PBS North Carolina, in collaboration with and supported by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC), presents the final installment of Opioids: State of Recovery. This three-part series explores the effects of opioid misuse on North Carolina families and communities through personal stories of recovery and insights from medical experts and counselors. The new season takes viewers to western North Carolina to examine how the Cherokee community has dealt with the opioid crisis and checks in with a Caswell County family who shared their experiences of addiction in seasons one and two. The hour-long documentary debuts Wednesday, April 6, at 7 PM, on PBS NC and on the PBS Video App. It is accompanied by an online video series on video.pbsnc.org and YouTube.
“Thousands of North Carolinians are either trapped in the opioids misuse cycle or have family members actively struggling,” says the series’ executive producer and PBS North Carolina’s Director of North Carolina Channel, Kelly McCullen. “Blue Cross NC made it possible for us to blend educational components, including health care facts, with personal stories that take time and patience to develop. We couldn’t have done it without their support.”
In season three, Bianca Dardeen, a Cherokee tribe member who has been in recovery for four years, discusses how her community and son helped bring her back from the brink of suicide. She and experts from the Analenisgi Recovery Center address the stigma that surrounds addiction and share how the Cherokee community have reshaped recovery efforts through an organization called Mother Town, which helps people get back on their feet and find employment. In a follow-up to a story told in seasons one and two, Carrson Wright returns home for the first time since overdosing nearly two years ago, and his mother Leah Wright breaks ground on the first recovery high school in the Triangle, Wake Monarch Academy.
“The opioid epidemic has hurt communities across North Carolina,” said Anuradha Rao-Patel, MD, Senior Medical Director and AVP of Government Programs at Blue Cross NC. “Blue Cross NC is committed to helping – from funding for treatment and research partners, to working with members, providers and policy makers, to supporting awareness efforts like this collaboration with PBS North Carolina. This series brings awareness to the opioid epidemic and works to remove the stigma associated with those in recovery through unique, creative public programming telling the stories of those affected.”
For more information about the series as well as resources on substance abuse and recovery, visit pbsnc.org/stateofrecovery.