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Us and them: the stigma of sobriety




America has faced a pandemic, a polarizing election, and battles for racial equity over the past year. But there has been another crisis that continues to fuel the opioid epidemic. Deaths are on the rise with more than 1,200 West Virginia people dying of overdoses last year. The struggle for sobriety now deals with its own tragic division When is anyone sober?

The road to recovery comes in many forms. For certain works of abstinence. But others, especially those who are addicted to opiates, find they need help getting rid of these powerful drugs. For their recovery, they turn to drug-assisted treatment. This approach has divided the treatment world and created a stigma around sobriety.

This episode of Us & Them is presented with the support of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, the CRC Foundation and the West Virginia Humanities Council.

Subscribe to us and them on Apple Podcasts, NPR One, RadioPublic, Spotify, Stitcher and beyond. You can also listen to Us & Them on WVPB Radio tune in tonight, June 24, at 8 p.m., or listen to the encore presentation the following Saturday at 3 p.m.

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The Clarksburg Mission is a Christian-centered treatment center located in Clarksburg, Va. That helps people recover from substance use disorders through abstinence or medication.

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The neon cross outside the Clarksburg Mission delivers a simple and straightforward message about the spiritual foundations of their recovery program.

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Lou Ortenzio is Executive Director of the Clarksburg, Clarksburg, W.Va.

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Melissa Carter is a recovery coach here at the Clarksburg Mission in Clarksburg, W.Va.

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Angela Knight is Program Manager at the Clarksburg Mission, Clarksburg, W. Va.

Jennifer Shephard / Jennifer Shephard

Dr James Berry, Director of the WVU Medicine Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship

Gabriella Dahalia-Jarrett

Gabriella Dahalia-Jarrett with her “murphing” dog Sid.




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