Today on the show, substitute host Gil Halsted speaks with two guests about the opioid crisis in Wisconsin. What does the opioid epidemic look like on the ground, and what does recovery look like for those who are able to recover? Our guests are addiction specialist Dr. Randy Brown, and recovery coach Jesse Heffernan.
We explore what role prescribing doctors have played in facilitating the epidemic. And, we hear from an alumni of Oxford House, a sober living transitional housing program in Madison, who wants to know why there are not state outreach workers in Madison like there are in other states. We hear from listeners who wonder if the newer drug carfentanyl been contributing to the severity of overdose deaths, and from those who wonder if decriminalization of all drugs is a possible solution.
All of this in the context that at least twenty-four Wisconsin counties are suing the makers of various opioids, claiming that their false and deceptive practices made opioids dangerously popular and led to the overdose epidemic.
Dr. Randy Brown, MD Ph, is an addiction specialist at the UW-Madison Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. He is Director of the American Board of Addiction Medicine and the Addiction Medicine Foundation, as well as the President Elect of the Addiction Medicine Fellowship Directors’ Association.
Jesse Heffernan is a Recovery Coach & Consultant with 16 years in long term recovery from substance use and mental health. He currently works as the National Outreach & Empowerment Coordinator for Faces & Voices of Recovery.