Opioid Addiction | WAMC

Opioid Addiction

Dr. Alan Chartock
Eric Korenman

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock discusses House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's response after U.S. Attorney General William Barr skipped a hearing by the House Judiciary Committee Thursday.


On today's program we discuss the societal impacts and treatment methods surrounding opioid addiction with Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple and Hope House's Executive Director Kevin Connally. WAMC's Ray Graf hosts.

Dr. Alan Chartock
Eric Korenman

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock discusses President Trump's "victory lap" rally in Michigan Thursday, and reports that the New York state budget is nearly finished and ready for lawmakers to vote on this Sunday. He also comments on a lawsuit filed by New York State Attorney General Letitia James against manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioids, for their alleged role in the opioid epidemic. 

Letitia James
Facebook: New York State Attorney General

New York Attorney General Letitia James has filed what the Democrat calls the country’s most extensive lawsuit against pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors for their alleged role in the opioid epidemic.

The opioid crisis has ravaged much of upstate New York.

today’s Congressional Corner, New York Representative Anthony Brindisi of the 22nd House district wraps up conversation with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

Composite photo Dave Lucas/WAMC & Be.Futureproof/Flickr

Four upstate New York cities are suing the manufacturers and distributors of opioid painkillers.

WAMC’s November conversation with Berkshire County Sheriff Thomas Bowler about the role of medically assisted treatments in the Berkshire County House Of Corrections prompted a number of responses. One came from Doctor Jennifer Michaels. She’s on staff at Berkshire Medical Center and serves as the the medical director of the Brien Center. The Pittsfield-based institution is the county’s largest mental health services provider. County residents struggling with opioid addictions receive treatment there, taking advantage of the center’s long-term programming that teaches coping skills and sets health goals. Michaels tells WAMC that the sheriff’s stance against medically assisted treatments flies in the face of fact.

Mike Spain

WAMC's David Guistina speaks with Mike Spain, Associate Editor of The Times Union, about the New York state Senate. The pair also discuss the state's audit of opioid treatment programs and a failure to use the state's perscription monitoring system.

      The personal toll of the opioid epidemic is well chronicled.  Now, a Beacon Hill think tank has produced a report on the economic impact.

Picture of Heroin
Adobe Stock

Northern New York Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik is hosting a roundtable on opioid addiction in Saratoga County Friday.

Composite photo Dave Lucas/WAMC & Be.Futureproof/Flickr

Earlier this year, the Siena College Research Institute conducted a four-part poll that took a comprehensive look at the scope of the opioid crisis in New York. Today Siena is out with an addendum.


An opioid abuse treatment bill cosponsored by Western Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal has cleared a hurdle in the House. 

Oxycodone pills

Officials in the city of Plattsburgh have joined a growing list of municipalities planning to sue pharmaceutical companies over the opioid crisis.


More than a ton of prescription medications have been safely disposed of since a drug takeback program started in western Massachusetts ten months ago.

Picture of Heroin
Adobe Stock

The Connecticut Bar Association hosted a panel discussion Monday about the opioid addiction crisis.

mailer bag
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Some 78 people die each day across the country from prescription opioid-related overdoses and statistics show 4 out of 5 of heroin users started with prescription opioids.  Albany County now has a task force in place to battle the crisis.

Burlington opioid forum
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Opioid deaths in Vermont increased 38 percent in 2016 despite efforts by health, law enforcement and government officials to stem the crisis. Now, the city of Burlington has drafted 11 principles to guide its approach in dealing with the crisis.  Thursday evening, the mayor hosted a public forum to encourage public input on the principles before they are presented to the city council.

Rep. Peter Welch
photo provided

The fight against opioid addiction continues.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Vermont Representative Peter Welch concludes his discussion with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

Congressman Paul Tonko
Congressman Paul Tonko

  The opioid crisis has worried officials across the Northeast.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York Representative Paul Tonko — a Democrat from the 20th district — tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock about a recent forum he hosted in Albany. 

Lucas Willard / WAMC

The same day that musician Prince’s death was attributed to an overdose of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, Director of National Drug Control Policy Michael Botticelli visited Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences to advocate for policies that he says will address addiction by increasing access to treatment and the overdose reversal drug naloxone, improve prescribing practices, and support law enforcement and prevention strategies.

Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Vermont will get $4 million during the next four years from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent overdose deaths caused by prescription opiate drugs.