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Stories About Drug Prevention


WHNT Covers Suicide Prevention

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Date Posted: 8/28/2018

Tribune’s CBS affiliate WHNT-TV Huntsville, Ala., dedicated their June 27th newscast to the topic of suicide prevention. The Alabama Attorney General’s wife had died by suicide two weeks prior, following a struggle with mental illness and opioid addiction.

Raycom Stations in 50 Markets Air Opioid Abuse Documentary

Date Posted: 8/1/2018

Raycom announced on August 1 that all 50 Raycom markets would air "Licensed to Pill," the one-hour documentary exposing doctors who prescribe addictive opioids for their own profit. Raycom’s National Investigative Team, led by Fox affiliate WVUE-TV New Orleans Investigative Reporter Lee Zurik, produced “Licensed to Pill,” a three-part series on high opioid prescribers nationwide. A week after the story aired, federal agents raided the Tennessee office of the nation’s top opioid prescriber.

“One law enforcement officer told us that our data analysis gave him a new roadmap to investigate doctors,” Zurik said.

The series was offered to all Raycom’s stations, with each part available in three different lengths. The creative services department at CBS affiliate WAFB-TV Baton Rouge also created a tool kit for the series that stations could use and customize. Findings include:

  • Ten percent of America’s top 1,000 prescribers of opioids to Medicare patients are sanctioned.
  • Family physicians, nurse practitioners and doctors whose specialties focus on non-narcotic therapies are some of the most prolific prescribers. Federal guidelines say they should not prescribe opioids.
  • Some wrote prescriptions for so many opioids that patient’s daily supply exceeded, on average, the number of days in a year.
  • Dozens of doctors sanctioned by a state medical board for excessive prescribing still hold active licenses.
  • Non-cancer doctors are prescribing dangerous fentanyl spray intended for cancer patients, while taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from a controversial drug maker.

WCVB Supports Addiction Recovery

Date Posted: 7/1/2018

Hearst’s ABC affiliate WCVB-TV Boston led a makeover of the Dimock Center’s Askia House residence for men in recovery. The effort is part of its ‘5 Fixer Upper’ community engagement program within ‘5 On: State of Addiction,’ the station’s three-year initiative to provide intense coverage of the opioid epidemic in Massachusetts. Dimock’s recovery program at the Askia House provides housing for up to one year for men battling substance use disorder. Also participating with volunteer days at the site were the Red Sox Foundation, The Letters Foundation and the Tufts Health Plan Employee Volunteer Program.

WMMR-FM Philly Discusses Opioid Crisis

Date Posted: 3/1/2018

Beasley’s WMMR-FM Philadelphia Public Affairs Director Markus Goldman conducted an interview on February 11 about safe injection sites for opioid users with the City of Philadelphia’s Managing Director Michael DiBernardinis and Health Director Dr. Thomas Farley. “Opioids are a major problem in the City of Philadelphia and it is indicative of a nationwide epidemic,” said Goldman. “I am hoping that this interview will provide the necessary information for the public to understand and to become educated surrounding the safe injection sites in Philadelphia.”

WLNE-TV Launches “Opioid Crisis: Addiction Hitting Home”

Date Posted: 2/28/2018

Citadel Communications’ ABC affiliate WLNE-TV New Bedford, Mass., launched “Opioid Crisis: Addiction Hitting Home” to address the prescription drug abuse epidemic. The two-week series began February 5 with a report on opioid use in the local community. Nightly segments examine different aspects of the issue, including facts about addiction, where the drugs come from, how they devastate families from every income bracket and community, and existing resources.

WLNE’s series culminates February 20 with a prime-time Town Hall special featuring parents, students, mental health and addiction experts, law enforcement and addicts from across Southern New England. The hour-long special will raise awareness, generate ideas and combat stigmas.

“We need to address the Opioid Epidemic and provide the community with critical information on how to seek support, and I am proud of the ABC6 team for shining a light on this urgent public health crisis,” said General Manager Tina Marie Castano.

Beasley’s Fayetteville Radio Stations Address Opioid Epidemic

Date Posted: 2/28/2018

Beasley Media Group’s WKML-FM, WZFX-FM, WFLB-FM and WUKS-FM Fayetteville, N.C., in collaboration with Cape Fear Valley Health, will present an hour-long, commercial free simulcast, “Fayetteville Fights Back,” on January 30 to raise awareness about the opioid epidemic. On-air personalities will moderate the simulcast, featuring physicians, law enforcement officials, behavioral health experts, addiction specialists and local and state leaders, including Governor Roy Cooper (via recorded message) and Attorney General Josh Stein (in the studio).

“Fayetteville Fights Back” will provide facts on opioids and their proper usage, identify the signs of addiction and include information on seeking help. The stations will list resources on their websites and feature frequently asked questions from listeners on-air and using Facebook Live. This event is part of Beasley Media Group’s nationwide “Community of Caring” initiative.

“It’s our job as broadcasters to inform our local community and with the high rate of opioid abuse in North Carolina, we felt very strongly about being involved in this cause,” said Erika Beasley, vice-president and market manager of Beasley’s Fayetteville cluster.

Hearst Hosts Live Special on Opioid Crisis

Date Posted: 9/13/2017

Hearst Television stations aired and streamed a live primetime one-hour special, “Matter of Fact: State of Addiction,” on September 13 to address America’s opioid epidemic as part of Hearst’s year-long multi-platform news and investigative series that launched in January 2017. Award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien hosted the program, which featured live inserts from local stations addressing the crisis in their markets and field reports from around the country. Viewers used the hashtag #stateofaddiction to post pictures, videos and stories, creating a virtual “wall of remembrance” for victims of the epidemic. The special included segments with physicians, U.S. DEA Director Chuck Rosenberg; U.S. Sens. Ron Johnson and Rob Portman and Rep. Greg Walden.

Graham Media Group launches ’Opioid Nation: An American Epidemic’

Date Posted: 8/23/2017

Graham Media Group (GMG) announced on August 23 the launch of “Opioid Nation: An American Epidemic,” a multi-platform commitment addressing the prescription drug abuse epidemic. During the week of Sept. 5, all seven GMG stations will air and stream locally-produced specials, plus staff phone banks and Facebook Live sessions with substance abuse counselors. The initiative also includes monthly investigative reports, original programming, town hall meetings, digital engagement, PSAs and community partnerships. GMG will highlight people who are impacted and explore government policies. “Opioid addiction is ravaging our communities big and small and local broadcasters are uniquely positioned to tell these stories. The diversity of issues affecting our Detroit community differs from those in Houston and Orlando,” said GMG President and CEO Emily Barr. “It is our responsibility to inform viewers and we hope that ‘Opioid Nation: An American Epidemic’ will not only educate the communities we serve, but help those who are affected find a path forward through this unprecedented crisis.”

Graham Media Group Launches ’Opioid Nation: An American Epidemic’ (

Date Posted: 8/23/2017

Graham Media Group (GMG) launched on August 23 the launch of “Opioid Nation: An American Epidemic,” a multi-platform program addressing the prescription drug abuse epidemic. During the week of September 5, all seven GMG stations aired and streamed locally-produced specials and staffed phone banks and Facebook Live sessions with substance abuse counselors. The initiative highlights people who are impacted and explores government policies with monthly investigative reports, original programming, town halls, social media, PSAs and community partnerships.

“Opioid addiction is ravaging our communities big and small and local broadcasters are uniquely positioned to tell these stories,” said GMG President and CEO Emily Barr. “It is our responsibility to inform viewers and we hope that ‘Opioid Nation: An American Epidemic’ will not only educate the communities we serve, but help those who are affected find a path forward through this unprecedented crisis.”

WRAL Heroin Documentary Gets Personal

Date Posted: 8/1/2017

Capitol Broadcasting’s NBC affiliate WRAL-TV Raleigh aired “Searching for a Fix,” an hour-long documentary addressing heroin addiction on August 1. The hour-long documentary shares personal stories of how this problem affects people and devastates families across North Carolina. The documentary features emergency medical personnel and law enforcement officers who deal with daily overdoses and recovery experts and policy makers who are searching for a solution. “In all of my years of documentary production, they were the most gut-wrenching and deeply personal interviews I’ve ever done. They were emotional, moving and eye-opening,” said Documentary Producer Clay Johnson. The program is now available on WRALdocumentary.com.

WCVB Airs Hour-Long Addiction Special

Date Posted: 6/13/2017

Hearst’s ABC affiliate WCVB-TV Boston aired an hour-long special “5 On: State of Addiction” on June 13. The special looked at how those on the streets, law enforcement, first responders, hospitals and rehab centers are dealing with opioid addiction and overdoses. WCVB provided the phone number of the Massachusetts Substance Use Helpline for live phone-banks staffed by experts, as well as the helpline’s website. “5 On: State of Addiction” featured personal stories of people struggling with addiction, recovery and potential long-term effects of this disease. It also explored how a large number of babies born each year are dependent on opioids and examined innovative approaches in EMS responses to overdoses.

WBAL-TV Airs Special on Opioid Epidemic

Date Posted: 4/26/2017

Hearst’s NBC affiliate WBAL-TV Baltimore aired “State of Addiction” on April 26. The special report focused on Maryland’s critical heroin and opioid crisis and featured Governor Larry Hogan. A phone line staffed by addiction experts ran for two hours following the broadcast.

WOIO Fights Ohio’s Heroin Epidemic

Date Posted: 4/6/2017

Raycom Media’s CBS affiliate WOIO-TV Cleveland aired “Know the Risks,” a 30-minute, commercial-free documentary on April 6 regarding the heroin epidemic. Each year, heroin overdoses claim more lives in the state of Ohio than homicides, suicides, or car accidents. The program included segments on how the gateway to addiction often starts with the abuse of common prescription medications, the impact of social media on the epidemic, informative facts and trends, and how two local women recovered from addiction. Media partners set up a phone bank to answer live questions, which was promoted during the broadcast.

WMUR Hosts Youth Summit on Opioid Abuse

Date Posted: 4/4/2017

Hearst’s ABC affiliate WMUR-TV Manchester, N.H. hosted a summit on March 14 to address the opioid crisis ravaging the community. Thousands of students attended the event to hear from actors, athletes and parents about the epidemic. Following the event, WMUR received phone calls from viewers saying the effort is assisting them with getting help.

KTAR Airs Special Report on Opioids

Date Posted: 3/31/2017

Bonneville’s KTAR-FM Phoenix aired a special report on March 30 on the dangers of opioids on Arizona’s Morning News. Reporter Corbin Carson interviewed Arizona Governor Ducey to shed light on this critical issue.

WJLP Airing Town Hall Meeting On Heroin Crisis

Date Posted: 3/31/2017

PMCM TV’s Me TV affiliate WJLP-TV Middletown, N.J. aired A Jersey Matters Town Hall: The Heroin Crisis on March 24 to shed light on New Jersey’s growing heroin and prescription drug crisis. PMCM’s Me TV affiliate KJWP-TV Wilmington, Del., - which serves viewers in the Philadelphia metro area – also aired the special. Panelists included politicians, medical experts, actress Mackenzie Phillips and New Jersey Attorney General Christopher Porrino.

WTAE Chronicles Pennsylvania’s State Of Addiction

Date Posted: 3/31/2017

Hearst’s ABC affiliate WTAE-TV aired Chronicle: State of Addiction on March 22. The program featured first-hand stories from a former college athlete, a computer software developer and an Olympian who are in recovery. Immediately following the program, viewers participated in an hour-long Facebook Live discussion with experts. “We are proud that WTAE Channel 4 and our parent company Hearst Television have embarked on a year-long project aimed at combating the opioid crisis,” said General Manager Charles W. Wolfertz III.

Opioid Abuse Documentary Planned in Maryland

Date Posted: 1/30/2017

More than a dozen mid-Atlantic TV stations will air the hour-long “Breaking Heroin’s Grip: Road to Recovery a Maryland Public Television” on February 11 in prime time. A 40-minute documentary featuring three Maryland opioid users and their path to recovery will be followed by a live 20-minute broadcast from a phone bank staffed by crisis counselors. It will be streamed at breakingheroin.com . Maryland Public Television produced the program in partnership with Maryland state health departments.

Arizona Broadcasters Fight Opioid Abuse

Date Posted: 1/30/2017

Radio and television stations across Arizona aired a 30-minute commercial-free investigative report, “Hooked Rx: From Prescription to Addiction,” on January 10 in prime time. All television stations and 97 radio stations aired the program to educate their communities on the dangers of prescribed opioids. It is the follow-up to “Hooked: Tracking Heroin’s Hold on Arizona,” which reached 1 million viewers in 2015 and won a Rocky Mountain Emmy and an Alfred I. du Pont Award.

WDIV-TV Provides Day-Long Programming on Heroin/Opioid Epidemic

Date Posted: 11/17/2016

Graham Media Group’s NBC affiliate WDIV Detroit provided day-long “Faces of Addiction” coverage about the heroin epidemic on November 17. Dr. Frank McGeorge teamed with WDIV-TV reporters Kevin Dietz, Hank Winchester and Sandra Ali to present important information on this growing problem. The reports included information about why it is a priority to clean out medicine cabinets and a report about parents and grandparents who are overdosing on drugs while their children are in their care.

WPSD-TV Covers Opioid Crisis

Date Posted: 11/15/2016

Paxton Media’s NBC affiliate WPSD-TV Paducah, KY addressed the opioid crisis that affects the community by highlighting the story of 28-year-old Douglas Koon, who has been struggling with addiction for 11 years. Many adolescents and young adults face the decision of whether to abuse prescription drugs before they turn 18. WPSD-TV shared the message that people should not be scared to ask for help. Watch video here.

WBAL Addresses Opioid Crisis and Civic Engagement

Date Posted: 11/1/2016

Hearst’s NBC affiliate WBAL-TV Baltimore Investigative Team aired a report on November 1 on a new implant that fights opioid addiction. The report is part of WBAL’s commitment to educate viewers on the prescription drug abuse crisis.

In addition, WBAL education reporter Dr. Tim Tooten interviewed students at a local elementary school as they participated in a mock election for the “Every Kid Votes” campaign. Watch video.

WDIV Addresses Opioid Crisis

Date Posted: 10/27/2016

Graham Media Group’s NBC affiliate WDIV-TV Detroit is committed to addressing the opioid abuse crisis. “All of us at WDIV are keenly aware of the impact we can have when tackling important local problems, and the opioid addiction epidemic is of great concern to us,” said Director of Local Programming Laurie Oberman. This year, WDIV has aired town halls, documentaries and more than 325 PSAs provided by the Partnership for Drug Free Kids. WDIV featured a local family’s struggle with opioid addiction and provided information on developments in methods to treat addiction in young adults. In addition, the station has covered announcements from President Obama, the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, the Center for Disease Control, the city of Canton, the Michigan Governor and city of Clawson.

WSFA Meteorologist Shares Personal Story

Date Posted: 10/26/2016

Raycom’s NBC affiliate WSFA Montgomery, Ala. Chief Meteorologist Josh Johnson shares his powerful personal story on losing his brother to prescription drug abuse. Johnson’s brother, Chris, suffered a sports injury in high school that led to a prescription addiction. Johnson died of a heroin overdose in 2015, leaving behind a wife and a young son.

WBTN Launches ’Grip of Addiction’ Series

Date Posted: 10/24/2016

Shires Media Partnership’s WBTN-AM in Bennington, Vermont launched on October 24 a four-part series called “Grip of Addiction.” Bennington is experiencing a growing problem with heroin overdose-related deaths and lacks the facilities necessary to address addiction. The series and ensuing follow up will “draw attention to the importance of community radio to keep locals abreast of what’s going on in their town, and what’s being done or not being done,” said WBTN General Manager Ted Hollow. Listen to a sample of the series that WBTN.

KIII Hosts Prescription Drug Takeback Day

Date Posted: 10/22/2016

TEGNA’s ABC affiliate KIII Corpus Christi, Tx. hosted prescription Drug Take Back Day on October 22 to help fight the prescription medicine abuse crisis. The station participated in the DEA’s national event, through which people could safely dispose of prescriptions.

KION Promotes National Drug Take Back Day set for Oct. 22

Date Posted: 10/22/2016

News-Press & Gazette’s CBS affiliate KION Monterey Gonzales P.D. promoted the Gonzales Police Department’s participation in the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on October 22. The initiative fights prescription drug abuse by removing expired or unused prescription drugs from circulation.

KSL-TV Hosts Town Hall on Opioid Addiction

Date Posted: 10/20/2016

Bonneville’s NBC affiliate KSL-TV Salt Lake City, UT devoted a full day of coverage to the opioid abuse epidemic on October 20. In addition, KSL hosted a town hall to address the prescription drug crisis on September 16. The hour-long forum aired live during prime time and streamed on Facebook. Educators, parents, medical professionals and law enforcement officials urged parents to look for physical symptoms that can indicate drug use or other warning signs, including unusual changes in a teenager’s attitude, behavior or performance in school. KSL hosted the timely event during a week that o two local 13-year-olds died of drug-related overdoses.

KALC-FM Takes a Stand Against Medicine Abuse

Date Posted: 10/13/2016

Entercom’s KALC-FM Denver posted Macklemore’s powerful "Drug Dealer" video to bring attention to the station’s prescription drug abuse resources. KALC-FM, along with local stations across the country, have joined the NAB and the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids’ campaign to address America’s opioid and prescription drug abuse epidemic. The station’s social media and on-air messaging share these tipsfor listeners to prevent abuse in their households. As of October 28, Entercom’s digital campaigns had garnered almost 600,000 impressions.

Broadcasters Commit to Fight the Opioid Abuse Epidemic

Date Posted: 10/3/2016

Nearly 78 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. To address the epidemic and support local radio and TV broadcasters’ ongoing efforts, NAB has teamed with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids (Partnership) on a multi-faceted campaign through the end of 2017. NAB has developed a digital toolkit with resources such as PSAs, digital messaging and suggested town hall meetings for broadcasters to educate their communities. NAB and the Partnership announced the initiative September 13 at a press conference on Capitol Hill featuring prominent broadcasters and members of Congress who are invested in the issue. The Senators and Congressmen praised broadcasters for their outstanding, ongoing efforts to fight the epidemic.

WCVB Visits Methadone Mile

Date Posted: 9/23/2016

Hearst’s ABC affiliate WCVB-TV Boston aired “5 Investigates Goes Back to Methadone Mile” September 23. After WCVB aired troubling reports in May, Mayor Marty Walsh promised to help people in an area known as “Methadone Mile,” where the drug addiction crisis is clearly evident. WCVB returned to the area to see the impact of the city’s efforts. They found a man on a sidewalk smoking what appeared to be crack, a woman passed out next to a pharmacy and paramedics helping a man who overdosed.

Rubber City Radio Group Addresses Opioid Epidemic

Date Posted: 9/13/2016

Rubber City Radio Group’s WAKR-FM, WONE-FM, WQMX-FM, and WNWV-FM, in the greater Cleveland area, have devoted numerous resources to addressing the local and nationwide opioid epidemic. The station group invested a week’s worth of intensive reporting on its news and community talk programs regarding the topic, supported by live broadcasts and a strong web reporting presence that included social media. Also, the “Jasen Sokol Show” conducted a live four-hour program from the local Department of Health, which included a broadcast of a news conference detailing new initiatives to help listeners dispose of outdated prescription drugs safely. The station group also developed a section of their website where listeners can visit for additional information. Access it here.

Radio Takes on Heroin

Date Posted: 6/3/2016

Midwest Communications’ WTAQ-AM Green Bay, WHBL-AM/FM Sheboygan and WSAU-AM Wausau partnered on “Heroin In Wisconsin: Save Our Families,” a live, five-hour special that aired from 6 – 11 a.m. on May 6. Morning show hosts engaged listeners in a conversation about opioids and provided in-depth coverage on Wisconsin’s growing addiction problem. The stations also worked with state and local law enforcement to raise money for heroin and opioid treatment facilities. Al Peterson of NTS Media said it is “a great example of local radio using its resources and airwaves to address a major issue facing their listeners and communities.”

KTVA Anchorage: What to do if Someone is Overdosing

Date Posted: 6/1/2016

Denali Media Holdings’ CBS affiliate KTVA-TV Anchorage, AK aired “Preventable deaths: What you can do if someone is overdosing on drugs.” As the Anchorage Police Department (APD) tries to figure out what led up to the death of 45-year-old Darlene Kunayak, they encourage people to call 911 if they see someone in a possible overdose situation. APD believes Kunayak died of a heroin overdose on May 7. So far this year, local police have investigated 11 deaths involving heroin overdoses. In 2015, 36 people died from heroin statewide.

WFIE-TV Investigates: Heroin in Henderson

Date Posted: 5/23/2016

Raycom Media’s NBC affiliate WFIE-TV Evansville, Ind. aired a report, “14 News Investigates: Heroin In Henderson” on May 23. In the first of a three-part series, reporter Hillary Simon investigates the heroin epidemic among teenagers and young adults in Henderson County, Ky. Local police are making more arrests in an effort to get teen users into rehab before they experience a fatal overdose. Part two of the series will focus on stark reality that parents of teen addicts face.

WFLD-TV Chicago Simulcast Show on Opioids

Date Posted: 5/16/2016

Fox-owned WFLD-TV Chicago simulcast “Rockin’ Recovery" on-air and online on May 16 as part of the station’s ongoing investigative reporting on Chicago’s growing heroin and opioid epidemic. “Rockin’ Recovery" airs every Monday on Harvard Community Radio’s WHIW-LP Harvard, Ill. Show hosts Mike Young and Jason Beaty are recovering heroin addicts who now work for A Man In Recovery Foundation. They were also featured in a December story on the growing number of overdose deaths in Chicago. “We are grateful to be able to give voice to the issue and an important resource to listeners everywhere," said WHIW President Sarah Flashing.

CBS Evening News Debuts New Series on Heroin Addiction

Date Posted: 5/16/2016

CBS Evening News debuted a new series on heroin addiction on May 16. “In The Shadow of Death: Jason’s Journey” follows 30 year-old heroin addict Jason Amaral, who has been addicted for 10 years, has overdosed eight times and done countless detox programs. In part one, correspondent DeMarco Morgan shows Amaral doing heroin the day before he enters rehab. Amaral talks about his daily usage and how he procures drugs. Correspondent Dean Reynolds also provides an overall look at the heroin epidemic in America. “This series aims to allow people to see, in real time, what heroin addiction really looks like,” Executive Producer Steve Campus told TV Spy. “It may also help someone in the throes of addiction to get help, as our main character seeks life-saving assistance.”

WMHT: A Town Hall Conversation: Heroin in our Community

Date Posted: 5/5/2016

WMHT’s PBS affiliate WMHT Schenectady, N.Y. hosted a community conversation on October 29 focusing on the heroin epidemic in the Capitol region of New York. Panelists included Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple, Dr. Michael Dailey of the Albany Medical Center and Micky Jimenez, RN, Director of Camino Nuevo. The conversation was recorded and broadcast on WMHT-TV on November 9 at 7:30pm. This conversation is part of ’The Dragon Lives Here: Heroin in the Capital Region,’ a multi-media collaboration between WMHT and the Times Union.

WPIX Airs Six-Part Series on Heroin

Date Posted: 5/5/2016

Tribune’s CW affiliate WPIX-TV New York City aired a six-part series, “Heroin A-Z,” from November 9 – 14, 2015. Reporter Mary Murphy and Investigative Unit Videographer Kenton Young covered many facets of the heroin crisis, including the highways where drugs enter the region, local families who have been shattered by heroin abuse and its devastating effect on the community.

ABC’s David Muir Examines the Heroin Epidemic

Date Posted: 5/5/2016

ABC’s David Muir anchored a one-hour special, “Breaking Point: Heroin in America,” that aired March 11. More than 100 Americans die every day from a drug overdose, which more than gunshot wounds or car accidents. “For more than a year, a very small team of producers armed with cameras embedded with very brave families battling heroin in their own home,” Muir told TVNewser. “This is an epidemic that knows no boundaries.”

CBS Produces PSA to Raise Awareness of Opioid Epidemic

Date Posted: 5/5/2016

CBS, Warner Bros. Television and the comedy series MOM partnered with the U.S. Surgeon General to raise awareness of the addiction epidemic through a new public service announcement. The 30-second PSA, featuring U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy and MOM stars Anna Faris and Allison Janney, debuted on February 18 after MOM aired. "We are proud to have worked with the U.S. Surgeon General on this PSA, and hope it provides help to all those suffering from addiction," said MOM executive producer Chuck Lorre.

CBS Television Network Airs Drug Epidemic Special

Date Posted: 5/5/2016

CBS Television Network aired “Faith, Hope & The Burden of Addiction,” a special that explores the nation’s prescription drug and heroin epidemic and how it affects communities across America. The April 12 broadcast featured numerous officials who work to combat drug addiction, including Director of White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Michael Boticelli, in addition to individuals personally affected by the epidemic. More information is available here.

WMAR Airs Special About Heroin

Date Posted: 4/2/2016

Scripps’ ABC affiliate WMAR-TV Baltimore aired and live-streamed an hour-long special, “Community in Crisis: Chasing The High," on February 25 to highlight the heroin epidemic in Maryland. “My hope is that moms and dads will sit down with their families to watch this, and then start a conversation about the dangers, of not only heroin, but all drugs,” said News Director Kelly Groft.

WXIA Looks at Heroin “Inside the Triangle”

Date Posted: 3/25/2016

TEGNA’s NBC affiliate WXIA-TV Atlanta aired “Inside the Heroin Triangle” on March 25, 2016. The hour-long documentary examines the increasing number of deaths from opioid abuse in Atlanta and the consequences of the epidemic, which could lead to an HIV outbreak. The documentary is part of a larger series on heroin, the covers issues such as funding for treatment, the effect on local families and a community summit.

WINS-AM Investigates “Generation H:The Heroin Epidemic”

Date Posted: 3/3/2016

CBS Radio’s WINS-AM New York City aired an investigative series on the heroin epidemic, hosted a heroin education summit on Long Island that drew 600 people and continues to use their digital assets to perpetuate the dialogue. Director of News and Programming Ben Mevorach spoke with Radio Ink on March 3, 2016 about the four weeks dedicated to investigating the issue, during which the WINS team embarked on hundred-mile journey throughout the community to interview first responders, family members and people who are addicted. Mevorach also spoke about the positive impact, including awareness of the state’s Overdose Prevention Act. View “Generation ‘H’: 1010 WINS Investigates The Heroin Epidemic.”

WBNS Airs “Heroin at Home: An Ohio Epidemic”

Date Posted: 11/16/2015

Dispatch Broadcasting’s CBS affiliate WBNS-TV Columbus, OH aired a one-hour documentary, “Heroin at Home” on November 12, 2015. The documentary features the story of four addicts who grew up on the suburbs of Columbus and started using after experimenting with prescription pain killers. It also explores roadblocks to recovery in Ohio and what the future may hold.

WCVB Campaign Highlights Opioid Epidemic

Date Posted: 7/17/2015

Hearst Television’s ABC affiliate WCVB-TV Boston launched its 13-week campaign, "5 On: Opioid Crisis,," on June 17. WCVB is using news reports, public affairs programming, a series of PSAs, online resources and community outreach to cover the path to addiction (which often starts with prescription painkillers) and effective, accessible treatment options. "5 On: Opioid Crisis" covers an innovative recovery program at the Middlesex House of Corrections, a unique drug court and Governor Charlie Baker’s task force. WCVB also talks with a high school athlete whose injury led to a fatal drug habit and a 21-year-old from a Boston suburb whose high school drinking progressed to prescription drug abuse and heroin addiction.

WCMH-TV Helps Dispose of a Ton of Drugs

Date Posted: 6/4/2015

Media General’s NBC affiliate WCMH-TV Columbus, OH held a "Drug Disposal Day" on May 2. Almost 2,600 pounds of pills and drug paraphernalia were turned over to law enforcement. This equates to about 1.8 million tablets. Drug Disposal Day aims to curb teen prescription drug abuse by offering a way to safely dispose of expired and unused medication. Almost 4.5 million teens report recreational use of prescription drugs.

Arizona Broadcasters Air "Hooked: Tracking Heroin’s Hold on Arizona"

Date Posted: 1/13/2015

On January 13 at 6:30 p.m., all Arizona television stations and most radio stations aired "Hooked: Tracking Heroin’s Hold on Arizona," an investigative report produced in English and Spanish by students at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in partnership with the Arizona Broadcasters Association (ABA). The program focuses on the growing perils of heroin and opioid use in Arizona.

Art Brooks, president and chief executive officer of the ABA, developed the idea after learning of the seriousness of the issue and organized the backing of the state’s broadcast industry.

“The scourge of heroin and opioid addiction is killing hundreds of Arizonans, and the growing problem is reaching epidemic levels,” Brooks said. “Broadcast stations are fiercely competitive, but our industry leaders are bonding together on this public danger in order to save lives.”

Student journalists analyzed data on more than 10 million Arizona hospital emergency room cases, including more than 2,000 heroin overdoses, and studied census information to find patterns in heroin abuse. The ABA has sponsored a call center that will be available during and after the broadcast.

"It is nothing short of extraordinary to have every TV broadcaster in a state come together and jointly agree to air – commercial free in a widely viewed time slot – an important piece of public service journalism," said NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith. "It is a testament to the greater leadership of the Arizona Broadcasters Association and the general managers across the state and their tremendous commitment to their communities. I have no doubt that the Cronkite heroin project will make a real impact on this critical public health issue and save lives."

KMTW-TV Receives Media Excellence Award

Date Posted: 6/9/2014

Sinclair Broadcasting’s MyNetworkTV affiliate KMTW-TV Wichita received a Media Excellence Award for its public service efforts to promote a drug-free Kansas from the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. The Partnership recognized 26 other local TV stations across the country that provide outstanding support for the nonprofit’s efforts to reduce teen substance abuse and support families impacted by addiction. Click here to learn more.

All Arizona TV Stations Air Documentary on Crystal Meth Addiction

Date Posted: 1/1/2014

Television stations across Arizona inspired statewide action, including town hall meetings and discussion groups, when they simultaneously aired a commercial-free broadcast of "Crystal Darkness," a 30-minute Emmy-Award winning documentary about the growing problem of methamphetamine addiction, which has ties to 60 percent of non-violent crime in the state. Together, the television stations reached an audience of 1.5 million with the documentary, which was aired in both English and Spanish on April 13, 2008. The reach of this unprecedented effort was augmented by the many Arizona radio stations that ran audio versions of the documentary. KPNX-TV in Phoenix, Ariz., served as the satellite television center, and all participating stations ran promotional spots and local news stories about both the program and the problem of meth in the area. The broadcasters reached out to a local health care system to set up a central phone bank where viewers and listeners of all stations could call to get help. "There is no way in any community that you can have impact on crime without broadcasters’ support," said Sgt. Paul Penzone of the Phoenix Police Department. "Broadcasters went well above the bar with ‘Crystal Darkness’ to make a contribution that was significant."

WGRZ-TV Assists with Drug Prevention and Rehabilitation

The Kids Escaping Drugs Telethon celebrated its 20th year with WGRZ-TV in Buffalo, N.Y., by raising $680,000 for the Kids Escaping Drugs Renaissance Campus, the only youth treatment facility of its kind in the area. The money gives 12- to 21-year-olds that have struggled with addiction a second chance and funds education and prevention programs for adolescents and their families. During the telethon, viewers get a firsthand account of the struggles and victories of teens who have been helped by the facility. While the spring event is a seven-hour broadcast marathon, the effort is year-round for the station, an original partner and continuing sponsor of the campaign. News stories about the telethon start weeks before the event, and segments about drug abuse prevention and treatment air throughout the year. "If it weren’t for WGRZ and the telethon, we wouldn’t have as many children in western New York cured of chemical dependency," said Joanne Hudecki, executive director of the Kids Escaping Drugs Campaign. "When our first telethon aired, we had no campus. Without WGRZ’s drive and enthusiasm for us, we wouldn’t have this treatment facility."

WUBE-FM Hosts ’Comedy Jam’

With the support of WUBE-FM in Cincinnati, Ohio, Comedy Jam, a fundraiser for the Center for Chemical Addictions Treatment, packed a full audience. The laughs kept on coming, and so did awareness and money for the treatment center, which supports those with chemical addictions in the greater Cincinnati area. Bill Whyte, WUBE’s morning show co-host, emceed the event and took the stage for his own stand-up routine. The station rallied its listeners to the event with live, on-air announcements and Web banners. After the last comedian took the microphone, over $16,000 had been generated for the center, which provides treatment options, including detoxification and short-term residential care, on a sliding-fee scale based on household income. "As a nonprofit, we rely on media relationships to help deliver our message. WUBE provided publicity we very much needed," said Laurie Zimmerman, development director at the Center for Chemical Addictions Treatment. "The station is an old name in Cincinnati, so it gave our event credibility." WUBE has plans underway to provide support for the center’s next Comedy Jam.

KFMJ-FM Promotes Anti-Drug Message

"Overcome it." That is the anti-drug message KFMJ-FM in Ketchikan, Alaska, uses to reach teens who may be tempted to try illegal substances. The public service announcement (PSA), which features a Ketchikan school board member, won a Goldie Award from the Alaska Broadcasting Association in 2007 and continues to air every day, as it has since it was first produced in 2006. The message is just one of the station’s many drug prevention efforts. For more than a decade, KFMJ has used the airways to confront the drug abuse problem in its community. Every October, the station runs PSAs for Red Ribbon Week, a campaign that encourages Alaskans to take action and raise awareness of drug prevention efforts. In 2007, the station supported an inaugural effort by the Women of the Moose, who challenged the third-grade classes in the area to come up with an anti-drug message. When Mrs. Klinger’s class from Houghtaling Elementary won the honor of best entry, KFMJ brought the studio to the school and recorded the kids singing "There Ain’t No Drugs on Me." The recording is being broadcast as a PSA. Station staff wanted to communicate with parents struggling with addictions as well, so they produced a series of announcements featuring a child’s voice saying, "Stop the abuse. You are our role model." The station hopes listeners with a problem get the message.

KSNX-FM, KDJI-AM, KZUA-FM, KRIM-FM, KVWM-AM and KVSL-AM Anti-Drug Campaign

Ever since the area was rated as having the highest methamphetamine-related crime problem in the state, KSNX-FM in Show Low, Ariz., and its five sister stations, KDJI-AM, KZUA-FM, KRIM-FM, KVWM-AM and KVSL-AM, have been working to improve the situation. The station produced anti-drug public service announcements featuring local high school students, which ran three times a day on all six stations for half a year. When all the television stations in the state aired "Crystal Darkness," an Emmy-Award winning documentary about the dangers of meth use, KSNX and KZUA simulcast the program and provided a call center staffed with addiction counselors as a resource for those in the area needing help. To raise money for the Arizona Meth Coalition, the stations created a "Drive Away Drugs" fundraiser, where a golf cart signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks was raffled. Together with other station-supported fundraising, the effort resulted in more than $16,000 for the coalition. The stations plan on continuing to fight meth use by partnering with the coalition on future efforts.

KRAI-FM Airs Special on Meth Abuse

Driven by the desire to help its community eradicate methamphetamine abuse, KRAI-FM of Craig, Colo., organized a workshop to help educate employers about the legalities of drug testing and held a community-wide event to raise awareness about the drug’s dangers. At the Communities Overcoming Meth Abuse (COMA) Drugs in the Workplace event, a local attorney armed local business owners with a better understanding of the legal issues and helped them draft drug testing policies for their workplaces. The station promoted the event with on-air information, six newscasts, a five-minute morning show interview and Web-based promotion on the station’s news and events page. KRAI then ran 180 minutes of produced and live promotions, 15 minutes of morning show interviews, stories on six newscasts and prominent Web site coverage for the COMA Community Appreciation Barbecue, which drew more than 300 people together for free food and a live concert in support of eliminating meth from the community. The station’s staff contributed 42 hours to put on the event. KRAI was a National Association of Broadcasters Crystal Award finalist in 2008.

KTVB-TV Boise Airs Special on Meth Abuse

Raising community awareness about the dangers of methamphetamine was just the beginning for KTVB-TV of Boise, Idaho. What began as a community public service project to help combat the use of the highly addictive drug ultimately helped breathe new life into area coalitions, encouraged businesses to consider implementing drug-free workplaces, led to a new detoxification center and inspired the Idaho governor to launch a multimillion dollar media campaign against meth. The station’s efforts included news stories during "News at 10," a "Life or Meth" documentary, and remotes at area schools and businesses. KTVB’s Web site featured a "March Against Meth" splash page, news stories, a live-stream town hall meeting, public service announcements, and links to resources and treatment centers. The KTVB news group produced 16 different "March Against Meth" announcements that aired more than 1,300 times at a value of $84,590. That was just one part of more than $200,000 worth of resources the station dedicated to the campaign in a 30-day period. KTVB was a National Association of Broadcasters’ Service to America Award winner in 2008.

WHO-AM Des Moines Supports Teen Golf Challenge

At the 10th Annual Teen Challenge Golf Marathon, WHO-AM in Des Moines, Iowa, broadcast live, and on-air personalities put their athletic abilities to the test to raise funds for Iowans overcoming addictions. One case in point: Mark Allen, the WHO morning sportscaster, took out an iron at a par three hole and hit three balls for each listener who called in a pledge of $50 or more. By the 100th hole in the marathon, more than $126,000 had been raised for Teen Challenge of the Midlands, a faith-based live-in program to help teens and adults trying to turn their lives around and become sober. All team spots were sold out for the event, thanks in part to WHO’s media sponsorship, which included three months of promotional announcements, live mentions and feature stories about people who have gone through the program and beat their addiction. "WHO has helped us transform Teen Challenge from one of the state’s best kept secrets to an organization that many citizens now recognize and think highly of," said Pastor Warren Hunsberger, the regional director of Teen Challenge of the Midlands. "Our golf marathon is our principle fund-raising event, and WHO has put it on the map."

WBYT-FM Supports St. Joseph County Police Department

Helping support the St. Joseph County Police Department in its effort to bring drug and alcohol prevention programs to school children, WBYT-FM in Mishawaka, Ind., provided media support for the 2007 "D.A.R.E. Golf Outing and Hog Roast." The station inspired golfers to go to the green by broadcasting promotional spots, a live interview and a two-hour live remote from the event. WBYT staff fielded a team in the event as well. The day on the course brought in a total of $9,000 for the St. Joseph County Police Department D.A.R.E. (Drug and Alcohol Resistance Education) program, which went toward the purchase of workbooks, school supplies and t-shirts for area students participating in the program. In a letter to the station, D.A.R.E. Officer Sgt. William Redman and spokesperson for the Saint Joseph County Police Jaimee Thirion wrote, "The promotional ads that aired live definitely helped us out. We had to turn golf teams away because we filled up so fast! We couldn’t have done it without you."

KOBI-TV and KOTI-TV Helps Prevent Drug Abuse

An award-winning three-year project started by KOBI-TV in Medford, Ore., and KOTI-TV in Klamath Falls, Ore., focuses on stopping methamphetamine abuse before it starts. With meth playing a part in three out of four foster care placements and eight out of 10 arrests, "The Southern Oregon Meth Project" has a mission to prevent the next generation from becoming addicts. As spokesperson for the project, Christina Anderson, news anchor and reporter for KOBI and KOTI, visits schools to get word out about the dangers of meth. Public service announcements (PSAs) and radio and newspaper ads are also part of the prevention strategy. Special reports and quarterly half-hour specials related to meth air on both stations. Other components of the extensive effort have included student PSA contests, a three-part Meth Forum attended by 300 community members and a live broadcast of a townhall meeting where drug abuse was discussed with U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden(D-OR), and Gordon Smith (R-OR). The project was given the Chairman’s Community Award by the Chamber of Medford/Jackson County, and its "Faces of Meth" PSA was recognized by the Oregon Broadcasters Association in 2007.

KUSI-TV Uncovers Dangers of Oxycontin Drug Abuse for San Diego Viewers

McKinnon Broadcasting-owned KUSI-TV San Diego, Calif., recently launched an outreach initiative to address drug abuse and the addictive prescription medication, Oxycontin. In 2007, 5.2 million kids reported using prescription drugs, while most of their parents were unaware. To combat this growing number, KUSI-TV developed a series of reports and a two-hour news special that explored the ways Oxycontin hurts individuals, families and communities. Station anchors, Allen Denton and Sandra Maas, hosted the eye-opening documentary which included numerous personal testimonials, a live help line for viewers and information for parents and teens to obtain help in fighting addiction.