About the Crisis, host Jay Lassiter sought out journalists doing important work on addiction — motivated in part by their own harrowing experiences.
Stephen Stirling's landmark piece, Herointown, for NJ.com — a profile on the de facto community New Jersey's opioid community has become, envisioned as the fourth-largest town in the entire state — wouldn't have been possible if he hadn't worked hard to first establish his own sobriety, after struggling with alcoholism,
New Jersey journalist Rohan Mahanty has been moved by many of the countless stories he's done on addiction. But perhaps none struck him more than his own mission to bring an addict into recovery — and the heartbreaking setbacks he encountered.
New Jersey 101.5's own Michael Symons tells us New Jersey — seen of late at the forefront of the battle against addiction, a reputation bolstered in part by $200 million worth of programs Gov. Chris Christie announced a month ago — faces an uncertain future. There's no real argument — we're a state in crisis. But what resources a new governor and the state legislature may be willing to dedicate remains unknown.
If you're using the app or New Jersey 101.5 site right now, you can listen with the widget below. You can always get the latest episodes from the app's menu or at HeroinUncut.com.
And finally, you can watch the interviews in the video above.
— Interviews by Jay Lassiter, edited by Louis C. Hochman
Revisit past episodes of Heroin Uncut below:
• Carter Stone was a Jersey boy. And when he died of a heroin overdose at the age of 32, his grieving family was predictably distraught — like any other family in their position would be. But what’s different about this family is the message it left behind.
• The heroes and villains of New Jersey’s opioid crisis — New Jersey’s heroin crisis did not create itself. Big Pharma, greedy lobbyists, and dimwitted policy makers created the perfect conditions for addiction to take hold and to thrive.
• How Narcan, a great cop and a convicted killer saved my life — No conversation so far has stood out more than then one Jay had with Anthony — a recovering addict who recounted his experience being revived with Narcan.
• The Opioid Industrial Complex — This is who gets rich off your addiction
— Acknowledging that addiction is big business helps clear up what’s really driving New Jersey’s opioid crisis:
• Narcan is saving lives — and that’s bad news — Narcan is an important tool in our war against opiates. But our reliance on it means things have already gone too far:
• Needle exchanges — Why NJ must give drug users syringes right now — An uncomfortable solution? You bet. It’s also why host HIV-positive and drug-recovering host Jay Lassiter doesn’t have hepatitis today:
• Heroin Uncut: Defining New Jersey’s drug problem — Our language about drugs is a jumbled mess. If we don’t understand the problem, we can’t fix it:
New episodes are released every Saturday.
Heroin Uncut is sponsored by Carrier Clinic, providing behavioral healthcare services in New Jersey since 1910.