On Nov. 2, 2015, Adam Nuszen was in rehab for the second time, trying to kick an opioid addiction. He was having a tough time and his mother, Linda Nuszen, was talking to him on the phone, trying to lift his spirits by reminding him of words he’d often spoken to her and the rest of their family.
“I was saying, ‘Adam, you always remind us to look up even when we’re feeling down,’ ” Ms. Nuszen recalls telling her son. READ
Local and state policy makers, health professionals, and others gathered at the Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church of the Hamptons on Wednesday for the East End’s first opioid forum, “Stories From Suffolk.” READ
A $75,000 federal pass-through grant administered by the state health department will help Suffolk County fund a new training program for first responders on the front lines of the opioid epidemic. READ
Across Suffolk County, 396 opioid-related deaths occurred in 2017 — more than one per day for the year. This year, as of Oct. 1, there have been 171 confirmed opioid deaths countywide. READ
With the nation in the throes of an opioid epidemic, more emphasis is being placed on preventing youth from starting down the path to addiction. A handful of East End groups dedicated to this mission offer year-round programming for students in an effort to help them avoid making decisions that experts say have the potential to spiral out of control. READ
One company, the Sackler family’s Purdue Pharma, has played a critical role in instigating an epidemic of opioid addiction in the United States that killed 72,000 Americans last year — more people than perished at the peak of the HIV epidemic or died in car wrecks or shootings last year.
Even now — as the failure to recognize opioid addiction as a chronic disease rather than a moral failing, and limits on insurance coverage keep people from long-term treatment — the painkiller industry is spending nine times more on lobbying to fight regulation than is spent by the powerful gun lobby. READ
Most know the game of “Telephone”: Children sit in a circle, one whispers a phrase into another’s ear, then that person whispers it to the next, and so on. The phrase travels around the circle, a hand cupped over one ear at a time.
Then the phrase returns to the first child, who usually disintegrates into giggles at the nonsense of a recycled sentence mangled by misinterpretation. READ
When Kirstin Elizabeth Zabel was born in December 1986, her parents, Donald and Claudia, brought her home to Cartwright Road on Shelter Island. Thirty-one years later she was buried in the cemetery at Shelter Island Presbyterian Church.
When friends and family describe how Kirstin lived, they speak of how she protected the people she loved, of her artistic flair and her enjoyment of classical music. She loved horses, dogs and cats, cooking, travel and Shelter Island. But Kirstin had only three decades to live a whole life, because in her teens she learned to love drugs as well. READ
An iconic image from the mid-1980s came from a group of New York City artists, who had “gathered over several months to provide support for one another in the face of AIDS,” as the Village Voice noted, and decided to make a poster “to address the epidemic then decimating their world.” It featured a pink triangle — a symbol of gay pride reclaimed from the Nazis — and a simple, powerful message: “Silence = Death.” READ
At a candlelight vigil at Good Ground Park in Hampton Bays Saturday, those affected by the opioid epidemic gathered to share stories of the loved ones they’ve lost, their own struggles with addiction and the effect of an ongoing crisis.
These are their stories. READ