Radio show plays role in battle vs. addiction

Jodi Tarantino

CHELMSFORD — There’s strength in seeking help.

That’s one of the messages Chelmsford resident Jodi Tarantino hopes to convey as the new host of Airing Addiction, a weekly radio program on WTAG 580 AM in Worcester.

Tarantino, a licensed social worker and program director of residential services at Spectrum Health System Inc.’s Charles J. Faris Recovery Center in Westboro, said she hopes to destigmatize addiction, treatment and behavioral health in general.

“I think so many people are struggling with so many different things and just don’t feel like they should access treatment or they should let anybody know about it,” she said. “There’s still such a notion out in the greater community that we just need to be able to buck up and get through life. That really impedes the process of people getting the help that they need.”

Tarantino is not in recovery herself, but she has personal and clinical experience. She lost her sister two years ago to alcoholism, and helped another family member get treatment.

Airing Addiction launched on WTAG/iHeart Radio in July, and then on SoundCloud and iTunes in January.

It was first hosted by Donna Pellegrino, Spectrum’s former vice president of business development. Tarantino was a guest on the show a couple times to talk about residential treatment before co-hosting with Pellegrino prior to her departure. Tarantino officially took over as host May 27.

The program has helped many people seek treatment, and Tarantino hopes to further expand that reach.

For her first show over Memorial Day weekend, Tarantino brought on a retired Army sergeant turned recovery specialist who discussed substance abuse in the…

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