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Take Note: PA's Heroin Problem

A physician writes a prescription for buprenorphine.

If you think heroin isn’t a concern in your community, think again. Experts now say every community in Pennsylvania has a heroin problem.  Pennsylvania now ranks 3rd in the nation for heroin use and 7th for overdose deaths. What’s behind these alarming statistics—and why are only a fraction of those who need treatment getting it? WPSU's Patty Satalia talks with psychiatrist Timothy Derstine, medical director of SunPointe Health Medication Assisted Treatment program.  Unlike many treatment programs, his requires psychosocial therapy in addition to prescribing medication. "JM" was admitted to SunPointe Health in May 2005.  He had developed an Opioid Use Disorder following surgery after having sustained a gunshot wound in 2002 while being robbed on the street.

Dr. Timothy Derstine and "JM" talk about the stigma and shame of addiction.

Dr. Timothy Derstine talks about the hidden addiction of professionals.

Patty Satalia was a senior producer/host for WPSU-TV and FM from 1987 to 2017. Prior to joining Penn State Public Broadcasting, she worked in commercial television in Pittsburgh, first as a film editor and fill-in capsule news anchor for WPGH-TV, and later, for WPTT-TV as public affairs director and co-host of the talk-show, People, Places and Things.
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