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Opioids: Crisis in the Northland

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Episode 1 - Tracing an Epidemic

The Roots of Opioid Use and Abuse

This six-part miniseries begins with a look into the underlying causes of the epidemic. Through conversations with medical professionals, harm reduction specialists, law makers and community specialists, this episode shows just how prevalent the opioid epidemic is in the Northland and how everyone – even those closet to us – can develop an opioid use disorder.

Thank you to St. Luke’s for their support in the production of this episode, as well as the following interviewees who shared their time, experiences and knowledge with this project:

  • Dr. Nicholas Van Deelan, St. Luke's Emergency Dept.
  • Sue Purchase, Harm Reduction Specialist
  • Elizabeth Bilden, Essentia Health Toxicologist
  • Stephan Witherspoon, Duluth NAACP President
  • Rep. David Baker, (R) Minnesota House of Representatives, 17-B
  • Duluth Police Lt. Jeff Kazel, Commander of the Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crime Task Force
  • Dr. Heather Blue, UMD, St. Luke's
  • Dr. Amanda Klein, UMD's College of Pharmacy
  • Allissa Penney
  • Natives Against Heroin Group

Related Clips

Embedded thumbnail for Ep 1 - Digital Short 1: Tracing an Epidemic

"It made a lot of us wake up, finally, and say 'This is a disease'"- Representative David Baker (R) of Minnesota's...

Embedded thumbnail for Ep 1 - Digital Short 2: Tracing an Epidemic

Why is the opioid epidemic in the spotlight now when it's been a longstanding problem? Dr. Heather Blue from UMD...

Embedded thumbnail for Ep 1 - Digital Short 3: Tracing an Epidemic

"It's happening in Cloquet, it's happening in Duluth, it's happening on the Iron Range, and people can't ignore it...

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Podcast - Episode 1

About The Series

Opioids: Crisis in the Northland is a new television and digital project from WDSE · WRPT that addresses many facets of the opioid epidemic in our region in order to encourage conversations and solutions around this devastating issue. Learn more...

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