Voices of the Epidemic

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Stopping Drug Use Before It Starts


Kentucky Educational Television’s (KET’s) Renee Shaw and her guests – including Kentucky 5th District Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers, UNITE Deputy Director Tom Vicini, and Carter County UNITE Coalition Co-Chair Shelly Steiner – explore the issue of substance use prevention among adolescents on Health Three60. The program looks at the importance of messaging, positive youth development, mental health screening, community coalitions, parent education and more. This program, which includes interviews from the 2017 National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit, is part of KET’s ongoing Inside Opioid Addiction Initiative.


The Youth Counselors of Camp UNITE


As part of its continuing coverage of the devastating opioid epidemic in Kentucky, the Kentucky Educational Television (KET) field crew visited Camp UNITE in 2016 to learn about the children impacted by the disease of addiction. To learn more about Camp UNITE and to download a Team Leader application for Camp UNITE 2017, click here.


KET Opioid Documentary


 
To view the documentary “Journey To Recovery,” click here.
To view “Inside the Opioid Addiction” forum, click here.


UNITE Featured on Podcast

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Nancy Hale, right, UNITE President/CEO, discusses Operation UNITE’s mission during a 24-minute interview with Mental Health News Radio’s Kristin Sunanta Walker, center, and Melissa Richards during the National Conference on Addiction Disorders in Denver, Colorado, on August 18, 2016.
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UNITE StoryCorps Conversations

During the 5th Annual National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit held March 28-31, 2016, in Atlanta, Georgia, UNITE contracted with StoryCorps – America’s oral history project – to compile stories related to the country’s opioid epidemic. These interviews will ultimately be archived in the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress.

  • Fifth District Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (R-KY) tells his friend Tom Handy about why he founded Operation UNITE. Click here to listen.
  • Tony White discusses his journey from addiction to long-term recovery with Shelly Elswick, who has a son in recovery. Click here to listen.
  • Kyle Cook and Carla Saunders talk about their pioneering work dealing with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) babies. Click here to listen.
  • Kimber Lee Falkinburg, Program Director for Young People In Recovery, talks to Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), about her addiction and recovery. Click here to listen.
  • Karen Perry talks about the death of her son to a heroin overdose with her daughter-in-law Kristen Perry. Click here to listen.
  • Amy Cooper and April Rovero discuss the importance of advocacy work in helping them heal from their losses. Click here to listen.

 


KET’s “Inside Opioid Addiction” Initiative

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Setting Priorities in National Drug Policy


Michael Botticelli likes to say the response to the epidemic of opioid addiction in America requires an “all hands on deck” approach, one that includes policy changes, increased funding for treatment, criminal justice reforms, and even a change to our language. The director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy says words like “addict” and “junkie” only serve to reinforce the shame that surrounds those with addictive disorders and can prevent them from getting the help they need. “It really perpetuates a stigma, and we know that stigma really creates a barrier for people,” says Botticelli, who is himself a recovering alcoholic. “It delays people seeking care and creates opportunities for people to avoid care.” This segment is part of KET’s Inside Opioid Addiction Initiative.
 
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One-on-One with Dr. Nora Volkow


Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, discusses influences that led her into psychiatry and the study of addiction, the importance of treatment, and the value of collaborative efforts such as the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit during a 30-minutes interview with Bill Goodman. This segment is part of Kentucky Educational Television’s Inside Opioid Addiction Initiative.
 
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UNITE Drug Effort featured on KET


From the 2016 National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in Atlanta, Kentucky Educational Television’s Bill Goodman speaks with U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (R-KY 5th District) and Jackie Steele, Commonwealth’s Attorney for Kentucky’s 27th Judicial District and vice-chair of the Operation UNITE Board of Directors. This segment is part of KET’s Inside Opioid Addiction.
 
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UNITE Shines in National Spotlight


Kentucky Educational Television produced this hour-long program featuring excerpts from the fifth annual National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit, held in Atlanta March 28-31, 2016. The program includes remarks by President Barack Obama, U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-5th), U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, and an interview with Nancy Hale, President/CEO of Kentucky-based Operation UNITE. This segment is part of KET’s Inside Opioid Addiction.
 
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