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Angela Kennecke is a journalist who lost her 21-year-old daughter Emily to fentanyl poisoning on May 16, 2018. Angela is "grieving out loud" to try to put an end to this epidemic by stopping the stigma and promoting the treatment of substance use disorder as the disease it is. Anyone coping with loss and looking for inspiration can benefit from listening to this podcast.
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Tom Wolf embodied the quintessential image of a middle-class family man—married, with two children, living in the suburbs, and holding a steady job as a child support officer. However, his life took a drastic turn after a seemingly routine foot surgery led to a prescription for painkillers. Listen as we delve into Tom's journey from a happy, hardwo…
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"Slow Dancing with the Devil"--that's the title of Susan Bartz Herrick's book that's now being turned into a screenplay. It's a story that the grieving mother never wanted to write--a heartbreaking memoir of her son's relentless 20-year battle with substance use disorder, a fight he unfortunately lost due to fentanyl poisoning. But Susan's narrativ…
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The statistics are deeply troubling. Between 2007 and 2021, youth suicide rates surged by more than 60%. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that teens living in the most impoverished areas were 37% more likely to die by suicide. However, this distressing trend isn't confined to those facing socioeconomic challenges; it…
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Fentanyl—dubbed by some as America's haunting "F" word—continues to carve a path of destruction across the nation. With the U.S. facing its deadliest drug epidemic in history, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says fentanyl is one of the main culprits. But today, on National Fentanyl Awareness Day, we're not just dwelling on the bleakn…
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As the inspiration behind characters in the award-winning books "Dopesick" and "Raising Lazarus," Ed Bisch shares his journey of turning personal tragedy into a force for powerful change. Following the heart-wrenching loss of his high school son to an OxyContin overdose early in the opioid epidemic, Bisch took on the daunting task of raising awaren…
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Eight years have passed since the world lost Prince, an unparalleled musical force and one of America's most revered artists. During his life, the creative genius sold over 100 million records, ranking him among the best-selling musical artists ever. However, despite his worldwide fame, the circumstances surrounding his sudden death from fentanyl p…
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From a young age, Sarah Spier seemed destined for success. At 18 years old, she landed a job as a film specialist for the Academy Award-winning movie No Country for Old Men. But her Hollywood dreams quickly turned into a nightmare of heroin addiction. Sarah fell in love with a drug dealer, thinking it was a modern-day Romeo and Juliet tale. No one …
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World-renowned actor Michael Keaton has won several awards, including his first Emmy, for his performance in the Hulu series "Dopesick." The "Batman" actor portrays a hard-working doctor in a small mining town who gets addicted to the pain pills he starts prescribing. Today on Grieving Out Loud, we have an exciting interview with the man who was th…
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Ever feel like you've hit a certain age, and your chance to impact the world has passed you by? In today's Grieving Out Loud episode, we'll introduce you to Neil Jackson, who proves that age is just a number. In his early 60s, Neil faced the devastating news of a rare cancer diagnosis and the slim odds of survival after a risky surgery. But his sto…
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From FOX News to CNN and ABC, Amy Neville has found herself under the national news spotlight, but it's for a cause she wishes never existed. Amy faced the heart-wrenching loss of her 14-year-old son, who, on the brink of his first year in high school, ingested what he thought was oxycodone, a purchase made through Snapchat. Now, Amy is on a missio…
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As a seasoned paramedic, Shani Reisnour has seen the painful impact of our nation’s drug crisis up close. But she never expected it to hit her family. Unfortunately, fentanyl doesn’t discriminate. In this episode of Grieving Out Loud, Shani opens up about her daughter’s struggle with substance use disorder, shares the lessons she’s learned, and wha…
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With a record number of Americans using marijuana, cannabis use disorder is also on the rise. Recent research published in The Journal of the American Medical Association finds that more than one-fifth of people who use cannabis struggle with dependency or problematic use. In this episode of Grieving Out Loud, Chris Raeford courageously opens up ab…
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As one of the most popular podcasters in the world, Meghan Judge has seen a lot of success throughout her career. She’s also married to a Hollywood actor, but now she speaks out about the trauma she survived starting at a young age. Because of all of her grief, abuse, and abandonment issues, doctors diagnosed Meghan with Complex PTSD. In this episo…
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With fentanyl being the number one killer of Americans under 50, it’s more important than ever to have easy access to naloxone, which can reverse opioid overdoses. In fact, naloxone has saved the lives of tens of thousands of people. Today, on a heartfelt episode of Grieving Out Loud, we are privileged to have Justin Phillips join us—a remarkable w…
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In an era where streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu bring the grim realities of America’s opioid crisis to the forefront through compelling narratives and star-studded casts, the painful truth hits home for countless families. Among them is Sandra Martinez, whose daughter Qarinna’s journey began with a seemingly benign prescription for opioid…
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Over the last ten years, Lauri Badura has been on a determined quest to confront the escalating crisis of fentanyl-related deaths. Despite her unwavering dedication, the shadow of this epidemic continues to grow. Lauri's path to advocacy was marked by personal tragedy in 2014 when she lost her son, Archie, to an overdose. This loss became the catal…
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Originally released on July 18th, 2022 Today's episode is an unexpected revisit dedicated to the memory of one of our past guests. Maryrose Fealey was a TikTok star who gained fame after she shared her relationship with her brother, Ian, who suffers from substance use disorder. Her journey was also shown in an eye-opening documentary that followed …
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Buying drugs online is "nearly as convenient as using one's phone to order a pizza or call an Uber," a report by Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser found. Sadly, an increasing number of grieving parents are painfully discovering the truth behind this statement. Chris Didier's 17-year-old son Zach was an Eagle Scout, talented soccer player, and s…
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Wine Wednesday, Mom Juice, Liquid Courage--our culture has all sorts of cute catchphrases encouraging people to drink. In fact, excessive drinking seems to be normalized, but unfortunately, it's also one of the leading preventable causes of death in the U.S., with more than 380 Americans dying every day. In this heartfelt episode of Grieving Out Lo…
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How do you navigate life's unexpected challenges? Do you crumble under the weight, foster resentment, or embrace each trial as an opportunity for personal growth? In this episode of Grieving Out Loud, we welcome Lynn Gillette, who, at first glance, seemed to have life all figured out. With her children's recent high school graduation, she entered a…
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Imagine a trip brimming with celebration and laughter—Carol Wolfe's son, Josh, embarked from Nebraska to Nashville, eager to witness the heartfelt "I dos" of two dear friends. Little did anyone know that this journey, meant for joy, would take an unexpected turn. Post-wedding festivities, Josh and a friend, decided to extend their Nashville stay fo…
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As an experienced mental health nurse practitioner, John Lally has extensive knowledge of mental health and substance use disorder issues. Yet, when his son confronted the challenges of anxiety, depression, and addiction, John discovered the profound difficulty of navigating such struggles. In this episode of Grieving Out Loud, John not only shares…
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Our journey on Grieving Out Loud has been extraordinary over the past year. We've been graced by the voices of countless individuals who, with unwavering bravery, shared the intimate and challenging chapters of their lives entwined with substance use disorder. In these narratives, we've not only heard the heart-wrenching stories of parents who, des…
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Originally Released on November 30th, 2022 Season's greetings from Grieving Out Loud! For this holiday special, we're revisiting an episode that holds valuable insights for many. Our guest today, Dr. Mark Vande Braak, played a significant role in host Angela Kennecke's grief journey following the loss of her 21-year-old daughter, Emily. As a thanat…
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Grieving Out Loud host Angela Kennecke received a special invitation to the White House this year, where she met with some of America's top government officials working to end the historic drug crisis. The visit included discussions with prominent figures such as our nation's drug czar, the CDC director, and the Second Gentleman, Douglas Emhoff, Vi…
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In this episode of "Grieving Out Loud," host Angela Kennecke engages in a poignant discussion with Lisa Gennosa, a physician assistant and author of Incurable Hope: A Memoir and Survival Guide for Coping with a Loved One's Addiction. Despite Lisa's medical background and being married to a doctor, she found herself unprepared for her son's struggle…
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A record 112,024 Americans have died in the past year from drugs alone; that's around 307 people every day. Today's Grieving Out Loud guest, Natasha Combs, feared she would become a part of that statistic. Natasha struggled with substance use disorder after a surgery where she was prescribed painkillers, coupled with the fact that she was battling …
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Originally released on March 6th, 2021 From the loss of a loved one to grappling with addiction and facing job loss – life presents us with countless challenges. While the list may seem never-ending, maintaining the right mindset can empower you to overcome and persevere and discover moments of joy amidst painful circumstances. On this episode of G…
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The phrase "drug cartel" often evokes images of distant violence and illicit trade, chiefly tied to Mexico. But the truth is, the influence of these formidable Mexican drug organizations reaches deep into the heartland of America in ways that might astonish you. A recent year-long operation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has unearthed …
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Is addiction a disease or a disability, and why does it matter? Dr. John Maier, a distinguished researcher, therapist, and philosopher, is writing a groundbreaking book championing the concept of addiction as a disability rather than a disease. In this enlightening episode of Grieving Out Loud, we delve into Maier's perspective and explore why this…
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Cooper Noriega seemed to be living the dream. At just 19 years old, the social media influencer had amassed millions of followers on TikTok and hundreds of thousands more on other social platforms. Not stopping there, he ventured into modeling and had ambitious plans to launch a clothing line focusing on mental health awareness. However, beneath th…
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When we decide to share our talents, it's like giving a gift to others. And you know what's beautiful? It often brings us a blessing in return. Today's Grieving Out Loud guest, Debbie Evans, uses her artistic talents in a way she never imagined. Like thousands of other Americans, Debbie lost her son Jamie to fentanyl poisoning. She's decided to rai…
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Over the past couple of months, Grieving Out Loud host Angela Kennecke had the opportunity to make two trips to Washington, D.C., to shine a spotlight on America's growing drug crisis, which is killing a record number of Americans. During her first visit, Angela had the privilege of meeting with some of our country's top leaders, including the U.S.…
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In this episode of Grieving Out Loud, we delve into the poignant story behind "Song for Charlie." Ed and Mary Ternan deeply value the song, but its origin is rooted in profound loss. Their son Charlie, believing he was purchasing Percocet on Snapchat, was tragically misled and consumed a counterfeit pill laced with deadly fentanyl. Listen as Ed rec…
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At 102 years old, Dr. Gladys McGarey not only stands as a living testament to holistic healing but also serves as an inspiration for all generations. Known as the 'Mother of Holistic Medicine,' Dr. McGarey's journey is nothing short of remarkable. In this episode of Grieving out Loud, we uncover her story, from enduring cancer, the loss of a daught…
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Law enforcement has found deadly doses of fentanyl in some truly unexpected places, such as baby bottles and fake Jolly Ranchers. Our guest on Grieving Out Loud has firsthand experience with the strange and tragic ways this super-strong synthetic opioid is killing Americans. Barb Walsh believes her daughter died from drinking a bottle of water that…
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The opioid crisis, which claims thousands of American lives each year, traces its origins back to overprescribing painkillers. In this episode of Grieving Out Loud, hear the compelling story of a woman who defied the odds. Jessica Chumley was a college graduate with a successful career, but her doctor prescribed her Oxycontin following surgery. Tho…
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According to U.S. census data, more grandparents are raising their grandchildren than ever, and the opioid epidemic is mainly to blame. It's hitting home for many families; Patricia Drewes' journey is a prime example. Her daughter's life was tragically cut short by a drug-tainted with a deadly dose of fentanyl. In this emotionally charged episode o…
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As an Emmy Nominated Producer and Film Director, Kay Sumner has been making waves in the entertainment industry. She has an impressive track record, boasting three Emmy nominations and not one but two People's Choice awards. Her claim to fame includes being the co-creator and producer of the renowned show The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan, but he…
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Like countless young boys, Chris Herren had an ambitious dream of becoming a professional basketball player. Chris turned his dream into reality, first playing for the Denver Nuggets and then achieving his ultimate goal of joining his hometown team, the Boston Celtics. But the life of a successful athlete isn't all glory. It comes with its challeng…
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Addiction is a complex condition, and there's no one-size-fits-all solution during recovery. On this episode of Grieving Out Loud, Angela Kennecke sits down with a highly respected psychiatrist specializing in addiction care. Dr. Hannah Statz DeVries is also a valuable Emily's Hope board member. Throughout this episode, Dr. Statz DeVries will be ad…
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The allure of attention-grabbing headlines, especially those involving public figures and controversial topics like "sex" and "drugs," often captivates our curiosity. However, amidst sensationalism, we overlook the struggles those individuals face behind the spotlight. Nadia Davis, a prominent lawyer and public figure, experienced such unwanted att…
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Laura Cathcart Robbins was part of a Hollywood power couple. She was a publicist and the PTA president of her children's prestigious private school. Her then-husband was an actor and director who eventually became the CEO at Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon. However, beneath the glamorous facade of red-carpet premieres and social events, Laura ca…
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Join host Angela Kennecke on this powerful episode of Grieving Out Loud as she sits down with Valerie Silveira, a woman whose journey will leave you inspired and moved. Valerie's impact on the lives of countless individuals dealing with grief, depression, and the challenges of having a family member battle addiction is nothing short of extraordinar…
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At first glance, Kate Kerr seemed to have it all—a beautiful apartment, impeccable fashion sense, and was a nurturing mother who ensured her children were well cared for. However, behind this seemingly perfect exterior, a secret lay hidden, unknown even to her closest loved ones. Kate struggled with substance use disorder after a doctor prescribed …
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On this episode of "Grieving Out Loud," your host, Angela Kennecke, sits down with an incredible guest, Patty Stovall, who knows firsthand that as parents, our knowledge alone isn't always enough to shield our children from the battles of drug or alcohol use. Growing up, Patty witnessed her parents' ongoing struggle with alcohol addiction. It wasn'…
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In just a few weeks, the nation's capital will witness an awe-inspiring rally that aims to shake the foundations of our country's drug crisis. Picture hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of passionate individuals marching to the White House, demanding attention from lawmakers who some believe have taken too little action. Leading this movement is non…
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Originally released on May 23, 2021 Jessica Lahey is a mother, teacher, and author of The New York Times bestselling book, The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed. Jessica, who has been sober for eight years, says her new book, The Addiction Inoculation: Raising Healthy Kids in a Culture of Dependence…
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Imagine losing not just one, but two loved ones to suicide. This week's Grieving Out Loud guest, Jim Nelson, has faced these unimaginable tragedies head-on. Jim's life was forever changed when his brother completed suicide in his early 20s. The pain and devastation were indescribable, but little did Jim know that life had even more sorrow in store …
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Fawna Asfaw was an only child who had her world turned upside down when she lost not just one, but both of her parents at a young age. It's unimaginable. She didn't know how to handle all that grief, so she turned to alcohol. As you may have guessed, that led Fawna down a dangerous and devastating path. In this episode of Grieving Out Loud, your ho…
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