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Thursday, 17 May 2018 09:23

Cover 2 Podcast: Week of 05-19-18

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In 2016, more than 63,000 people died of drug overdoses in the United States, more than triple from 2000. Among the many cities that are affected by this crisis, Philadelphia has been drastically affected. Greg is joined by Dr. Tom Farley, the Commissioner of the Philadelphia Department of Health. Dr. Farley says that the opioid epidemic has surpassed the AIDS epidemic that was sweeping Philly in the 1990’s and surpasses the amount of deaths from the entire Vietnam War. 
 
Since Dr. Farley is the Commissioner of the Philadelphia Health Department, he considers himself the “doctor” of the city and is on a mission to help illuminate how Philly can take an active role in combating this epidemic through harm reduction programs. He says that they surveyed the general population of the city and found out that one-third received opioid prescriptions, and 1 in 7 were currently taking opioids. Many of those are predicted to graduate to heroin. 
 
They started a plan in the Fall of 2016 to find new ways to help the city control the epidemic and prevent people from dying. The Mayor appointed about 20 task force members which were joined by 150 people that have been affected by the opioid crisis to come up with recommendations. After much hard work, there were 18 recommendations that were concluded from the committee to help their city and communities. The final report and 18 recommendations will be published along with this episode.
 
Some of the recommendations include prevention, education, low-barrier housing, medical intervention, and overdose prevention (to name a few). Listen and learn more about the plans for the city of Philadelphia, along with other controversies they think will lead to positive change during this national crisis.​
Wednesday, 09 May 2018 11:38

Cover 2 Podcast: Week of 05/12/18

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Greg is joined by Amy Dresner, a former professional stand-up comic who appeared at the Comedy Store, The Laugh Factory and the Improv. She is most recently known as the author of “My Fair Junkie: A Memoir of Getting Dirty and Staying Clean” where she describes her struggles with addiction, and the extreme circumstances that led her to sobriety. 
 
Amy’s book is brutally honest about addiction and how it affected her life. Amy tells Greg about the arrest that led her down an even darker path. She explains how her mandatory community service was life-changing, humbling, and when she started to realize the depth of her situation. Her epiphany came during those hours which has led to living a sober life. 
 
Listen as Greg talks to Amy about her journey and how it was like living with addiction and what she has done to overcome those challenges. Those who have read her book and other publishing’s have said it has helped them feel less ashamed, less alone and they appreciate her brutally honesty when it comes to addiction.
Tuesday, 01 May 2018 10:55

Cover 2 Podcast: Week of 05/05/18

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Greg is joined by Matt Ruth, the Chief Commercial Officer at Adapt Pharma, a privately-held company committed to expanding affordable access to NARCAN Nasal Spray. NARCAN is the brand name for Naloxone, which is a formulation used by first responders to reverse an overdose. 
 
During this episode they discuss the stigma attached to the use of this product, and Greg touches on the subject of the marketplace exploiting this opportunity to increase prices. Matt says that Adapt Pharma’s price has remained the same since the beginning and that they are working to make sure this solution is offered at an affordable price.
 
The goal for Adapt Pharma is to create more awareness about this product so that friends and families affected by the opioid crisis know about the reversal agent. In addition, they propose that all law enforcement should carry Naloxone because of the risk of the job and being exposed to Fentanyl.  
 
When someone is brought back from an overdose there is a window of opportunity to get them the treatment that they need to overcome their addiction. Matt says, “Naloxone is not a solution for treatment, but hopefully a bridge to treatment.” The ultimate goal is to save a life and hope that they have the proper treatment for another chance.
Tuesday, 24 April 2018 11:22

Cover 2 Podcast: 04/28/18

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Greg interviews Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) who has also been named one of Time Magazine’s “Top 100 People Who Shape Our World.” Focusing on the science of addiction and the effects it can have on the human brain, Dr. Volkow discusses how physically addiction can take hold of the person and how each person has a unique fight with addiction due to their genetic makeup. Some environments can have a direct impact on each situation. Whether you come from an extremely protective environment or an environment of neglect, these elements can have a direct effect on your battle with addiction. 
 
Take a listen to discover more about the science and anatomy of addiction and how we as a community can support others through their battle.
Saturday, 21 April 2018 06:00

Cover 2 Podcast: Week of 04/21/18

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The week of April 9th through the 13th, Summit County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board (ADM) recognized the first responders. These are the individuals on the frontlines of the opioid epidemic, and the first responders who witness the effects of the crisis firsthand. Greg McNeil sat down with Jerry Craig, Executive Director of the ADM Board, and with Barberton Police Chief, Vince Morber. The panel discussed the role of the quick response teams (QRTs) and how they took off, especially in Summit County. 
 
The QRTs partnered with the Fire Department to assist overdose victims and added another aspect to their plan by following-up. Chief Morber stated that, “You show up at a time that is a non-crisis situation, and [by doing so] you bring a message of caring.” People are more receptive to treatment when they see genuine concern and how these quick response teams come back multiple times after an overdose visit. It shows that these first responders are truly here to help and offer support. 
 
In the past two years, safety forces have responded to 4,700 overdoses within the community. This was an open door to deploy the quick response teams. In 2017, ten jurisdictions with QRTs made 2,986 post overdose visits to try and offer help to the victims. The community is encouraged to share messages and get involved in showing appreciation for those fighting the epidemic so selflessly and courageously.
 
Listen to the podcast here and learn more about First Responders Appreciation Week.
Wednesday, 11 April 2018 10:42

Cover 2 Podcast: Week of 04/14/18

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Greg sat down with New York Times best-selling author David Sheff to discuss the devastating effects the opioid epidemic has had on families. Sheff has also been named one Time Magazine’s “Top 100 Most Influential People,” and is no stranger to the opioid crisis. 
 
The hard facts are most programs don’t have the medical resources to fight the epidemic. Sheff stated, “In many programs, a person can go into treatment and they never, ever see a doctor.” It is a shocking realization that someone fighting a disease often goes without medical attention. Almost everyone ends up in a program that may not be fully equipped to help them.
The two discussed treatment methods and how the plans need to be as unique as each individual, as everyone is fighting their own battle in various ways.
 
Listen to today’s podcast for more great ways Sheff and McNeil discuss treatment options and resources for those taking on addiction.
Tuesday, 03 April 2018 11:41

Cover 2 Podcast: Week of 04/07/18

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In this very honest conversation, Greg talks to Darryl Strawberry who opens up about his life struggles which began in early childhood and reached into his highly successful baseball career. He was suspended three times for drug abuse during his 17 years in the league, but since then, he has walked the challenging road to recovery and turned his life around. He shares with Greg his journey involving an alcoholic father who abused him physically and emotionally before leaving when Darryl was 13, and the consequential pain he carried inside. Through his experiences, he is able to offer tremendous insight and clarity about the recovery process. 
 
Greg learns about the key role supportive people play in the lives of those trying to overcome addiction. “It takes people to help people,” Darryl explains. He also details why recovery can’t happen overnight, and how the compassion of others is pivotal. Part of his recovery process involved bringing faith into his life and achieving growth through the church’s teachings that relate to commitment and discipline. 
 
Darryl supports the recovery process through resources available at FindingYourWay.com and StrawberryMinistries.org. He also published the book Don’t Give Up on Me, Shedding Light on Addiction.
Wednesday, 28 March 2018 10:08

Cover 2 Podcast: 03/31/18

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In this new episode, Greg talks to Barbara Marsh, the assistant to the health commissioner in Dayton and Jody Long, the director of behavioral health treatment and support services for the Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Services. They discuss how their two respective departments came together to form COAT in 2016, which has proven to be a very effective and comprehensive program that’s preventing deaths at the hands of the opioid epidemic.
 
Join Greg as he learns how this program was established and what it means to the community it serves. They explore the collective impact model and the national incident management system (NIMS) which guides responses to incidents and emergencies. They describe their work with 60 community partners/stakeholders who all came to the table because every sector has a vested interest since they all have been affected by the overdose problem.
Tuesday, 20 March 2018 11:20

Cover 2 Podcast: Week of 03/24/18

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In today’s podcast, Greg talks with Kimberly Fraser, Executive Director, Lake County (Ohio) Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board, and Jessie Baginski, Ph.D., President/CEO, Leadership Lake County. Both guests have been touched by the opioid crisis, with family members falling prey to its draconian outcomes. They are overseeing Operation Resolve, a unique program designed to help fight the opioid crisis by reaching out to employers and offering them resources with which they can engage their workforce. The educational information they provide relates to drug abuse, addiction and where to find help. 

Wednesday, 14 March 2018 11:42

Cover 2 Podcast: Week of 03/17/18

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Greg learns about a new Drug Enforcement Agency program, DEA360, in an illuminating conversation with Sean Fearns, the chief of community outreach. He describes how the programming takes a comprehensive approach to breaking the cycle of drug trafficking, drug violence and drug abuse. DEA360 was first introduced in 2015 with a pilot program in Pittsburgh. 

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