This is actually America’s second opioid crisis. The first is much older. Now, the old and new epidemics exist just a few miles apart from one another in New York City. In the latest season of the GroundTruth podcast, a series of five episodes we’re calling “The Fix,” five GroundTruth reporting fellows go to the Bronx, Staten Island and Long Island to explore what caused the crisis, what’s being done about it, and how denial and stigma are fueling a record number of overdose deaths.

The GroundTruth podcast is a coproduction with WGBH News, and the reporting fellows are recent graduates of CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism. Funding for this project was provided by Northwell Health Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Northwell Health, New York’s largest health care provider. Additional funding was provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Bake Family Trust. You can hear the podcast in the chapters of this project, or on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud and other podcasting apps.


The Fix

Chapter 1 — The History You Never Heard

The South Bronx, New York's poorest neighborhood, has been dealing with a deadly heroin epidemic for generations.

The Fix

Chapter 2 — Not My Kid

Rampant prescriptions for painkillers laid the foundation for a deadly heroin epidemic in Staten Island.

The Fix

Chapter 3 — Detox, Rehab, Relapse, Repeat

Staten Island has new strategies to deal with the epidemic, but residents are largely in denial.

The Fix

Chapter 4 — A Better Way to Treat Addiction

In the South Bronx, healthcare providers are pioneering an approach that is way ahead of the rest of the country.

The Fix

Chapter 5 — We Need to Talk

On Long Island, health care providers are being trained in basic conversations to identify substance use and addiction.

The Fix


See a drug glossary, original music from the podcast, a timeline of opioids throughout history and the podcast credits.

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