Cumulus Media news/talk WVLK Lexington (590) is the latest station to devote airtime to addressing the opioid crisis. Wednesday from 9am-6pm, the WLVK special “Enough: Opioid Awareness Day” will address the crisis and how it impacts Central Kentucky and the Commonwealth.
“It doesn't matter what your politics are, it doesn't matter how much money you make, your gender or even your age. It seems to affect everybody and it's not an overstatement to say it's a crisis,” Program Director Dave Krusenklaus told WLEX-TV.
The daylong broadcast featured personal stories of addiction and recovery, identified city and state programs designed to help, explained the physical and physiological effects that lead to addiction and offered alternatives to pain medications.
There were 1,160 opioid-involved deaths reported in Kentucky in 2017, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. That’s a rate of 27.9 deaths per 100,000 persons, which is a much higher rate than the national average, WLEX-TV reports.
The nationwide opioid crisis is one that continues to be addressed by media groups across the country. In September iHeartMedia’s 850 radio stations aired a series of vignettes voiced by personalities and recording artists designed to help change the narrative and tone around the opioid epidemic. Also in September, Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO Providence (630) dedicated a broadcast day to the crisis. Krusenklaus credits WPRO’s special with the inspiration to hold one on WVLK, which also airs on the Lexington-licensed translator W247CT at 97.3.
iHeartMedia Connecticut, along with WTNH-TV “News 8” and Connecticut Realtors, are in the midst of a multi-month campaign to raise money and build awareness surrounding the state’s opioid crisis. The campaign encompasses radio, TV, digital and social media and culminates with “A Concert for Recovery,” headlined by country star Keith Urban Nov. 17.
Townsquare Media talk “New Jersey 101.5” WKXW Trenton held a Town Hall broadcast to confront the opioid crisis and how it affects the state’s residents on Oct. 23.