(Note: You can hear the whole broadcast on April 23 or April 24.  See RadioRotary.org for details. The Broadcast will also be available on RadioRotary a some point after April 24.)
The program was taped in two segments, which will be joined together along with commercials and other bits and pieces before broadcast.  For both segments the co-hosts were Jonah Triebwasser and Sarah O’Connell.
Segment One Guest was Steve Pressman, Executive Director of the Mid-Hudson Addiction Recovery Centers, Inc. (MARC). MARC is a residential program that both sends persons with addiction to other appropriate facilities as needed, and houses and treats the addicted in several ways—A Crisis Center, three residential treatment centers, and nearly 30 sober housing apartments. Today there are a number of reasons why addiction is front-and-center in the news.  Prescription drug abuse and a slowly recovering economy have led to a heroin and other opiate epidemic, which has been extensively covered in the press. The MARC program, although centered in Poughkeepsie, can accept residents from anywhere in New York State.  It’s 60-some staff members assist in the treatment of about 100 residents at any given time, basically treating addiction as a disease. To enter the program you can call the Crisis Center at 845-471-0310.  More information is available at the Website, http://marc.us.com/.
Segment Two Guest was Laurie Quinn, member of the District 7210 e-Rotary Club, District Secretary, and also a director of the MARC Foundation. Ms. Quinn feels that it is important to help erase the stigma of drug addiction by talking about it, shining a light on the problem. Her son Eric, now 28 years old, began experimenting with drugs and alcohol while in middle school.  His parents became aware of his addiction to heroin when he was in his early 20’s. About a year ago he came to his mother, showed her the needle tracks on his arms, and said he needed help.  At that point, despite holding down two jobs, he was using about ten bags of heroin daily—one bag costs from $6 to $10.  Ms. Quinn had done computer work for MARC so she talked to Steve Pressman about Eric’s problem.  Eric was detoxed for four days and then transferred into the Crisis Center, which then helped find an appropriate long-term residence program for him.  Today Eric has been straight for 322 days. Currently in the United States 129 persons each day die from a heroin overdose, a fate Eric can avoid as long as he stays sober.  Those who are addicted to heroin are no longer seeking a high, but have to maintain their habit to keep from becoming “dope sick,” an illness with symptoms worse than the flu.  But continuing to use heroin changes a person’s personality for the worse, changes a person’s appearance, and can even result in body sores, plus the cost of the drugs often leads to theft or other crimes. The heroin epidemic has over-burdened both health-care and law-enforcement. Parents may not recognize that their son or daughter has been abusing drugs or alcohol. Eric’s story suggests that drug-education should begin earlier in school.