Across Erie County, local governments and activists are convening town meetings to talk about drug problems. New figures project 570 fatal drug overdoses will occur this year in the county.
On Wednesday, a town hall-type meeting will be held at Kenmore West High School. One of the key topics will involve problems involving opioid addiction.
Activist Avi Israel, who lost his son to a drug overdose, shared a recent story. He was called out of a Passover seder by a friend who had just learned of losing a loved one to a drug overdose.
"Her brother was prescribed opiates for a back condition and for the past five years has been taking them and this time, he took one too many. And, he was found in his car at three o'clock in the morning," recalled Israel, who says that federal authorities are now telling doctors to write prescriptions for much smaller numbers of opioids, for much shorter time periods.
This development comes during a week when a local doctor was arrested on federal charges for writing far too many opioid prescriptions, many without any apparent, valid reason.