As many of you know, I made my second appearance on The ABC Nightly News with Diane Sawyer last Wednesday evening. The topic was about how the president and the newly appointed "drug czar" are now cracking down (pardon the pun) on prescription medication abuse. How did I get caught up in all this? Well, if you'll remember, last September I was contacted by the wonderfully talented Kristina Fiore of MedPage (a blog of sorts that is connected to the ABC family) by way of my involvement with the website: Opiate Detox and Recovery. Kristina wanted to know if anyone would be interested sharing their experience with the press on their success, or lack of with the medication Suboxone. Free press!? I jumped on it!! Well, no one else was actually. See, we addicts (recovering or active) are a secretive lot; trusting of not too many people when it comes to those on the "outside".
Kristina was very professional and sympathetic to all that I went through in order to get to where I am today. The piece, especially the printed article was wonderful. Not a hint of sensationalism and hit the nail on the head. So down to Earth was she, that we remained in contact via Facebook throughout the months.
A week ago Monday, Kristina sent me an email wondering if I would be interested in being interviewed again for ABC in light of all that was going on. OF COURSE!! Unfortunately, nothing came of it that day even after they interrupted Oprah for the president's speech on what he was going to do to stop this problem. Turns out, Vicodin is the number one prescribed medication in the country AND the number one abused medication to boot. Alas, no one was interested until Wednesday morning.
It was around 11:30am when my phone started glowing up with all of these (212) area code numbers (the area code for Manhattan). Kristina called telling me they were interested, but she wouldn't be doing the interview, but someone from Diane Sawyer's people would. WOW!! After explaining that I couldn't call them, they would have to call me (that's how we addicts in the program roll) that shouldn't be a problem. Soon after, Susan Schwartz who turns out to be Diane Sawyer's producer called and asked would it be possible for me to make it into the city for an on air, in studio interview? No, I couldn't. See, months prior I made a commitment for a speaking engagement and THAT comes first. She pulled out the big guns and said she would be willing to, get this, send a car to Huntington to "pick up you and your dog, Elvis" (like I'm sitting at home drunk with power saying I won't go anywhere without HIM!!!)! Knowing full well that I would NOT make it back in time from Lincoln Center I had to tell her no, but she could come here. She said ok and again, soon after I received a call from a gal named Sarah Netter who came to the house with her crew and was nice enough, but seemed more concerned with getting a story. It took the crew 45 minutes to set up the cameras and such all the while, Elvis was locked in the upstairs bathroom pooping on the floor. Well, you know what they say about kids and animals in regards to showbiz...
So, Sarah grilled me for a good 25 minutes asking me some pretty good questions: How did this all come about? What would you say to the 17 year old girl who is experimenting with pills and thinks what happened to you couldn't happen to her? What would you say to your 26 year old self now knowing all that you do? What does the future hold for me? Things of that nature..It all ended up on the cutting room floor. Hey, believe me I understand that's the nature of news media, but after seeing the piece, I was disappointed. Sure, 16 seconds of face time on a MAJOR network news show is awesome, but still...it left a bad taste in my mouth so I decided to take matters into my own hands, and last Saturday evening produced my own piece. I got to say what you didn't get to hear and see.
You can find the original ABC interview online at ABCTV.com, I believe or just enter my name: Carolyn Alfieri along with either: Suboxone, drug addiction, pills or ABC. I would post it here, but what's the point. As for the rebuttal video, you can view it on my Facebook page. Remember, the camera does add five pounds!