substance abuse

Jessica Gurell / GPB

Many people are finding social distancing difficult or lonely. Those challenges can become compounded for people recovering from substance abuse disorders. In fact, the coronavirus pandemic and resulting quarantine conditions have been identified as a “relapse trigger.”

And it has become a dangerous reality for those who struggle with sobriety. The Georgia Council on Substance Abuse estimates that some 800,000 Georgians are in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction.

In this week’s Medical Minute, Dr. Joseph Hobbs, chairman of the Department of Family Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, discusses a new approach being implemented to steer young people away from the use of e-cigarettes, alcohol, and other substance that can be abused.

The Medical Minute airs at 8:18 a.m., 1:20 p.m. and 5:18 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday on the 17 GPB radio stations across Georgia. For more Medical Minute episodes, visit the GPB Augusta SoundCloud page.

GPB/Parrish Walton

Opioid addiction does not discriminate. It affects families and communities at every socioeconomic level and in every region in Georgia. "On Second Thought" looked at how the opioid crisis affects construction workers. A study from health researchers found construction workers and people in related fields are six times more likely to die of opioid overdoses than the general population. 

Tim Stephens is a peer recovery coach with the Georgia Council on Substance Abuse. He's been in long-term recovery since 2012. Stephens has also worked in the construction industry. He shared his story about the business and his recovery experience. Laurisa Barthen also joined the conversation. Barthen is the outreach and communications manager with the Georgia Council on Substance Abuse.

Back On My Feet Atlanta /

An Atlanta nonprofit is using running to help the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless.

Participants agree to train three times a week with volunteers. Those who stick with it get help with education, employment and housing.

What does it mean to have an awakening? For Christopher Paul Curtis, it meant finding his calling in his 40s. After working for more than a decade in Detroit's automobile manufacturing industry, Curtis began writing children's books about the African American experience. His 1996 novel "The Watsons Go to Birmingham" earned him a John Newbery Medal, making him the first African American man to win this honor. He won again in 2000 for "Bud, Not Buddy" and in 2008 for "Elijah of Buxton." We spoke with Curtis in 2017.