Growing Up With Addiction: A Way of Life For Many In Appalachia

Saturday, March 11, 2017
Mental Health

In 2016, TruckBeat teamed up with Inside Appalachia for a special podcast episode exploring the impacts of opioid addiction on children and families. In this episode, we hear from men and women who have experienced the effects of opioid addiction and of the innocence the epidemic has claimed.

In the United States, drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death. Appalachian cities and towns are among some of the hardest hit, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the opioid epidemic is destroying relationships, families and communities. 

What’s it like to be addicted to something? What's it like when your addiction makes all the rules, even how you care for your kids and whether you live or die?

We'll hear the story of Kristina Weaver, or Breezie, who grew up in southern West Virginia with a father who struggled with addiction. Her father, David Siers, died in June of 2015 of a heroin overdose.

And we'll hear a TruckBeat documentary called Life in the Crosshairs: Inside East Tennessee’s Addiction Crisis, featuring the stories and voices of people in East Tennessee's Roane County, about an hour outside of Knoxville.


Music in this special episode was provided by: 

Sam KeenanBen TownsendJake Schepps and Michael Howard.

Inside Appalachia's show producer is Roxy Todd. This episode's editor is Glynis Board

Jess Mador

Jess Mador is the creator of TruckBeat for WUOT. She's an award-winning public radio and multimedia journalist who has produced stories for news organizations around the country, including Minnesota Public Radio, NPR News and PBS member stations. She has a Master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Matt Shafer Powell

Matt Shafer Powell manages the news department at WUOT in Knoxville, Tennessee. A two­-time national Murrow Award winner, Powell is an audio junkie who has spent time as a disc jockey, news reporter, writer/producer of commercials and sound ­recording engineer. He created TruckBeat's sister project at WUOT, Tenn Words

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