WXXI AM News

Opioid Crisis

WXXI, in partnership with public broadcasting stations across New York state, will air special programming examining the opioid crisis during the week of Oct. 15.

New York’s Opioid Crisis is a first-of-its-kind partnership to draw attention to this public health crisis and raise awareness of services available in local communities for those affected by opioid addiction.

Support for opioid crisis programming on WXXI is provided in part by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. A complete list of programs can be found here: WXXI.org/opioid-prog.

We want to hear what you have to say about opioid and heroin use in our community. Please click on this link to take a short survey.

 

The heroin and opioid epidemic, recently declared a national public health emergency, is a problem surrounded by questions. Experts join Need to Know's Hélène Biandudi Hofer to help make sense of some of the most pressing questions and concerns in relation to addiction, treatment and support.

206 - that is the number of deaths in 2016 related to heroin, opioids, fentanyl, and related substances within the ten counties served by the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s office. That’s a number that grew 142 percent from 2015 to 2016.

It’s also a number that the Polito family of Rochester, like countless others, feared would include their own child, Mary Jo. In 2016 they learned their daughter was addicted to heroin and life as they knew it changed.

The Polito family’s story is one that may resonate with many watching this broadcast. And it’s a story Mary Jo herself wanted to share solely in the hopes of helping to save at least one life.

It’s a problem that’s not going away, in fact, it’s only getting worse. The heroin and opioid crisis in the Rochester region is taking lives, destroying families and neighborhoods, and shattering dreams.

On this edition of Need to Know we hear from addicts trying to reclaim their lives, a family with a message for others struggling to help their loved ones, experts working to peel away the layers of addiction and the women of a special coffee shop whose once broken dreams are being rebuilt.

The heroin and opioid epidemic is taking the lives of young and old in our region...and it’s only getting worse.

Thursday, November 2 at 8 p.m. on WXXI-TV is a special edition of Need to Know as addicts, families, and people involved in grassroots efforts speak out to help peel back the layers of addiction and provide a path for support.

Author Lisa Hillman shares her personal story of raising a child with an addiction. The Hillmans are a prominent family in Annapolis, Maryland – Lisa, an accomplished fundraising executive for a leading healthcare system, her husband, a former mayor. Yet in Secret No More, Hillman offers a look behind the curtain. Her son, Jacob, struggled with addiction beginning in high school, and his addiction progressed from alcohol to the marijuana, to OxyContin, and then, to heroin.

In her book, Hillman shares her family’s journey, with the goal of offering hope to other struggling parents. She’s our guest for the hour.

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