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The Rise of Substance Use Disorder in the Pandemic

J. Junker
All about the HEALing Communities Study

Before the arrival of corona virus, substance use disorder was a public health emergency. The pandemic has only exacerbated the problem: C.D.C. data shows overdose deaths increased 18% from 2019 to 2020. On the Point, we discuss public health campaigns on Martha’s Vineyard and the Cape. Both encourage a collaborative and multi-faceted approach to decrease stigma, and increase access to supports and services. Later in the hour we hear about how, in partnership with the NIH and academic institutions, The HEALing Communities Study aims to reduce opioid overdose deaths by 40 percent over 3 years in participating communities.
Guests on the program are as follows:

Dr. Charles Silberstein, Medical Director at Martha’s Vineyard Community Services Island Counseling Center and on staff at the Martha's Vineyard Hospital

Michele Jones, Harm Reduction Outreach with Health Imperatives and AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod

Dr. Joe Smyser, CEO of Public Good Projects

Erin Ralston, Community Coordinator for HEALing Communities Bourne and Sandwich

Danny Rodriguez, Associate Director of Substance Use Disorder Services at Duffy Health Center

Kate Lena, Hyannis Program Manager and Harm Reduction Lead for the AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod

On Island is a public health campaign set in motion by the Martha’s Vineyard Substance use Disorder Coalition.

Here's a link to the hour-long documentary mentioned on the program

Here is a link to the NIH HEAL initiative with resources for Bourne and Sandwich

Mindy Todd is the host and producer of The Point on WCAI which examines critical issues for Cape Cod and the Islands. She brings more than 30 years of experience in radio and television to WCAI.