FIGHTING OPIOIDS AT THE LIBRARY

December 13, 2018 at 4:30 am

A Long Island library clerk, who lost her son to the opioid epidemic, shares her story and her plans to help save a community from the same fate.

Aired on November 16 & December 12, 2018.

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>>> GOOD EVENING.
WELCOME TO "METROFOCUS."
THANKS FOR JOINING US.
I'M JACK FORD.
NOW PUBLIC LIBRARIES ARE
FIGHTING DRUG OVERDOSES.
WITH THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC
RESHAPING LIVES AND CAUSING 150
PEOPLE TO DIE EACH AND EVERY
DAY.
AS WE CONTINUE OUR COVERAGE OF
THE FIGHT AGAINST OPIOID
ADDICTION ACROSS THE STATE WE
LOOK AT THE ROLE OF LIBRARIANS.
NO LONGER JUST CHECKING OUT
BOOKS, SOME ARE BEING TRAINED TO
HELP SPOT SIGNS OF DRUG
OVERDOSES AND PROVIDE ACCESS TO
OVERDOSING DRUGS.
ONE CLERK AND MOTHER IN
PARTICULAR HAS DEDICATED HER
LIFE TO HELPING THOSE BATTLING
THE DISEASE BECAUSE OF AER HAVE
PERSONAL REASON.
CLAUDIA CAPPY FRIZZELL LOST HER
OLDEST SON TO DRUGS AND NOW
SHE'S ON THE FRONT LINES OF THE
CROIX SIS MAKING -- CRISIS
MAKING SURE NO ONE ELSE SUFFERS
THE SAME FATE.
WE ARE DELIGHTED TO HAVE HER
JOINING US RIGHT NOW.
NICE TO MEET YOU.
>> THANK YOU.
>> I WANT TO START BY ASKING YOU
ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL STORY.
YOUR PERSPECTIVE ON WHY YOU HAVE
DECIDED TO DEVOTE SO MUCH OF
YOUR TIME TO THIS NOW.
WHY?
>> SO IT GOES BACK A LITTLE BIT
FURTHER.
I HAD A BROTHER WHO HAD A DRUG
PROBLEM AND HE WAS A GAY IV DRUG
USER IN THE '80s WHICH WAS A
DEATH SENTENCE BACK THEN AND MY
FAMILY AND I STRUGGLED WITH HIM
AND ULTIMATELY HE DIED OF AIDS
RELATED ISSUES IN 1990.
SO I HAD THAT GOING IN AND THEN
I HAD GOT MARRIED, HAD CHILDREN
OF MY OWN.
EIGHT YEARS LATER MY SON, MY
OLDEST SON STARTED HAVING SOME
ISSUES WITH -- YOU KNOW, OF
COURSE HE DID THE
EXPERIMENTATION AND BECAUSE OF
MY BACKGROUND I SAT HIM DOWN
IMMEDIATELY AND HAD THIS
CONVERSATION.
YOU KNOW, PEOPLE DON'T REALIZE
EVEN NOW HOW IT AFFECTS THE
WHOLE FAMILY.
AND HOW YOU'RE SO MUCH MORE
LIKELY TO HAVE THE TROUBLE WITH
ADDICTION IF YOU HAVE IT IN YOUR
FAMILY.
MY SON HAD IT ON BOTH SIDES.
MOM AND DAD.
AND WE GOT HIM INTO TREATMENT
PRETTY QUICKLY, WITH THE
RESIDENTIAL ADOLESCENT TREATMENT
PROGRAM AT TOP VILLAGE IN
HUNTINGTON.
AND THERE I WENT TO MY FIRST
FAMILY SUPPORT GROUP WHICH WAS
REALLY SUCH A BLESSING FOR ME TO
BE ABLE TO BE WITH FAMILY
MEMBERS.
OTHER PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN
THROUGH WHAT I WASOING
THROUGH.
BEING A PARENT, IT'S VERY
DIFFERENT THAN WHAT YOU GO
SIBLING.AS A -- ASUSE OR
IT'S A WHOLE DIFFERENT DYNAMIC.
>> DIFFERENT TIME FRAME, FROM
YOUR BROTHER IN THE '80s.
>> RIGHT.
DIFFERENT DRUGS.
EVERYTHING WAS VERY, VERY
DIFFERENT.
YOU DON'T REALIZE THAT.
YOU KNOW, HERE I THOUGHT I HAD
SO MUCH MORE TOOLS IN MY TOOL
BOX BECAUSE OF MY EXPERIENCE
WITH MY BROTHER, BUT YET WHEN IT
CAME DOWN TO IT, I REALLY HAD TO
LEARN A WHOLE NEW PROCESS.
MY FAMILY NEEDED TO LEARN A
WHOLE NEW PROCESS.
>> AND AS WE HAVE SEEN
TRAGICALLY EVEN WITH THAT
INCREDIBLE INVESTMENT OF THE
FAMILIES, SOMETIMES WE LOSE OUR
CHILDREN.
>> EXACTLY.
SOMETIMES WHEN YOU DO EVERYTHING
RIGHT YOU STILL DON'T WIN AND
THAT'S THE HARD FACTS OF THIS
HORRIBLE TRAGEDY.
MY SON IS GONE NOW 18 YEARS AND
I HAVE, YOU KNOW, 18 YEARS AGO
IF I KNEW ONE OTHER PERSON WHO
HAD LOST THEIR CHILD, THAT WOULD
BE A LOT.
NOW I BELONG TO A GROUP.
WE GET TOGETHER AND DO THINGS.
THERE'S A GOOD 50 OF US, 25 THAT
GET TOGETHER ON A REGULAR BASIS.
YOU KNOW?
ALL MOMS AND DADS WHO HAVE LOST
THEIR CHILDREN.
JUST IN MY AREA.
>> WE HAVE SAID ON THIS SHOW HOW
IT SEEMS THAT ALMOST EVERYBODY
KNOWS SOMEBODY.
>> OF COURSE.
>> NOT JUST HEARD OF SOMEBODY,
BUT ACTUALLY KNOWS SOMEBODY WHO
HAS LOST SOMEBODY TO THIS
INSIDIOUS DISEASE.
TALK A LITTLE BIT WITH ME NOW
ABOUT WHAT -- TALK ABOUT YOUR
LIBRARY IN PARTICULAR.
WHAT LIBRARIES ARE DOING IN THIS
BATTLE.
>> I FEEL THE LAST BEING IN THE
LIBRARY THAT I'M IN MY DIRECTOR
AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS ARE VERY
FORWARD MOVING.
THE SUFFOLKS COUNTY LIBRARY
ITSELF, THE DIRECTOR OF THE
SUFFOLKS COUNTY SYSTEM AS WELL,
HE IS VERY FORWARD THINKING AMGD
VERY -- AND VERY COMMUNITY
MINDED.
LIBRARIES ARE REALLY THE ONE
PLACE LEFT IN OUR COMMUNITIES
THAT IS OPEN TO EVERYBODY.
YOU DON'T HAVE TO MAKE A CERTAIN
AMOUNT OF MONEY.
YOU DON'T HAVE TO BELONG TO A
CERTAIN RELIGION.
>> MAKE A RESERVATION.
OR APPOINTMENT.
>> YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE TO OWN A
LIBRARY CARD.
IT'S A PUBLIC PLACE.
YOU CAN COME IN AND READ A
NEWSPAPER, GET ON A COMPUTER.
SOME OF THE CLASSE YOU MIGHT
NOT BE ABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN IF
YOU DON'T HAVE A LIBRARY CARD,
BUT ALMOST ALL OF THE SERVICES
ARE OPEN TO EVERYONE.
SO BECAUSE I HAVE -- I WAS
ALREADY A VOLUNTEER OF MANY
ORGANIZATIONS, FAMILIES AND
SUPPORTED TREATMENT, THE
RECOVERY CENTER, LIKE THE
ALCOHOL AND THE DRUG DEPENDENCY,
I HAD ACTUALLY GONE TO MY
DIRECTOR AND ASKED HER IF WE
COULD DO A STAFF TRAINING.
WE WERE ALREADY DOING COMMUNITY
TRAININGS BUT I SAID I REALLY
THOUGHT IT WOULD BE IMPORTANT
FOR THE STAFF TO ASK THE
QUESTIONS THEY MIGHT NOT FEEL
COMFORTABLE ASKING IN FRONT OF
THE GENERAL PUBLIC.
AND WITH THAT TRAINING, ANTHONY
RIZUTO GAVE US A SHORT VERSION
OF THE DISEASE OF ADDICTION AND
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT
AND CARE.
AND THEN WE WERE TRAINED ON THE
USE OF NALOXONE.
>> SO YOU'RE SEEING NOW -- THAT
THE LIBRARY IS NOT ONLY
PROVIDING INFORMATION AND
GUIDANCE BUT HANDS ON.
>> EXACTLY.
WE GET MENTAL HEALTH -- MENTAL
HEALTH, FIRST AID TRAINING.
THERE ARE CERTAINLY ALL TYPES OF
WORKSHOPS AND TRAININGS THAT ARE
AVAILABLE TO US AS STAFF, NOT
JUST THE LIBRARIANS, BUT THE
SUPPORT STAFF AS WELL.
BECAUSE WE ARE DEALING WITH THE
GENERAL PUBLIC.
THE CPR TRAINING.
WE HAVE AED MACHINE.
WE HAVE -- WE GOT TRAINED IN
THAT.
SO WE TAKE A VERY PROACTIVE ROLE
AND IT'S ESPECIALLY BECAUSE WE
DEAL WITH ALL OF THE PUBLIC.
>> YOU SAID YOU'RE ONE OF THE
FEW HUBS IN COMMUNITIES WE STILL
HAVE.
>> RIGHT.
>> AS THE COMMUNITIES BECOME
FRACTURED OVER THE YEAR.
CLAUDIA, WE APPRECIATE YOUR TIME
TAKING TO TALK AND TO SHARE YOUR
EXPERIENCE AND THE NOTION OF
THIS BEING A CRISIS.
AND WE NEED EVERYBODY TO
ESSENTIALLY STEP UP AND DO WHAT
THEY CAN.
IT'S INTERESTING AND ENCOURAGING
TO SEE WHAT PEOPLE SUCH AS YOU
AND THE LIBRARIES ARE DOING.
SO THANKS FOR SPENDING SOME TIME
WITH US.
GOOD LUCK TO YOU.
>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Mutual of America PSEG

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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