In Conversation

The coronavirus pandemic seems to be changing our relationship with drinking and drugs. Liquor sales are booming. Drinking socially wasn’t an option for a while, so people who never drank alone found themselves mixing up cocktails for one. And why wait for happy hour when most hours of the day are the same?

Meanwhile, folks with serious substance use problems saw their weekly meetings move to Zoom. Opioid-related drug overdoses nearly doubled in Kentucky.

Substance use issues are on the rise, and they require different solutions as shutdowns and social distancing affect the ability to get needed help.

On “In Conversation” this Friday we talked to experts about the impact of the coronavirus on how we use alcohol and other substances — people with long time addictions, those dealing with COVID-19 prohibitions in the beginning of their recovery, and how to keep a handle on your own drinking when the cocktail hour seems to have no beginning or end.

We asked our panel how they’re finding news ways to offer support, and we heard from members of the community about how they are handling alcohol and drug use while isolated, and dealing with the stress of a growing pandemic.


  • Shannon Gray, Program Manager at Healing Place
  • Craig, Alcoholics Anonymous of Greater Louisville Central Office Manager
  • Dr. Eric Yazel, Clark County Health Officer

Listen to the show:

There’s a lot going on in Louisville, and WFPL’s “In Conversation” with Rick Howlett gives people a platform to talk — both to each other, and with the larger community — about the biggest issues facing our city, state and region. Live at 11 a.m. every Friday on 89.3 WFPL. Call 502-814-TALK to join the conversation.

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Michelle Tyrene Johnson is the Associate Producer for WFPL's "In Conversation" talk show and hosts the podcast "Race Unwrapped."