The Cook County Sheriff's Office is launching a podcast.
Titled “Breaking Free: Dispatches from the Opioid Crisis,” the show features an employee of Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart interviewing people recovering from opioid addiction.
The first episode centers on an unnamed man who overdosed on heroin last May in a bathroom at the Skokie courthouse. Bodycam video of Sheriff’s deputies reviving the man with the drug Naloxone has been viewed over 25,000 times on social media.
The 24-year-old man, who at the time of the interview was in Cook County jail facing drug charges, said in the podcast that he has overdosed about fourteen times.
“I’m waking up from an overdose ... And within the first five minutes, one of the biggest questions that comes to my mind is, ‘Where is the rest of my heroin?’” the man said. “Because without the substance, I have a disconnection with myself.”
Inmates will not be directly rewarded for their participation in the podcast. But participating does indicate “their good faith commitment to recovery,” according to Cara Smith, chief policy officer for the sheriff.
The Sheriff’s Office plans to release a new episode each month, initially only on its website and Facebook page — this is its first podcast.
“I hope this podcast opens eyes and minds to how easily an opioid addiction can happen and how hard it can be to stop,” said Sheriff Dart.