opiates

Jon McHann, 56, got started on prescription opioids the way a lot of adults in the U.S. did: He was in pain following an accident. In his case, it was a fall.

"I hit my tailbone just right, and created a severe bulging disc" that required surgery, McHann says.

McHann, who lives in Smithville, Tenn., expected to make a full recovery and go back to work as a heavy haul truck driver. But 10 years after his accident, he's still at home.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to give police and prosecutors new tools in the fight against the opioid crisis.

Erie County Family Court

Having enough people to foster each child in need has been a longtime problem, complicated by couples who both work. In fact, earlier this year Erie County ran out of foster parents, forcing kids to move as far as Jamestown to a new family who could care for them.

The U.S. is in the midst of an opioid crisis. Millions of Americans are addicted to the powerful prescription painkillers, and tens of thousands are dying each year from overdoses.

A new report out Thursday offers a bit of hope: Doctors are prescribing opioids less often, and the average dose they're giving patients has dropped, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Several weeks before President Trump nominated Indiana's state health commissioner Jerome Adams to be the next U.S. Surgeon General, Adams toured the Salvation Army Harbor Light detox center in Indianapolis, Ind., the only treatment facility in the state for people without insurance.

WBFO's Avery Schneider

The American Medical Association recently endorsed pilot facilities for supervised injection of drugs. It is a response to the opioid epidemic.

New York State may soon have a new way to prosecute dealers who sell heroin or opioids that result in a lethal overdose.

For nearly four years now, an unusual coalition of Republicans and Democrats has worked to reduce mandatory prison terms for many federal drug crimes.

But that bipartisan movement may be shallower than it appears. Indeed, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, who both supported a cut-back on some drug punishments, are preparing a bill that would create tough new penalties for people caught with synthetic opioid drugs. Grassley chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Feinstein is the panel's ranking member.

A Lockport man has been charged with sex and drug trafficking and is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kenneth Schroeder.

Mike Desmond/WBFO News

As the spotlight continues to reveal the size of the problem, opiate addiction is generating more conversation. The topic drew the community together at a forum Wednesday night at Kenmore West High School.

Avery Schneider / WBFO News

“Our Place in History" was the theme of Thursday’s State of Erie County address, but that place in history will rely on quite a bit of funding.


Teen's recovery from opiate addiction provides hope

Sep 22, 2015
Cheryl Hagen/WBFO News

While the opioid epidemic is on the rise, there is hope for recovery. WBFO’s Cheryl Hagen has more on one former addict’s road home.


Cheryl Hagen/WBFO News

Local counselors treating young people addicted to opiates say the problem is out of control in Western New York. In the second of a three part series on addiction, WBFO’s Cheryl Hagen talks with two experts about the deadly habit and what it takes to get clean.


Mother's tragic loss underscores grip of addiction

Sep 8, 2015

Heroin and other opiates have become a growing problem across Western New York, with an ever-increasing number of deaths being attributed to overdoses.  In the first of a three-part series on addiction, WBFO's Cheryl Hagen shares one mother's tragic story.

State lawmakers target growing use of opiates

Jul 10, 2015
Robert Ortt

State lawmakers are stepping up efforts to curb a heroin epidemic after the CDC released a study showing a drastic rise in use and deaths related to the drug.