Addiction in America: On the Front Lines - Boston
The New England region has been among the hardest hit by the nation’s opioid crisis. In 2016, the number of opioid-related deaths increased in every New England state, according to statistics released by public health officials.
Live from Boston on February 22, The Washington Post gathered key elected officials, medical experts and advocates who are on the front lines of combating the opioid epidemic.
This event was part of Washington Post Live’s “Addiction in America” series, which examines the devastating effects of addiction on communities across the country.
One-on-One with the Governor of Massachusetts
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (R) discusses his state’s efforts to combat the opioid crisis and proposed legislation aimed at addressing opioid addiction in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (R) describes the realities of the opioid epidemic in his state and discusses proposals for new treatment programs.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (R) describes his efforts, together with federal and local officials, to stop the movement of the drug, Fentanyl, get it off the streets and out of the communities.
Gov. Charlie Baker
Massachusetts (R)
Governor Charlie Baker was inaugurated as the 72nd Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on January 8th, 2015, after several decades of service in both state government and the private sector. As the co-chair of the National Governors Associations’ Health and Human Services committee, Governor Baker recently spearheaded a nationwide compact to focus on opioid prescribing guidelines and education programs for athletes.
Interviewed by Lenny Bernstein
Lenny Bernstein is a health and medicine reporter for The Washington Post.
Addiction in the Cities: Perspectives from the Mayors
Joyce Craig, Mayor of Manchester, N.H. (D) and Marty Walsh, Mayor of Boston (D) describe how local governments are responding to the opioid crisis affecting communities across the northeastern United States.
Joyce Craig, Mayor of Manchester, N.H. (D) and Marty Walsh, Mayor of Boston (D) discuss how the opioid epidemic is affecting their communities and what they see at the local level.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh (D) says his state is “looking at the best approach” to move forward with a lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies that he believes are pushing too many opioids onto the market.
Mayor Joyce Craig
Mayor of Manchester, N.H. (D)
Joyce Craig was elected in 2017 as the first female mayor of Manchester, New Hampshire. Craig began her public service in 2007 when she ran for and won a seat on the Manchester School Board. In 2009, Craig won a seat on the Board of Mayor and Aldermen and in 2014, Governor Maggie Hassan selected Joyce to serve on the Governor’s Task Force on STEM Education.
Mayor Marty Walsh
Mayor of Boston (D)
Marty Walsh is Boston's 54th mayor and was sworn in to serve a second term on January 1, 2018. His recovery from alcoholism as a young adult led to his lifelong commitment to the prevention and treatment of addiction.
Moderated by Katie Zezima
Katie Zezima is a national correspondent for The Washington Post.
On the Front Lines of Medicine
Michael Botticelli, Executive Director of Grayken Center for Addiction at Boston Medical Center, Dr. Chinazo Cunningham, Professor of Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center, and Dr. Bertha K. Madras, Psychobiologist at McLean Hospital and a member of The President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, discuss how doctors and health-care providers are working to curb over-prescriptions while addressing patient needs with new therapies and substance abuse treatment models.
Michael Botticelli, Executive Director of the Grayken Center for Addiction at Boston Medical Center, says that “only about ten to 14 percent of people in the United States who need treatment get it.” He and other medical experts describe ways to reduce the stigma of addiction and to diminish shame that prevents people from seeking care.
Medical experts examine whether they believe a disparity exists in opioid treatment access based on race, income and other demographic factors.
Michael Botticelli
Executive Director, Grayken Center for Addiction, Boston Medical Center
Michael Botticelli is the Executive Director of Grayken Center for Addiction at Boston Medical Center and previously served as the Director of National Drug Control Policy at the White House under President Obama. Botticelli was the first person to hold the position who was also in long-term recovery from a substance use disorder and who came from a public health background.
Chinazo Cunningham
Professor of Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center
Dr. Cunningham is a physician whose research centers on drug addiction and treatment, particularly opioid addiction and the use of buprenorphine for treatment. She currently serves on the NYC Mayor’s Heroin and Prescription Opioid Public Awareness Task Force and was a member of the CDC's Opioid Guideline Workgroup, which issued recommendations for tighter prescription guidelines in March 2016.
Bertha K. Madras
Psychobiologist, McLean Hospital; Professor of Psychobiology, Harvard Medical School; Member of The President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis
Bertha K. Madras, PhD, is a professor of psychobiology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She is former Deputy Director for Demand Reduction (prevention, treatment) in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, Executive Office of President, a position unanimously confirmed by the US Senate.
Moderated by Lenny Bernstein
Lenny Bernstein is a health and medicine reporter for The Washington Post.
On the Front Lines of Our Communities
Dr. Thomas Andrew, Forensic Pathologist at White Mountain Forensic Consulting Services, Kevin Coppinger, Sheriff of Essex County, Massachusetts, and Joanne Peterson, Founder and Executive Director of Learn to Cope, share stories of hope and resilience and offer solutions to support the families of those struggling with addiction.
Joanne Peterson, Founder and Executive Director of addiction support group, “Learn to Cope,” says that families are often left without any support when dealing with loved ones struggling with addiction. Peterson says she started “Learn to Cope” to help support, welcome, and educate families who need help dealing with this crisis.
Kevin Coppinger, Sheriff of Essex County, Massachusetts, describes how local police departments are implementing initiatives to “attack this as a community problem."
Thomas Andrew
Forensic Pathologist, White Mountain Forensic Consulting Services; Former Chief Medical Examiner, State of New Hampshire
Dr. Thomas Andrew served as the Chief Medical Examiner for the State of New Hampshire for 20 years. He is board certified in pediatrics, anatomic pathology and forensic pathology.
Kevin Coppinger
Sheriff, Essex County, Massachusetts
Kevin Coppinger was elected and sworn into office as the 31st Sheriff of Essex County on January 4, 2017. As Sheriff he is committed to bring positive change to the Sheriff's Department by improving staff skills, training and accountability; expanding substance abuse and mental health services, along with detox treatment to confront the opioid epidemic.
Joanne Peterson
Founder and Executive Director, Learn to Cope
Joanne Peterson is the Founder and Executive Director of Learn to Cope (LTC), a non-profit peer-led support network which began in 2004. Joanne’s journey started as a young girl with siblings experiencing issues with mental illness and addiction. Peterson designed LTC to offer families support, education, resources and hope.
Moderated by Katie Zezima
Katie Zezima is a national correspondent for The Washington Post.
Content from Optum
Martha Temple, CEO of Optum Behavioral Health, and Dr. David F. Torchiana, President and CEO of Partners HealthCare, discuss what’s working and what’s needed to end the opioid epidemic.
  • Feb 22
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