opioids

addictionpolicy.org

A Washington DC-based organization that campaigns to improve national policy on addiction has opened a New York State chapter. The woman tapped to chair the state chapter says she's looking for interested candidates to serve at the local level.


Mike Desmond/WBFO

The annual public hearing is perhaps the most high-profile event in Erie County's budget process. The session Tuesday drew another large crowd as interested parties shared their views of the spending plan prepared by Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.


Michael Mroziak, WBFO

A three-year, $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is coming to Erie County. The money will be used by the Erie County Health Department and its partners to address opioid misuse by a specific population: women of childbearing age.


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.

National Public Radio

John Kapoor has been arrested in Arizona, charged with leading a nationwide conspiracy to bribe doctors and pharmacists to widely prescribe an opioid cancer drug for people who did not need it. You may not recognize the name, but the drug company founder is a billionaire and University at Buffalo graduate for which UB's School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is named.

Updated at 2:50 p.m. ET

President Trump declared a public health emergency to deal with the opioid epidemic Thursday, freeing up some resources for treatment. More than 140 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"We are currently dealing with the worst drug crisis in American history," Trump said, adding, "it's just been so long in the making. Addressing it will require all of our effort."

"We can be the generation that ends the opioid epidemic," he said.

It has the power to save lives by targeting opioid overdoses — something that kills more than 140 Americans every day. And now Narcan, the nasal spray that can pull a drug user back from an overdose, is being carried by all of Walgreens' more than 8,000 pharmacies.

Julie Eldred has been struggling with addiction to opioids for more than a decade and she says the criminal justice system punishes her for it.

Eldred, a part-time pet caretaker in Acton, Mass., was put on probation last year for theft. She knew staying drug-free would be tough — especially at first, when she was going through opioid withdrawal. But, she says, she didn't have much of a choice.

University at Buffalo

With modern medicine creating drugs that can be misused for addiction, and opioid drugs for medical care sometimes leading to addiction, many health-related professions are looking hard at prescriptions, prescribing practices and education.

National Public Radio

A Geneseo High School football player is in legal trouble for allegedly giving teammates the addictive painkiller OxyContin.

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

National Public Radio

A new state grant will help the University at Buffalo train physicians and nurses on how to medically treat people who are addicted to opioids.

While the numbers make it clear that an opioid epidemic is raging across the United States, the origins of that epidemic are subject to debate. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman - and 40 of his fellow state attorneys general - want to fully explore the role played by four major manufacturers of prescription opioids.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Dozens of people currently in drug court or on probation gathered in Lackawanna Monday, where they heard firsthand accounts from people who are also battling an ongoing opioid crisis on the front lines, as the prosecutors, survivors of loved ones of those who succumbed to addiction.


NYS getting $25M for mobile addiction centers

Sep 15, 2017
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul's office

New York State is getting $25 million in federal funds to help fight the opioid addiction epidemic.

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.

Ontario Drug Policy Research Network

Provincial pushback on opioid overdoses and deaths has apparently led to a major drop in prescribing the potentially deadly drugs in Ontario. A new study may include lessons for the United States.

Catholic Health

Catholic Health officially gave up Monday and told residents of a small Amherst neighborhood there would not be a drug treatment clinic next door. The new plan is to shift to an office park in Audubon.

President Trump says he is ready to declare the nation's opioid crisis "a national emergency," saying it is a "serious problem the likes of which we have never had." Speaking to reporters at the entrance to his Bedminster, N.J., golf club, where he is on a working vacation, Trump promised "to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis."

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

President Donald Trump on Thursday declared the opioid addiction crisis a "national emergency." Those welcoming the declaration hope it will soon lead to more federal investment in treatment and prevention programs. Meanwhile, Erie County lawmakers spent time Thursday hearing feedback from agencies, - including some whose funding proposals were turned down - on a plan to spend one million dollars for response programming.


Update 3:35 pm August 10: Two days after making a few general remarks about the opioid crisis, President Trump on Thursday called it "a national emergency" and said his administration would be drawing up papers to make it official.

"We're going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis," Trump told reporters at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J.

In Prince George's County, Md., every first responder carries naloxone, the drug that can reverse an opioid overdose.

"We carry it in our first-in bags," says Bryan Spies, the county's battalion chief in charge of emergency services. "So whenever we arrive at a patient's side, it's in the bag, along with things like glucose, aspirin and oxygen."

Philip Kirby says he first used heroin during a stint in a halfway house a few years ago, when he was 21 years old. He quickly formed a habit.

"You can't really dabble in it," he says.

Late last year, Kirby was driving with drugs and a syringe in his car when he got pulled over. He went to jail for a few months on a separate charge before entering a drug court program in Hamilton County, Ind., north of Indianapolis. But before Kirby started, he says the court pressured him to get a shot of a drug called Vivitrol.

WBFO's Chris Caya

Gov. Andrew Cuomo should veto a bill passed by the New York State Legislature that blocks local governments from billing pharmaceutical companies to dispose of unused prescription drugs. That is the position of Erie County Legislator Patrick Burke, who is sponsoring legislation to hold drug companies accountable.

Erie County legislators are still grappling with how to spend a half-million dollars to quickly combat the lethal opioid epidemic.

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.

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.

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