opioids

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

Republicans in both the House and the Senate are considering big cuts to Medicaid. But those cuts endanger addiction treatment, which many people receive through the government health insurance program.

National Public Radio

This month marks the halfway point in New York State's plan to end the AIDS epidemic by the year 2020. Although local health care officials say progress has been made, a new epidemic is threatening the effort.

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.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Members of the Erie County Legislature continue to discuss a proposal to provide $1 million for efforts against an ongoing opioid addiction crisis. But at Thursday's Health and Human Services Committee meeting, it was clear that lawmakers are divided on how the money should be spent, and how soon it may be spent.


National Public Radio

There has been another sudden surge in apparent drug overdoses in Erie County and in the surrounding counties: eleven cases between Saturday afternoon and Monday afternoon.

The Drug Enforcement Administration has proposed hiring its own prosecutor corps to bring cases related to drug trafficking, money laundering and asset forfeiture — a move that advocacy groups warn could exceed the DEA's legal authority and reinvigorate the 1980s-era war on drugs.

Drug Policy Alliance

As Western New York and the nation deals with an opioid crisis, a group of drug reform advocates, former users and health care professionals have launched an effort to bring to New York State facilities where addicts can consume their drug of choice in a safe, secure and supervised environment.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Health officials working closely with an ongoing opioid addiction epidemic say the problem is not going away any time soon. But New York State is committing $213 million to help expand treatment, recovery and prevention programs with the hope the tide may soon turn.


A new report says Ontario is having as much a problem with opioids as New York State.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

A new addiction center is open in Buffalo, one that was made possible with the support of a $1.75 million state grant. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul joined representatives of Lake Shore Behavioral Health to formally open the BestSelf Recovery Community and Outreach Center on Linwood Avenue.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Catholic Health is planning to relocate its STAR treatment center within the Town of Amherst. On Friday, a candidate for Amherst Town Supervisor suggested that while drug treatment centers are needed, the planned future site is the wrong place to put one.


Michael Mroziak, WBFO

In light of a recent spike in suspected opioid-related deaths in Erie County, an Erie County legislator is proposing an increase in funding to make treatment services more accessible to those who seek help but cannot afford it.


Marwan Elbliety

On the heels of the news announced Thursday that seven Erie County residents fatally overdosed on a deadly batch of heroin in the span of 24 hours, a national expert on opioid addiction was in Buffalo Friday to talk with healthcare workers about the growing epidemic.

National Public Radio

A deadly batch of heroin is suspected in the deaths of seven Erie County residents in one day - the average number of overdose deaths in a week.

As the death toll rises, what to do about the continuing opioid epidemic? That was the question Monday night at Williamsville's Hyatt Place.

WBFO's Mike Desmond

As the sky darkened into evening, names rang out in front of Old Erie County Hall. They were the names of those who have died in the area's opioids epidemic, read during a memorial to help their families deal with death.

overdoselifeline.org

On a daily basis, neighborhoods across the country are hit with news of another fatal overdose caused by heroin or other opiates. However, often lost behind the news are the stories of families and other loved ones left behind.

Prescribed narcotic painkillers continue to fuel a nationwide opioid epidemic—nearly half of fatal overdoses in the United States involve opioids prescribed by a doctor.

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The city of Toronto is moving to address an opioid crisis that is crossing Canada. In the United States, it has already been described as the greatest drug crisis in American history, fueled by opioids like fentanyl. Across the continent, thousands of people are dying from overdoses. Recently in Vancouver, the city had the equivalent of nearly 130 overdose deaths in one month, the equivalent of four a day. That prompted the city's mayor to issue a warning to his counterpart in Toronto.


As the death toll from opioid overdoses continues to rise, Erie County is hitting back with a lawsuit against pharmaceutical makers and doctors who prescribe the drugs. The suit alleges they helped fuel the opioids epidemic, by spreading the falsehood that the medications aren't addictive and potentially lethal.

Chris Caya/WBFO News

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn is ramping up the fight against the growing opioid crisis by restoring a standalone narcotics bureau. Nineteen days into the new year, there have been 19 suspected overdose deaths in the county.

An expansion of industrial hemp farming was one of Governor Cuomo’s proposals at his regional State of the State address in Syracuse. The proposal comes the same week the state allots more money to fight drug addiction.

WBFO's Mike Desmond

On a cold, windy and snowy night, around two dozen people were inside the Erie County Emergency Operations Center talking about giving life, using naloxone to overcome the fatal overdose effects of opioids. As fatalities have continued to rise, the number of people wanting to learn how to use the drug spray also has increased. 

WBFO file photo

Erie County leaders are reporting a spike in opioid-related deaths during the month of December. Health Department officials are investigating whether they may be linked to a new synthetic form of the drug.

Gretchen Ertl/Reuters/Landov

There has been a recall of one of the key weapons in the fight against fatal opioid abuse overdoses -- naloxone.

A new survey finds that nearly three-quarters of adults in Buffalo believe opioids addiction is one of today's highest social priorities, but there are not enough community resources to tackle the problem. That is why a local health provider, that began in response to the AIDS crisis of a generation ago, has been expanding into opioids addiction and other chronic diseases that are underserved and stigmatized.

New York ranked fourth among states whose lawmakers drew the most contributions from the opioid industry, but was near the bottom in prescriptions per capita, according to data compiled by The Associated Press and the Center for Public Integrity.

Dr. Julie Hogan

At a time when the nation is grappling with an opioid crisis, hundreds of researchers, addiction experts and service-providers are meeting in Buffalo to discuss prevention strategies.

Michael Mroziak / WBFO News

17 individuals are facing federal charges in relation to a massive drug trafficking operation that brought cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl from across the United States’ southern border into the Western New York area. It’s part of the largest prosecution ever taken on by the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Western District of New York.

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