Matters of Substance, the first known coalition podcast in the State of Indiana to address the opioid epidemic, prevention, treatment and recovery launched this past week in Washington, DC as the Porter County Substance Abuse Council’s Executive Director Dawn Pelc traveled to the Capitol to promote the series at the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) & SAMHSA’s annual leadership forum to over 6,000 members.

The podcast is now broadcast nationally with the potential of international engagement via the social media platforms Spotify and iHeartradio. The Council originally collaborated with local community radio station WVLP 103.1 in Valparaiso to provide listeners with content related to substance use disorder and introduced them to topics by experts in the fields of prevention, treatment, recovery, and law enforcement. The Council committed to a one-year partnership with WVLP, but soon found that the show became a mainstay and a signature initiative throughout the state. Since WVLP has a limited broadcast area, the Council decided to broaden the scope and create a podcast series that reaches beyond the limits of the station wattage as well as allow recording and distribution flexibility.

We are dedicated to maintaining a relationship with WVLP and continue to create content in a one-hour format for the station as well as produce 30 minutes or less for Matters of Substance. There currently are over 50 shows in varying formats that are available for followers to stream on demand. “We saw an opportunity to expand our visibility, provide vital resources, elude the trappings of duplication and sequestered work paradigms, encourage community conversations and all the while exceeding expectations,” said Pelc.

Since 1989, the Council has been identified as a leader in the prevention field and has member agencies that contribute data and reports that are able to forecast local conditions that may be deemed as a precursor to community drug related threats. In an effort to expedite the information to the community, we produce sound bites of data available at the click of a button. Long gone is the impact and viability of the community health and awareness fairs. Attendance has been dropping like a rock as people become more reliant on the ease of obtaining information in the comfort of their own home at their convenience.

Our office is outfitted with a state-of-the-art studio capable of recording professional quality audio and video for distribution and is in the process of monetizing the podcast to congeal with our sustainability plan, providing us with years of consistent income. “Under the leadership of Dawn Pelc, the Council has grown exponentially, and we look forward to providing additional programs and services to the community to reduce substance use disorder in Porter County,” said Council President Chuck Harris.