Solving the Opioid Epidemic – WHYY

A smile, clean socks, a sandwich, a wound care kit, a heartfelt “how are you feeling today?” All of these things can be part of a public health approach called harm reduction, and many believe it’s the best way to help those who’re living with opioid addiction. The approach is to meet people where they’re at, gaining their trust, and paving a path toward treatment and recovery.

Journalist Beth Macy has covered the devastating impact of the opioid epidemic for years — including in her best-selling book “Dopesick,” which was turned into a Hulu limited series. In her latest book, she pivots to solutions. In “Raising Lazarus” she introduces audiences to the people on the frontlines of the opioid crisis, who are trying to save lives — one person at a time. We talk to Macy about her book and hear from people who are trying new ways to keep people alive and get them into treatment.

Also heard on this week’s episode:

  • We talk with Ed Bisch about the personal tragedy that led him to connect with other grieving families, and his activism with the group Relatives Against Purdue.
  • We listen back to Nina Feldman’s story of a volunteer outreach worker in Philadelphia, who believes everybody should have Narcan available.


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