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WVPB's continuing coverage of the opioid crisis affecting West Virginia.

Opioid Recovery in Appalachia's Ground Zero

Tony Wagner
American Public Media
Welcome to Wise County, Virginia

For this episode, Trey speaks with Caitlin Esch, a reporter for The Uncertain Hour podcast, which is produced from the Wealth and Poverty Desk at APM’s Marketplace.  They’ve produced a series that examines the history of the so-called “War on Drugs.”

Within this series, Caitlin shines a light on the opioid crisis playing out in Appalachia -- “ground zero” for the nation’s current addiction problems. Several years ago, Caitlin was in Wise County, Virginia reporting about the problem with “pill mills” and the over prescribing of pain medications like Lortab, Vicodin and Oxycontin.  For this series, she returns to follow up with people she previously met and to see how this epidemic has shaped the outcomes of generations of people now.

The people of Wise County tell how these addictions take apart lives, families, companies and communities. However, Caitlin has also found some interesting approaches for helping the community recover.


Host of Us & Them/Independent Producer, tkay@wvpublic.org, @Trey_Kay

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