MPT To Broadcast Program On Opioid Crisis

The network says it will show how residents are overcoming addictions.


Owings Mills, Md (KM) Maryland Public Television is looking into the opioid crisis. The network will broadcast “Fighting Opioids Today: Maryland Communities” on Thursday, October 11th at 9:00 PM.

Steve Shupak, the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for MPT, says the program started after the Governor declared a state of emergency to attack the opioid crisis shortly after taking office in 2015. He also says MPT received a grant to help produce the program. “When we first started at MPT, there were a number of people in the building who questioned why this subject and not other health care issues, for example,” he says. “But later on, it turned out that  so many people came to me and said they had someone in their family, a close  loved one, who was either affected or addicted or passed away as a result of this.. So it really hits home.”

Shupak says the program will look intro how law enforcement, fire and rescue, treatment programs and local governments area dealing with this issue. It will also show how people are trying to get over these addictions. “We try to find a program that offers a little bit of hope because  the situation is so dire, and it is very serious,” he says. “But we also wanted to look at how people are getting help today and that treatment is available.”

It shows that there is hope in the midst of this crisis, he says. “In the program, we really highlight people who are in recovery. And those people are being helped by a lot of peers who have been through addiction and recovery themselves,” Shupak says.

MPT says one person featured in the show is a mother from  Kent County who is now a family peer support specialist who is taking a positive turn following the death of her son. Shupak says this proves that opioid addiction is not just an urban problem. “A lot of people think of this problem as inner city, but it’s suburban problem and a rural problem. But it also cuts across socio-economic and race lines,” he says.

Producing this program was an eye-opener for a lot of MPT staff.. “We have talked first hand with families who are devastated and lost love ones,” he says. “It takes us out of our daily jobs. We were very moved by the stories and the tragedies that we heard.”

But Shupak says there is hope for those who need help getting over addictions.

After its Thursday night broadcast, MPT says “Fighting Opioids Today: Maryland Communities” will air on Sunday, October 28th at 10:30 PM, and in February, 2019, as part of the networks’ “Addiction and Recovery Week” programs. Shupak says it will also be available for viewing on following this Thursday’s broadcast.


By Kevin McManus