Episode 6: The Kids Are Not Alright

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Drugs are prepared to shoot intravenously by a user addicted to heroin.

Gang violence and a drug epidemic might not be the first things one thinks about when they picture the American suburbs, but they have become prominent facts of life for many residents in Suffolk County, Long Island. In fact, the leafy New York suburb led the Empire State in opioid and heroin overdose deaths in 2014. 

WNYC Studios and The Nation set out to explore how these problems emerged in the first place.

WNYC’s Arun Venugopal sits down with Anthony, a former-drug user who recounts how he became addicted while growing up in the environs of Long Island's South Shore.

We talk to two individuals on the front lines of treatment to gain their insight into what has caused the uptick in drug use, and how Donald Trump figures into the conversation.

Then, The Nation’s Julianne Hing goes to Brentwood, NY, a Long Island town where the remains of five murdered teenagers tied to gang violence have been discovered in the past six weeks.

Listen to The United States of Anxiety on WNYC, airing Thursday evenings at 7pm, and stay tuned for a live call-in

Episode Contributors:

Kai Wright

Arun Venugopal

Julianne Hing

Karen Frillmann

Joseph Capriglione

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. Listen to more from The Nation.

Music Playlist

  1. United States of Anxiety Theme

    Artist: Nathan Halpern
  2. Black Ballots

    Artist: Blue Dot Sessions
    Album: Union Hall
  3. He Who Ate All the Caviar

    Artist: Mac Miller
  4. Festering

    Artist: Blue Dot Sessions
    Album: Towboat
  5. Base Camp

    Artist: Blue Dot Sessions
    Album: K2
  6. Weeks Denied

    Artist: Nathan Halpern
  7. Stingray - Dangerous Thought

    Artist: Blue Dot Sessions
    Album: Stingray
  8. The Summit

    Artist: Blue Dot Sessions
    Album: K2