August 24, 2020

TV Sports Reporter Lauren Sisler is sharing her family’s struggle with addiction as part of American Addiction Centers’ (AAC) latest campaign in honor of International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31. The campaign, 11 Minutes and Counting, refers to a grim statistic. Every 11 minutes in the United States, someone dies from an opioid overdose. The week-long campaign kicks off today and features a series of educational videos, a downloadable overdose toolkit and a Facebook Live interview with Sisler on August 31 at 7 p.m. EST.

To learn about the campaign, visit

Several AAC facilities are also hosting free virtual trainings on administering Narcan®, the nasal version of the overdose-reversing drug Naloxone.

“We are losing far too many people to overdoses and many are unintentional,” said Dr. Lawrence Weinstein, AAC Chief Medical Officer. “The pandemic has only made matters worse because people are turning to substances to cope. We also know fear, isolation, stress and anxiety are also all triggers for a relapse. Health officials are reporting as much as a 30 to 40% increase in overdose deaths during these unprecedented times. In some states, overdose deaths are surpassing COVID deaths.”

As a teenager, Sisler lost both her parents to an opioid overdose within hours of each other. For years, the sportscaster was ashamed to share her story because of the stigma associated with the disease of addiction. Now, she’s speaking out in hopes of saving lives and preventing another family from experiencing such a devastating loss.

“I was shackled to the shame for so many years because I was afraid of what people would think,” said Sisler. “I now have the courage to share my story and to be transparent and vulnerable. I hope this campaign will be a wake-up call and a call to action for all of us. This isn’t someone else’s problem. Our families and our communities are impacted by addiction. Our loved ones need to feel it’s OK to share and seek help. We also need to arm ourselves with the tools to save a life.”

While Narcan can reverse an overdose, treatment is often necessary for long-term recovery. Unfortunately, only 1 in 10 individuals who need treatment ever receive it.