If you want to revisit Season 1, we offer early highlights—and exec producer Jessica Cordova Kramer’s list of must-hear top 7 episodes
By Angela ZhouOctober 22, 2020
Last Day is a podcast that invites us to “talk about what’s killing us, the stuff that’s hard to comprehend and getting worse every day.” The first episode of Season 2—on mental health and suicide—premiered this week. If you want to take a listen back before you plunge into the new season, we offer a quick take on early episodes of Season 1’s look at opioid crisis and addiction. We also asked Last Day podcast executive producer Jessica Cordova Kramer’s for her favorite episodes. Find them below.
Episode 1: Meet Stephanie, Meet Harris (with Sarah Silverman & Aziz Ansari)
Stephanie Wittels Wachs, the host of Last Day and sister of the late Harris Wittels—a comedian, writer, producer, and actor, who died of a heroin overdose in 2015— introduces the concept of the show and the importance of its existence alongside Harris’ close friends and colleagues, Sarah Silverman and Aziz Ansari.
Episode 2: Stefano’s Last Day
This episode follows the last day of Stefano Cordova, Jr.’s life before and after his fentanyl overdose on October 23, 2017 in Allston, Massachusetts
Episode 3: And Now, We Rewind the Tape
Almost two years after his overdose death, Stefano Cordova Jr.’s family is still trying to make sense of how they all got here. We meet behavioral pharmacologist Dr. Sam Snodgrass talks about how his own addiction to opioids is a disease and why understanding that is key to helping people with substance use disorders.
Episode 4: Was It Painful?
Karen Host, senior sirector at Cataldo Ambulance, and emergency room doctor Dr. Jay on the anatomy of an overdose, what it’s like to save a life, the immediate aftermath, and the complexity of prescribing opioids for pain in the midst of an opioid crisis.
Episode 5: Shame City
Dr. Nzinga A. Harrison walks us through detox. Then, Dr. Robert Meyers, the architect of Community Reinforcement Approach and Family Training (CRAFT), discusses the “put your own oxygen mask on first” approach to interventions.
Episode 6: The Magic Formula
On the 2-year anniversary of Stefano’s death, Stephanie talks to David Sheff, New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction, about the complexities and pain families face navigating the rehab industry. She also talks to Dr. Nzinga A. Harrison about the importance and effectiveness of treating the whole person.
Episode 7: 20,000 Fewer Funerals
Ithaca’s Mayor Svante Myrick and Bronx harm-reductionist Hiawatha Collins talk about the inequities of America’s justice system and how we can do better. By treating all people with dignity and respect, going into communities and reducing potential risk, and creating medically-staffed safe spaces for drug use, this could mean 20,000 fewer funerals a year in America.
Last Day Executive Producer Jessica Cordova Kramer’s favorite 7 episodes
Episode 2: “Stefano’s Last Day”
Episode 3: “And Now, We Rewind the Tape”
Episode 5: “Shame City”
Episode 11: “Wake Me Up”
Episode 14: “Last Day of Use”
Episode 17: “Trauma (with Dr. Gabor Maté)”
Epilogue: “Josh’s Last Day (with The Lumineers’ Jeremiah Fraites)”