LA Public Square: Opiates and the Bayou State

Airs Sunday, May 8, at 6 p.m. Deaths from drug overdoses have jumped in nearly every community in the United States, driven largely by an explosion in addiction to prescription painkillers and heroin. Heroin-related deaths in East Baton Rouge Parish reached a record high this year even after the state Legislature increased penalties for use of the drug. And opioid arrests have risen dramatically in Shreveport over the last two years.

So, how is Louisiana tackling this serious addiction epidemic? And what more needs to be done? Is it a criminal justice issue or a matter of public health? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers on “Opiates and the Bayou State” Wednesday, April 27 at 7 p.m. on LPB HD and in New Orleans on WLAE.

Our panelists are:
• Dr. Rochelle Head-Dunham; Psychiatrist, Metropolitan Human Services District
• Logan Kinamore; Founder, No Overdose Baton Rouge
• Keith Stutes; District Attorney, 15th Judicial District, Lafayette
• Victor White, Sr.; Counselor, Cenla Community Awareness Program, Pineville

The program also features interviews with Chaunda Allen Mitchell, Ph.D., Director of Drug Policy for the Office of the Governor; Beau Clark, East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner; Chelsea Rainwater with No Overdose Baton Rouge; and representatives and clients from St. Christopher’s Addiction Wellness Center.

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and television journalist, Bob Courtney, host the program.