Treating America’s Opioid Addiction
Part 3: Searching for Meaning in Kensington.
Treating America’s Opioid Addiction Part 3: Searching for Meaning in Kensington by Distillations: Science + Culture + History
“We should never, ever forget that addiction treatment is a search for meaning in a place other than using drugs.” —Nancy Campbell, historian of drug addiction.
In the final chapter of this series we travel to the heart of our modern opioid crisis. In what is now a notorious Philadelphia neighborhood called Kensington, we meet two victims of the epidemic and follow them on two distinct paths toward recovery.
Our current devastating opioid crisis is unprecedented in its reach and deadliness, but it’s not the first such epidemic the United States has experienced or tried to treat. In fact, it’s the third.
Treating America’s Opioid Addiction is a three-part series that investigates how we’ve understood and treated opioid addiction over more than a century. Through the years we’ve categorized opioid addiction as some combination of a moral failure, a mental illness, a biological disease, or a crime. And though we’ve desperately wanted the problem to be something science alone can solve, the more we look, the more complicated we learn it is.
Hosts: Alexis Pedrick and Elisabeth Berry Drago.
Reporters: Mariel Carr and Rigoberto Hernandez, with additional reporting by Meir Rinde.
Senior Producer: Mariel Carr
Producer: Rigoberto Hernandez
Audio Engineer: James Morrison
Photo illustration by Jay Muhlin.
Additional audio production by Dan Drago.
Additional music courtesy of the Audio Network.
Claire Clark, author of The Recovery Revolution: The Battle over Addiction Treatment in the United States.
Nancy Campbell, historian and director of Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Chris Marshall, former member and director of the Last Stop.
Miranda Thomas, Kensington resident.
Joseph Garbely, vice president of medical services and medical director of the Caron Treatment Centers.
Lara Weinstein, primary care physician, Project HOME and Pathways to Housing PA
Special thanks to Jennifer Reardon of Temple Health Communications and to Joseph D’Orazio and David O’Gurek.
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