Opioid Epidemic

Thomas O'Neil-White/WBFO News

Four Western New York hospitals have been added to the growing list of places where people can safely get rid of used needles and unwanted medications.

Avery Schneider / WBFO News

Erie County’s effort to combat opioid addiction and overdose is on track to get a more than $3.4 million boost from the federal government.


As Erie County health officials find hope in signs of a decline in opioid-related deaths, one of the key methods of combating the epidemic continues to be trained – identifying the signs of overdose and learning how to reverse it. And for every reason out there to train, it all comes down to wanting to save a life.


The figures associated with the opioid crisis continue to stagger. According to the National Safety Council, Erie County has experienced a 192-percent jump in the number of deaths due to opioid overdoses over the last six years. To highlight their sense of urgency, Council officials have brought a traveling memorial to Canalside this week.

Erie County is celebrating the first major sign of success in its battle against the opioid epidemic.


WNED|WBFO

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz is challenging a report from the U.S. Senate which claims the Medicaid system is fueling the nation’s opioid epidemic.

WNED-TV

A new documentary airing on WNED-TV and PBS stations across the country looks at the underlying causes and the impacts of America’s opioid problem. WBFO’s Avery Schneider sat down with the show’s writer and producer John Grant, to find out more about the making of the program.


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.


The City of Toronto has fast tracked the opening of three supervised safe injection sites, and at least one interim site has already opened. As Dan Karpenchuk reports, the time line appears to have been ramped up after a harm reduction group opened its own supervised injection site in response to the opioid crisis.


Chris Caya WBFO News

More local agencies will be receiving funding to help fight the opioid epidemic.

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.


More than a month after a proposal was first introduced to provide the Erie County Health Department with $1 million for efforts to curb opioid addiction, members of the Legislature agreed on how to proceed.


Avery Schneider / WBFO News

Buffalo’s Lafayette Square was host, on Wednesday afternoon, to the latest stop in a campaign to educate New Yorkers on a potential new tool in the fight against drug use - a tool that is drawing mixed opinions.


In what’s being billed as a first-of-a-kind local conference, experts are meeting with clergy members Wednesday in hopes of better preparing them to deal with the opioid epidemic.

WBFO News file photo by Eileen Buckley

As the community continues searching for answers in dealing with the Opioid addiction crisis, Medaille College in Buffalo is set to host a public conversation, “The Opioid Epidemic: What you Need to Know.”  It will be held Wednesday, October 26th at 6 p.m. 

Chris Caya WBFO News

To help fight the prescription drug epidemic, Niagara County is making it easier to dispose of old medications.

Chris Caya WBFO News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo stopped in Buffalo on Wednesday to sign new legislation to fight the opioid crisis. 


npr.org

The news from Albany of an opioid abuse legislation agreement is being hailed in Western New York by many who are on the front lines in the fight against opioid addiction. If there are any disappointments to local advocates, it's that agreement on the measures within the package didn't happen years ago.


Michael Mroziak, WBFO

More than a dozen local law enforcement agencies are looking for some "angels" to help them in a new program that works with opioid addicts. The Poloncarz administration, meanwhile, is looking to free up the money that would pay for the program.


WBFO News File Photo

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.


Chris Caya WBFO News

With no end in sight to the number of people dying from a fatal drug overdose, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is pushing a bill that she says could help.


New video on addiction aims to stir more conversation

Feb 26, 2016
Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Federal law enforcers hope a newly-released video documentary featuring real-life stories of opioid addiction will prove to be a powerful tool as Americans address the continuing public health and safety crisis.


WBFO News File Photo/Eileen Buckley

During a recent meeting in Amherst, many in attendance seemed startled by the death toll in their town from overdoses of heroin and prescription drugs. Western New York’s state legislators are saying Albany has to deal with the scourge of drugs.


Mike Desmond/WBFO News

The Erie County Legislature committee session on Thursday heard from a police officer, doctor and county health commissioner. Then, it heard from two moms who buried sons and a suburban teacher who has attended 15 wakes for former students.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

“Quick and painless” is how legislators described the final approval process for the 2016 Erie County Budget. Residents can expect to see a decrease in taxes for the second year in a row and more funding for the fight against the county’s growing epidemic of drug abuse.


Michael Mroziak, WBFO

As Western New York and the entire nation address a rising problem with opioid and opiate abuse, one of New York State's representatives in the U.S. Senate says the laws which crack down on international traffickers are not tough enough.


Community forum on opioid epidemic coming to Lancaster

Oct 26, 2015
Michael Mroziak, WBFO

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.


from ICES website

Men are twice as likely as women to escalate from use of opioids for chronic pain to a high dose and eventually die from drug-related causes, according to a new study from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto.


WBFO News file photo

Erie County residents have a chance to take a free class on how to use the life-saving drug Narcan against opioid overdoses. The classes start this evening in the county Fire Training Academy in Cheektowaga.


WBFO News File Photo

Millard Fillmore Suburban is the first hospital in the area to partner with the Erie County Department of Health to provide a two-hour training on how to recognize a possible opioid drug overdose and administer the life-saving drug naloxone (trade name Narcan).