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Mother And Child: Inside East Tennessee's Prescription Drug Epidemic

During the first week of October 2012, WUOT's Matt Shafer Powell introduced listeners to three women whose lives illustrate the profound ways in which East Tennessee's prescription drug abuse epidemic is affecting the bond between mothers and their children.  

Carla Saunders is a Nurse Practitioner at East Tennessee Children's Hospital where she sees an alarming number of babies each day who are born dependent upon the same painkillers as their mothers.


Katie Baker looks back on her turbulent childhood, in which she lived alone with her drug-addicted mother.

Katie's Story

Now in recovery, Tammi Grove discusses her own addiction and how she managed to raise three of her four sons while high on painkillers.  

Tammi's Story

The Office of National Drug Control Policy calls it the nation's fastest-growing drug problem, the CDC calls it an epidemic and the Partnership for a Drug-Free America calls it a national tragedy.  We're talking about prescription drug abuse.  It's a problem that's grown exponentially over the last decade and its wake is littered with broken families and broken lives.  On this episode of Dialogue, host Matt Shafer Powell wraps up our series on prescription drug abuse by looking at the problem, its causes, its effects and what can be done about it. Our panel includes Dr. Kip Wenger of the University of Tennessee Medical Center, Amy Galyon of the Blount County Drug Court and Webster Bailey from Cornerstone of Recovery.

This special edition of Dialogue aired October 3, 2012

Chrissy Keuper sits down with WUOT Director of News Content Matt Shafer Powell to discuss East Tennessee's prescription drug problem.

Chrissy Keuper's interview with producer Matt Shafer Powell