WORCESTER, MASS., December 5, 2016 – Spectrum Health Systems, a longtime nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a comprehensive continuum of evidenced-based treatment to help people overcome substance and opioid addiction, will launch Airing Addiction, a weekly educational and inspirational podcast on addiction and recovery, internationally on iTunes and SoundCloud today.

Hosted by Donna Pellegrino, vice president of business development at Spectrum, the show features stories of personal challenges and triumphs as well as expert opinion on important and controversial topics in the addiction and recovery community. Listeners around the world will now be able to access the New England-based Airing Addiction show by subscribing on iTunes and/or SoundCloud. The program is recorded and produced by Worcester-based station WTAG.

“Alcohol and drug addiction affects millions of people not only in the U.S., but abroad as well. Access to education, increased awareness, expert advice from those helping to treat the disease, and testimonials of hope can be an important first step in the right direction and an ongoing resource for many individuals and family members facing this disease,” said Kurt Isaacson, CEO of Spectrum Health Systems.

The inaugural episode, featuring Jeffery Baxter, M.D., chief medical officer (CMO) for Spectrum, discusses an opioid treatment method called Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) which includes the use of medication along with counseling and other support. Spectrum’s inpatient and outpatient clinical centers offer a wide range of available and effective treatment options, from group counseling, educational guidance to medication-assisted treatment options. Spectrum helps all their clients by meeting them where they are at and helping them find a treatment option that is effective for them. On today’s episode, Dr. Baxter discusses the causes of addiction and helps to demystify some of the misconceptions around the most common medication-assisted treatment option called methadone by explaining how it works, why it’s effective, and the steps to getting on a MAT program.

“Though methadone has been around more than 60 years, there’s still a lot of people who don’t understand how it works and are biased against its use,” said Dr. Baxter. “When somebody uses an opiate drug every day, such as heroin, their body gets used to it. When you take it away, their body gets very sick. This drives them back to using the drug over and over again. Methadone interrupts that. It stabilizes the sickness and allows people to go to work, go to school, take care of their families, come to treatment and participate in their lives soberly without having to worry about getting sick.”

“Spectrum Health Systems is committed to helping eradicate stigma, educate the public and share stories of love and light,” said host Pellegrino.

“Airing Addiction is a way for us to connect with the larger community and encourage healing,” noted Pellegrino. “Now that we’ve launched on iTunes and SoundCloud, we will be able to reach a much wider range of listeners here in the U.S. and abroad who will now be able to easily subscribe to our show and share it with their family and friends.”

To access today’s episode of Airing Addiction and maintain access to future shows, subscribe on iTunes and SoundCloud today. For more information, please visit the Spectrum’s Airing Addiction Facebook page by visiting: www.facebook.com/AiringAddiction.

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About Spectrum Health Systems

Based in Worcester, Mass. and founded in 1969, Spectrum Health Systems, Inc. is a private, nonprofit substance abuse and mental health treatment provider. Spectrum offers the largest and most complete continuum of addiction treatment in New England -- including inpatient detoxification, residential rehabilitation, outpatient services, medication-assisted treatment and peer recovery support. For more information, please visit www.spectrumhealthsystems.org.