opioids

Federal prosecutors late Tuesday charged British drugmaker Indivior with felony fraud and conspiracy for its marketing of opioid products including Suboxone. The company allegedly created a "nationwide scheme" in the U.S. designed to convince doctors and government insurance providers that Indivior's patented opioid medications are safer and less prone to abuse than cheaper generic alternatives.

Karen Dewitt / WBFO Albany Correspondent

With less than a week to go to the state budget deadline, interest groups have converged on Albany, lobbying to get their measures included in the budget plan - and in some cases, to keep items out.

File Photo / WBFO News

New York State is considering providing medication-assisted treatment to all prison and jail inmates struggling with opioid addiction.

New York State Department of Health

The New York State Health Department has launched a campaign to raise awareness around addiction treatment services available to pregnant women. The health department wants women to know “it's OK to ask for help” and that their doctors can help treat addiction.

"There’s panic," Marty Teller said, sitting in a conference room in the executive offices of the Finger Lakes Area Counseling and Recovery Agency. "What you’re really seeing is, the epidemic is rising."

For five rural counties around the Finger Lakes, FLACRA is the only provider of certain state-sanctioned treatments for opioid use disorder. On a per capita basis, those counties have some of the highest death rates due to opioid overdose in New York state.

POWER Act has power to fund war on opioids

Feb 21, 2019
Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Local law enforcement agencies are hoping Congress passes legislation that would allow funding for some cutting edge technology that identifies lethal illicit drugs like fentanyl.

U.S. Attorney's Office

Local prosecutors say they are using a new high-tech mapping system to help search out drug dealers involved in fatal overdoses and to get overdose victims into treatment faster.

The government shutdown has turned attention to the waiver process used by physicians who want to prescribe Suboxone to people addicted to opioids. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) warned over the weekend that the shutdown could impact the treatment of opioid patients, but the Drug Enforcement Administration disputes that claim.

For the first time in U.S. history, a leading cause of deaths — vehicle crashes — has been surpassed in likelihood by opioid overdoses, according to a new report on preventable deaths from the National Safety Council.

Americans now have a 1 in 96 chance of dying from an opioid overdose, according to the council's analysis of 2017 data on accidental death. The probability of dying in a motor vehicle crash is 1 in 103.

Got drugs? Get rid of them...statewide

Jan 4, 2019
Chris Caya / WBFO News

Drug drop-off sites are not new, but this weekend New York joins Washington as the first two states to adopt a unified statewide drug take-back program for unwanted prescription and non-prescription drugs.

The New York State Health Department has recommended easing access to medical marijuana. In a report released this week, the department said it needs to find a balance between “relieving the pain and suffering of those in desperate need of a treatment,” and protecting the public from risks to health and safety.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Anyone who watches crime shows on television, whether a reality show or fiction, knows officers put up that yellow crime tape and wait for the forensics people. That is changing, with the national surge of fatal drug overdoses a major reason. More and more police departments train officers to treat an overdose as a crime scene unless someone of rank decides otherwide.

Michael Mroziak / WBFO News

Dontrell Wise faces spending the rest of his life in a federal prison because a jury on Thursday ruled the illegal drugs he sold led to a death.

Federal authorities say they have brought down the leader of a major opioids manufacturing and trafficking ring that has been supplying New York's Southern Tier and Northern Pennsylvania.

With the nation reeling from an epidemic of drug overdose deaths, President Trump signed legislation Wednesday that is aimed at helping people overcome addiction and preventing addictions before they start.

"Together we are going to end the scourge of drug addiction in America," Trump said at a White House event celebrating the signing. "We are going to end it or we are going to at least make an extremely big dent in this terrible, terrible problem."

The opioid legislation was a rarity for this Congress, getting overwhelming bipartisan support in both chambers.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

The Republican candidate for New York Attorney General was in Buffalo Wednesday morning to offer his plans for taking on the opioid crisis, if elected. Keith Wofford vowed to continue current state litigation against a pharmaceutical company which produces OxyContin. His opponent, meanwhile, says there's a conflict of interest because the law firm where Wofford currently works has represented the company targeted by the current Attorney General.

Updated at 4:37 p.m. ET

The American opioid crisis is far from over, but early data indicate the number of deaths are beginning to level off, according to Alex Azar, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, citing "encouraging" results in overdose trends.

In a speech on Tuesday at a Milken Institute health summit, Azar walked through statistics suggesting deaths were plateauing and he highlighted efforts he says may be turning the tide in the drug epidemic.

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center says several patients developed an infection after an employee removed a narcotic from syringes and replaced it with water.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

The idea was first introduced during the large-scale bipartisan local effort to keep the Western New York Children's Psychiatric Center open in West Seneca: use the state's planned new facility at the Buffalo Psychatric Center campus as a drug treatment center. Erie County Legislators wondering if that would be instead learned Thursday the state has another plan for that space.


Cristina Rivell has been struggling with an opioid addiction since she was a teenager — going in and out of rehab for five years. The most recent time, her doctor prescribed her a low dose of buprenorphine (often known by its brand name, Suboxone), a drug that helps curb cravings for stronger opioids and prevents the symptoms of withdrawal.

Authorities say a Cheektowaga Police officer had to break a car window to rescue a toddler from the sweltering vehicle after her mother apparently overdosed on heroin.

FDA issues 3 consumer warnings

Aug 29, 2018
CoinRX

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is alerting the public about several potential dangers.

New York has joined the growing list of states taking legal action against pharmaceutical companies over the opioid epidemic. On Tuesday, the state sued Purdue Pharma.

New York State will soon allow anyone prescribed an opioid to request medical marijuana instead. The state's Department of Health announced details of the new policy on Thursday.

The New York State Health Department plans to make medical marijuana available to more New Yorkers. Opioid use will be the newest addition to the list of qualifying conditions under the state’s medical marijuana program.

Rep. Reed opposed to supervised heroin injection sites

Jun 11, 2018

Congressman Tom Reed has declared his adamant opposition to the use of heroin injection sites. The Southern Tier Republican says the proposal is made by “extremists on the left.”

A Lockport man is facing 5-40 years in prison for selling fentanyl-laced heroin, while a Buffalo is also facing up to 40 years in prison for beating a witness in a public housing drug-related case.

A new poll from Siena College shows that 90 percent of New Yorkers say the current opioid crisis is worse than previous public health crises. An overwhelming majority of New Yorkers also supports strengthening prescription monitoring services, while 82 percent say doctors should be punished for overprescribing.

POLL: 62% of NYers don't finish prescribed opioids

May 2, 2018

The latest Siena College poll on opioids says 24 percent of New Yorkers were prescribed opioids in the last two years.

The Canadian Press

Ontario Provincial Police are warning that a drug known as "purple heroin" has turned up in southwestern Ontario.

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