A multitude of partners are co-hosting a forum on Saturday, November 14 to discuss the region's rising problem with opioid and opiate abuse, and the anticipated record death toll local health officials are expecting this year as the result of that crisis.
The forum, known as "Our Community, Our Epidemic," will be hosted inside Lancaster High School, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Among those scheduled to speak are professionals who will advise families on how to spot the warning signs of a possible addiction, and how to get help.
"We need to educate families and friends: what are the warning signs?" said U.S. Attorney William Hochul, who was one of the speakers at a news conference held inside Lancaster Town Police Headquarters on Monday. "Secondly, what do you do about it? Where do you go for help? Thirdly, what are your options?"
Erie County Health Department officials say the death toll from opioid and heroin overdoses so far this year is 147. That was the most recent number as of Monday, though health officials told WBFO they receive updates about every two weeks and anticipated an increase soon. County health officials fear the death toll could rise to about 275 by the end of 2015.
More information about the forum can be found by clicking here.