New York’s Public Media Stations To Examine Addiction and Overdose Crisis

New York’s Overdose Epidemic” Combines Original Content, Multiplatform Resources, a Statewide Town Hall, and Kicks Off a Year of Special Programming

Opioids Overdose Fatalities Up 68% Since 2019

Mountain Lake PBS announced today that the week of February 13th will kick off a public media collaboration to examine New York State’s addiction and overdose crisis. “Overdose Epidemic” programming will draw attention to this public health crisis and raise awareness of services available in local communities for those impacted by addiction.

Public media is renowned for its thoughtful and thorough approach to public affairs and social issues, and “Overdose Epidemic” will touch on topics as wide-ranging as the science of addiction, reducing the stigma of addiction and recovery, addiction among veterans and young people, and what public health officials are doing to combat the crisis.

Mountain Lake PBS has developed this effort in a collaboration with the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Support (OASAS), relying on their scientific and treatment expertise.  OASAS is providing dynamic tools for New Yorkers to connect with local recovery resources in their community.

NYS Office of Addiction Services and Supports Commissioner, Dr. Chinazo Cunningham said, “We continue to experience the worst overdose epidemic in the history of our state and nation. Educating the public is essential to helping end stigma; ensure that people know how to access help; and to promoting the effectiveness of prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery services.   We appreciate public media’s interest in highlighting this important issue and know that this collaboration will help us to raise awareness and save more lives.”

“Addiction and overdoses tragically increased during the pandemic,” said Bill McColgan, President & CEO of Mountain Lake PBS. “We hope that by examining this epidemic and highlighting how and where help is available, that we can help save lives.”

“Overdose Epidemic” brings together public media across the state to focus on a single issue across multiple platforms—broadcast television, radio, podcasts, online streaming, social media, live events, and more.

The week of special programming will include a one-hour live broadcast “New York State Public Media Special Report: COVID-19 and the Overdose Epidemic” which will feature stories from across the state of New Yorkers in recovery, experts on addiction and the COVID-19 epidemic, government officials addressing the crisis, and local agencies providing services and support to those affected by the crisis.  This broadcast is being produced by WXXI in Rochester and will be carried on all nine public television stations throughout the state. This special forum will air on Mountain Lake PBS on Friday, Feb 17 at 8 PM, with repeats throughout the weekend.

Local information including addiction and recovery resources can be found online at, which also includes programming from across the public media system, and educational resources for teachers.

Programs to air on Mountain Lake PBS during “Overdose Epidemic” week:

2/13 at 10 PM – Love in the Time of Fentanyl – As deaths in Vancouver, Canada reach an all-time high, the Overdose Prevention Society opens its doors—a renegade supervised drug consumption site that employs active and former drug users. Its staff and volunteers do whatever it takes to save lives and give hope to a marginalized community in this intimate documentary that looks beyond the stigma of people who use fentanyl and other drugs.

2/15 at 2 PM – Connect NY: The Overdose Epidemic (repeats 2/18 at 6 PM) – With an influx of money from opioid legal settlements incoming, the state has decided where those dollars will be spent. On this episode of Connect NY we’ll discuss how New York and local municipalities will use this money to curb the opioid overdose crisis, and what the next steps are for treating this nationwide epidemic.

2/16 at 1 PM – 7 Days: The Opioid Crisis – Hear the stories of Arkansans who have suffered from addiction — as well as the continued fight in the state to address issues surrounding opioid use, misuse and addiction — in “7 Days: The Opioid Crisis in Arkansas.

2/16 at 2 PM – FRONTLINE Opioids Inc. – The story of a drug company that pushed opioids by bribing doctors and committing insurance fraud. With the Financial Times, FRONTLINE investigates how Insys Therapeutics profited from a fentanyl-based painkiller 50 times stronger than heroin.

2/17 at 8 PM NYS Public Media Special Report: Covid-19 and the Overdose Epidemic (repeats 2/18 at 7 PM, 2/19 at 5 AM, 10 AM, 2/20 at 5 PM)

2/19 at 11 AM – New York NOW – A special report examining the overdose epidemic.

“Overdose Epidemic” programming will continue to be produced by public media stations and aired throughout 2023 and available to stream.

The New York State Office of Addiction Services and Support (OASAS) oversees one of the nation’s largest addiction services systems with approximately 1,600 prevention, treatment and recovery programs. OASAS chemical dependency treatment programs have an average daily enrollment of nearly 100,000 people and serve approximately 234,000 individuals every year.

New Yorkers struggling with an addiction can visit to learn more and find treatment or Call the 24/7 HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY or Text HOPENY (467369)