Overdose: Inside the Epidemic, a Second Opinion special and more

Overdose: Inside the Epidemic, a Second Opinion special and more

Thu, 10/26/2017 - 8:00pm - 11:00pm

Pictured (L-R):  Joe and Mary Mullin and Dr. Lisa Harris

Credit: Nic Minetor

WXXI devotes and evening of special programming to the opioid and heroin epidemic.

According to state and local health departments, the number of deaths related to opioid and heroin use is on the rise in Monroe County. To shed light on what law enforcement and health care providers are calling an “epidemic”, WXXI-TV and its national health care series Second Opinion will devote an evening of special programming to address this important issue on Thursday, October 26th.

The evening begins at 8 p.m. with Overdose: Inside the Epidemic, the season premiere of Second Opinion, which features Mary and Joe Mullin of Irondequoit, New York, whose son struggled with drug abuse, opioid use, and heroin addiction. Patrick Mullin eventually died from a heroin overdose. Just eight weeks after Patrick’s death, Mary and Joe courageously share their story – telling their vivid personal experience of Patrick’s decline from alcohol and marijuana use, into opioid and heroin addiction.

The Mullins and Second Opinion host Dr. Peter Salgo are joined by experts Louis E. Baxter, Sr., MD, President and CEO of the Professional Assistance Program of New Jersey, Inc. and Lisa Y. Harris, MD, Chief Physician Informaticist at Our Lady of Lourdes Memorial Hospital, and former Senior VP and Chief Clinical Officer at Lourdes. The show also feature’s Patrick Seche, MS, addiction specialist from the University of Rochester Medical Center. In front of a live studio audience, they discuss this drug epidemic, offer advice on how to recognize the signs and symptoms of drug abuse, and share cutting-edge information on prevention and effective treatment. 

Immediately following the hour-long special, WXXI-TV will host a live, local forum to continue the conversation along with a phone bank where individuals can call in with questions and learn more about local resources to help with addiction. Second Opinion Live: Inside the Epidemic will air from 9 to 9:30 p.m. and WXXI will keep the phone banks open for an additional half hour to answer viewers' questions. This forum was made possible with a grant from the Louis S. and Molly B. Wolk Foundation. Second Opinion’s major funder, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, assisted in providing resource materials for this special, and Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield is partnering with WXXI on local outreach and engagement.


Following Second Opinion LIVE, WXXI-TV will air Reversing the Stigma at 9:30 p.m. This documentary includes stories from New Yorkers in recovery from substance use disorders. The film also examines the steps New York State is taking to address addiction and to support people whose lives it has touched. The evening concludes at 10:30 p.m. with an encore broadcast of Second Opinion: Opioids to Heroin Addiction, where a grandmother shares her story of hip pain that ended with a nine-year addiction to heroin.

WXXI will continue to address the opioid and heroin epidemic by providing ongoing opportunities for engagement and awareness on the issue, including:

  • Hélène Biandudi Hofer hosts a special edition of Need to Know addressing addiction issues on November 2 at 8 p.m. on WXXI-TV.
  • Evan Dawson will host a special edition of Connections live from The Little Theatre featuring a panel of people in recovery and experts, taking questions from a studio audience. Date TBA.
  • WXXI News will provide special coverage of the issue from health reporter Karen Shakerdge and others.
  • WXXI is creating DVD resources for distribution to local health centers and community partners. 

To learn more about Second Opinion, visit: https://www.secondopinion-tv.org/