Recent studies by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the City of Boston, in conjunction with various health care agencies, have determined that opioid use and addiction in Massachusetts have become an epidemic impacting every community and killing as many as 1,000 people in Massachusetts last year alone. In an effort to expose this crisis and provide critical resource information, WCVB is launching a 13-week, multi-pronged public service campaign beginning Wednesday, June 17 with day-long, dedicated coverage entitled “5 On: Opioid Crisis.”
WCVB’s comprehensive community affairs initiative will include feature news reports, a series of public service announcements, digital media coverage and resources, community outreach, and special public affairs programming.
“Opioid addiction in the state has reached crisis proportions, and we want to educate our community of the seriousness and scope of this epidemic, how they can identify opioid use by family or friends, and what resources are available to those who need help,” said Bill Fine, WCVB President and General Manager. “By dedicating all of WCVB’s multi-platform resources to this public affairs campaign, we hope to curb addiction in the Commonwealth and help save lives.”
Beginning with NewsCenter 5 EyeOpener at 4:30AM continuing through Chronicle at 7:30PM, WCVB will focus on opioid addiction, its devastating effects, and what can be done to save lives with day-long coverage entitled “5 On: Opioid Crisis.” NewsCenter 5 topics include the path to addiction, often starting with prescription painkillers; seeking help and why for so many it is difficult to find or get effective treatment in the state of Massachusetts; the difficulties faced on the road to recovery; and new plans in the state to improve treatment and make it more accessible in an effort to prevent the number of those overdosing.
In addition to the day-long news coverage, Wednesday’s Chronicle (7:30-8 PM) will focus on opioid addiction by putting a human face on the growing epidemic and will travel to local communities where drug abuse is taking a tragic toll. The Chronicle team meets a twenty one year old girl from a Boston suburb whose high school drinking progressed to prescription drug abuse and then heroin. Also featured is the story of a high school athlete whose sports injury led him to a fatal drug habit, an innovative recovery program inside the Middlesex House of Corrections, and a unique drug court that is a last chance lifesaver for many desperate people. In addition, the Chronicle team talks with members of Governor Charlie Baker’s task force to learn how state and local officials are searching for solutions to the crisis.
Promo for “5 On: Opioid Crisis:” http://www.wcvb.com/5-on-opioid-crisis/33529960
In the coming weeks, WCVB will continue special news reports and digital media coverage (http://www.wcvb.com/health/opioids/33100632) as well as launch new public service announcements. On The Record (WCVB’s political roundtable airing Sundays at 11 AM featuring timely and provocative discussions with local newsmakers) will welcome Senate President Stan Rosenberg on Sunday, June 21 to discuss opioids among other topics, followed by Attorney General Maura Healey on June 28 who will also discuss the opioid epidemic. CityLine, WCVB’s award-winning urban news and feature magazine program airing Sundays at 12N, addressed the opioid crisis in Massachusetts this past Sunday with Dimock Center CEO Dr. Myechia Minter-Jordan who discussed the center’s efforts to come up with new solutions to combat the reoccurring trend of Heroin overdose deaths — a dilemma that has urged Massachusetts Governor, Charlie Baker, to declare a state of emergency. CityLine will continue to examine the topic on upcoming programs.
The above information was submitted to BMW from WCVB-TV.
Image Credit: WCVB-TV