Mark Gunther

A group called Save the Michaels of the World is teaming up with Erie County Medical Center to raise awareness about opioid and prescription pill abuse.

The nonprofit was established in 2011 to raise awareness about the devastating effects of abusing opioids after 20-year-old Michael David Israel committed suicide during his struggles with addiction.

Dr. Mark Gunther, ECMC’s vice president of behavioral health, led the speaker series that was held Wednesday night at Hyatt Place in Amherst.