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Rural Health Information Hub

Riverfront Talks: Substance Matters Podcast

  • Need: To reduce stigma around mental illness and substance use in North Carolina.
  • Intervention: The Beaufort County Behavioral Health Task Force created the Riverfront Talks: Substance Matters podcast to interview people with lived experience.
  • Results: As of December 2023, the podcast has 10 episodes.


According to the NC Opioid and Substance Use Action Plan Data Dashboard, the drug overdose death rate in Beaufort County, North Carolina, was 48.9 per 100,000 residents, higher than the state rate of 36.9.

The Beaufort County Behavioral Health Task Force created the Riverfront Talks: Substance Matters podcast to help reduce stigma by interviewing people with lived experience of substance use or mental illness. The podcast is funded by ECU Health Beaufort Hospital and Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust.

Beaufort County logo

Services offered

The Beaufort County Behavioral Health Task Force Coordinator hosts the podcast, in which people share their experiences or their work with substance use and mental illness and discuss community resources. Past interviewees include:

  • Riverfront Talks logoClinicians
  • Community advocates
  • People in recovery or with mental health disorders
  • People experiencing homelessness
  • Foster parents of children whose biological families used drugs


As of December 2023, the podcast has 10 episodes, with 1,441 views and 3,803 impressions.

Two people who were interviewed in the podcast have become State Certified Peer Support Specialists, and one of these interviewees is currently working with the task force coordinator to create a re-entry program for people involved with the criminal justice system and who use drugs.


Due to stigma, it was difficult at first to find interviewees willing to talk about their experiences and to find a filming location, since different establishments were not comfortable with the podcast's subject matter. In addition, an op-ed was published talking about the Beaufort County Behavioral Health Task Force, leading the establishment where the podcast had been filmed to turn the crew away for future episodes. However, once episodes started airing, more people became more comfortable being interviewed.


To reach out to potential interviewees, use your networks and community engagement events to tell people about your project and your goal to reduce stigma. More people were willing to speak out once they realized the podcast was about empowerment, not stereotypes about people who use drugs.

To reach out to establishments for filming, talk to the managers and owners about the purpose of the project and the potential for increased business and becoming a community champion for this cause.

Contact Information

Tiffany Moore, Coordinator
Beaufort County Behavioral Health Task Force

Behavioral health
Mental health
Mental health conditions
Substance use and misuse

States served
North Carolina

Date added
December 5, 2023

Suggested citation: Rural Health Information Hub, 2023. Riverfront Talks: Substance Matters Podcast [online]. Rural Health Information Hub. Available at: [Accessed 23 June 2024]

Please contact the models and innovations contact directly for the most complete and current information about this program. Summaries of models and innovations are provided by RHIhub for your convenience. The programs described are not endorsed by RHIhub or by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Each rural community should consider whether a particular project or approach is a good match for their community’s needs and capacity. While it is sometimes possible to adapt program components to match your resources, keep in mind that changes to the program design may impact results.