What is there left to say about the opioid crisis that has not already been said? It’s claimed thousands of lives, torn apart families and communities, strained our country’s already fractured healthcare system, and cost the economy billions, perhaps trillions, of dollars. If burning a path through communities for the last twenty years was not enough, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many individuals and families to endure joblessness, potential homelessness, and other uncertainties, causing a spike in substance use and subsequently, overdoses.
In this episode, we spoke to Glenn Sterner, PhD, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Penn State Abington, and Stephen Forzato, Deputy Chief for Statewide Drug Initiatives at the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General about reducing the stigma of the opioid crisis and greater issues of substance use.
For more information about Glenn Sterner, PhD’s work in reducing the stigma of the opioid crisis through storytelling, visit shareyouropioidstory.com. For more information about finding treatment for substance use disorder, please visit SAMHSA’s treatment provider website.
Note: This episode was recorded before the outbreak of COVID-19 and does not address current circumstances, but the issues discussed are undoubtedly exacerbated due to the conditions of the pandemic. Since the recording of this episode, Mr. Forzato has retired from law enforcement to join the faculty of St. Joseph’s University as the Director of the Center for Addiction and Recovery Education.