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Tia Burroughs Clayton, MSS
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Alyson Ferguson, MPH
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Tyrone Quarterman, BA, MPH Candidate
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Georgia Kioukis, PhD
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A Deadly Silence

A Deadly Silence

A Deadly Silence Logo

Program Website
Year:
2018
State:
Massachusetts
Winner Status:
Applicant
Program Type:
Awareness
Target Population:
Community
Setting:
Community

Program Description

Brockton Community Access Cable Television Program on drug, alcohol and substance abuse education and awareness. The program features interviews with Health care professionals (EMS first responders, emergency room physicians, pediatricians, mental health clinicians), persons in long term recovery, family members of lost loved ones, social workers, state and local legislators talking about the drug epidemic along with many representatives of organizations focused on substance abuse disorder and long term recovery. The program seeks to educate the public on what is being done about the drug epidemic, educate those suffering with substance abuse disorder (addict) on where to find help, and educate the public on how an addict becomes addicted and how it affects the family, community and employers. Episodes include current topics such as signs of addiction, prescription pain medication, heroin, oxycodone, alcohol, Narcan, Section 35, and resources available for those suffering with substance abuse disorder, treatment facilities and resources for family members. Each episode is dedicated to a loved one who has lost their battle to an addiction. Most episodes may be viewed on YouTube.

Creativity

The South Shore Community of Massachusetts has been disastrously affected by the drug epidemic. The number of overdose deaths from opioids in Massachusetts is greater than the national average and has not shown any signs of slowing down. Because of the amount of shame and guilt associated with the disease of addiction we decided to call our program A Deadly Silence. Our own reluctance to talk about our children’s addiction and the number of years we suffered in silence prompted us to produce this program. We approached our local cable television director and presented our ideas. After completing several comprehensive courses on camera and studio procedures, I became director, producer, and editor and my husband became host. Several friends who identified with our program also volunteered to assist with our program during the past 6.5 years. We contacted the experts on drug education and prevention and set up interviews.

Leadership

A Deadly Silence was created after discovering our children’s heroin use and that we were not alone. The stigma and shame associated with drug addiction along with our own misinformation caused us to delay treatment for our children and for ourselves. During our 14 year journey we learned about support for ourselves, information to combat the illness of addiction, identify and seek the help addicts need and get support to keep ourselves and our children strong. Our programs are now seen on several south shore community cable stations along with YouTube and social media access from recovery organizations who have participated with us. Substance abuse disorder resources and treatment is constantly changing with innovations to combat this epidemic. Our plan continues to keep informed on current trends, medications, household items being abused, new treatment facilities, support groups for loved ones, along with any new legislation to help with this epidemic.

Sustainability

A Deadly Silence has produced 135 episodes during the past 6.5 years. After taping an editing session is scheduled allowing for inserting of visuals and resources to the program content. Each episode is aired for two weeks on Brockton Community Access Television. After airing, episodes become available to surrounding community cable access programs in addition to being uploaded to YouTube. Guests and organizations are given copies of their episode and are allowed to upload to their social media sites. Several episodes have been taped utilizing mobile camera’s for substance abuse organizations that host special events at community public schools (Brockton Public Schools), religious organizations (Saint Edith Stein) and national programs (Fed Up Washington DC). A Deadly Silence also broadcasts live on Monday afternoons on Radio Station WVBF 1530 AM from the city of Taunton, MA and will expand radio coverage in April of 2018 on Radio Station WVBF FM 99.7.

Replicability

A Deadly Silence can be easily transferred to other cable stations to be viewed by either compact disc or transferable thumb drive. The format of the show can be adapted by others through the same way we do which is to contact local agencies, law enforcement, school systems, parent and addict support groups, and medical facilities, then set up interviews or set up cameras to film at the target area.

Results/Outcomes

Our goal is to reach an addict, or a loved one of an addict and provide them with the resources needed to get help and support and not to suffer in silence as we did. Stigma and shame are a huge deterrent to seeking help for either the addict or the loved one. By presenting a program that is viewed in the privacy of the home, the addict or loved one can learn about treatment, learn about the disease of addiction and how to seek treatment or support.