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New York State Public Media Special Report: 'COVID-19 and the Overdose Epidemic'

Join WXXI News’ Evan Dawson at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, for a statewide discussion on how the pandemic and the response have exacerbated the ongoing overdose epidemic.

The New York State Public Media Special Report: "COVID-19 and the Overdose Epidemic," airs on WXXI-TV and on PBS stations across New York state. It will also be streamed via the YouTube link below.

During the broadcast, medical experts, researchers, nonprofit organizations, and New Yorkers in recovery will examine the state of the crisis in communities throughout New York and discuss how to curb it.

Expert guests include:

  • Chinazo O. Cunningham, M.D., commissioner of the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports.
  • Indu Gupta, M.D., former commissioner of health at the Onondaga County Health Department, and former co-chair of the Onondaga County Drug Task Force.
  • Elaine Hill, Ph.D., associate professor of public health sciences and economics at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
  • Avi Israel, president and founder of Save the Michaels of the World, an organization that raises awareness of prescription and other drug addictions.

With contributions from multiple New York state PBS stations, the forum also features personal stories of addiction struggles during the pandemic and explores harm reduction strategies currently enacted across the state.

Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.