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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC, 4/1/2021 — In light of North Carolina’s enduring opioid epidemic, PBS North Carolina, in collaboration with and supported by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC), presents Opioids: State of Recovery, a timely, in-depth look at the recovery community's support, resilience and strength. This special feature will premiere on Thursday, April 8, at 7 PM, on PBS NC and will be made available for streaming online at  

The Opioids: State of Recovery project aims to remove the stigma associated with those in recovery and explore the roles of science, socioeconomics, law enforcement and resources in the process. The broadcast special opens the doors to discussion and incites a passion to affect positive change. 

The documentary series follows Leah Wright and her son, Carrson, as they recount his recovery journey. After multiple drug poisonings, Carrson has been clean for over two years. Leah’s experiences inspired her to start the Triangle’s first recovery high school, Wake Monarch Academy

"My hope is that Opioids: State of Recovery will help viewers, particularly those quick to judge, see the opioid epidemic through the eyes of those who have experienced it firsthand—and help people battling substance use disorder know they’re not alone," said series producer Kristin Genszler. "The recovery community is one of compassion, determination, hope and care. These are people first, not addicts; they are battling a disease and need help. I believe their stories will resonate and spark conversations, bringing our community together to fight this crisis.” 

Leah Wright said, "if we can just save one life, then it was all worth it. I hope our show will also help save that one life." 

"With support from Blue Cross NC, we have the opportunity to raise awareness about our ongoing opioid epidemic and tell local, firsthand stories about its effects on our community," said Kelly McCullen, director of North Carolina Channel & Original Productions. "Education is a hallmark of PBS North Carolina, and we hope to inform our viewers about a serious issue that's been somewhat overshadowed by the pandemic."  

This broadcast special follows up on the digital content series released last fall. The broadcast premiere completes the first of three seasons of Opioids: State of Recovery. Season two is currently in production and is slated to be released this fall. For more information, visit


About PBS North Carolina 
As North Carolina’s statewide PBS network serving the country’s third-largest public media market, PBS NC educates, informs, entertains and inspires its statewide audience on-air, online and in-person. Through its unique partnership of public investment and private support, the statewide network includes in-person engagement, digital-first social and online content delivery, and four over-the-air channels—PBS NC, the North Carolina Channel, Rootle 24/7 PBS Kids and the Explorer Channel. Its transformational events and content spark curiosity and wonder for all North Carolinians. Additionally, PBS NC serves as the backbone for North Carolina’s state’s emergency services. Visit and join the conversation at, and @myPBSNC on Twitter.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina: 
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) is committed to making health care better, simpler and more affordable. We have been driving better health in North Carolina for generations, working to tackle our communities’ greatest health challenges. We serve our customers and communities of more than 3.8 million members, including approximately 1.1 million served on behalf of other Blue Plans. Blue Cross NC is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit Blue Cross NC online at All other marks are the property of their respective owners. 

Media Contact: 
Kathleen Kramer, PBS NC Marketing & Communications