opioids

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

This time, the public meeting was at Maryvale High School, but the topic was the long, slow slog against the social damage and deaths of the continuing opioids crisis.

A new Siena Poll addressing the state's opioid epidemic shows that 54 percent of New Yorkers are personally touched by opioid abuse.

What about all the patients already on opioids?

Apr 9, 2018
Denise Young / WXXI News

As more and more efforts are made across the country to curtail opioid addiction, some say a culture of fear has developed in the medical community -- fear for patients' safety, fear of being prosecuted by regulators. One fallout is a growing population of patients no one seems to know exactly what to do with: chronic pain patients who are already dependent on opioids and need to find new doctors to treat them.


National Public Radio

Erie County's first prison sentence for an opiate-overdose death under District Attorney John Flynn was handed out Wednesday morning in county court.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says the county is doing pretty well: jobs are up and county agencies are showing how well they can help members of the public. However, delivering his annual State of the County address Thursday, he said more needs to be done.

File photo

New government data shows a spike in opioid-related deaths in Ontario for much of last year compared to 2016.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Black balloons twisted in the breeze in front of Erie County Hall Tuesday night, in remembrance of those lost to the opioid epidemic.

crimestoppersbuffalo.com

Within the first 24 hours after the announced launch of a new reward program, Crime Stoppers Buffalo reported fielding dozens of calls from citizens providing tips about alleged illegal opioid distribution.

 

Amherst is joining local governments that are suing opioid manufacturers. The lawsuit argues the legal drugs are not only costing governments money, but lives.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Surrounded by numerous political and law enforcement leaders from various levels of government, Erie County District Attorney John Flynn announced the creation of a new reward program that encourages citizens to confidentially help authorities capture and convict illegal opioid dealers. 

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.

File Photo / National Public Radio

A Buffalo man has pleaded guilty to providing the fentanyl-laced heroin that took the life of two users.

Cattaraugus County’s public health director is confident some strides are being made in grappling with the opioid crisis.

The opioid epidemic has cost the United States more than $1 trillion since 2001, according to a new study, and may exceed another $500 billion over the next three years.

State changes distribution of opioid antidote

Jan 26, 2018
Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

New statewide rules for distribution of Naloxone is affecting agencies that trains people to use the drug, also known as Narcan.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

A Western New York agency that works with people battling opioid addiction has added two new mobile units to their resources, funded with dollars from a state grant.


Cuomo proposes opioid tax to pay for epidemic

Jan 23, 2018

One of the new sources of revenue included in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed executive budget is an opioid epidemic surcharge. The $0.02 tax per milligram of active opioid ingredient on pills would be levied on drug manufacturers.

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.


Mike Desmond/WBFO

The annual public hearing is perhaps the most high-profile event in Erie County's budget process. The session Tuesday drew another large crowd as interested parties shared their views of the spending plan prepared by Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.


Michael Mroziak, WBFO

A three-year, $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is coming to Erie County. The money will be used by the Erie County Health Department and its partners to address opioid misuse by a specific population: women of childbearing age.


Jon McHann, 56, got started on prescription opioids the way a lot of adults in the U.S. did: He was in pain following an accident. In his case, it was a fall.

"I hit my tailbone just right, and created a severe bulging disc" that required surgery, McHann says.

McHann, who lives in Smithville, Tenn., expected to make a full recovery and go back to work as a heavy haul truck driver. But 10 years after his accident, he's still at home.

National Public Radio

John Kapoor has been arrested in Arizona, charged with leading a nationwide conspiracy to bribe doctors and pharmacists to widely prescribe an opioid cancer drug for people who did not need it. You may not recognize the name, but the drug company founder is a billionaire and University at Buffalo graduate for which UB's School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is named.

Updated at 2:50 p.m. ET

President Trump declared a public health emergency to deal with the opioid epidemic Thursday, freeing up some resources for treatment. More than 140 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"We are currently dealing with the worst drug crisis in American history," Trump said, adding, "it's just been so long in the making. Addressing it will require all of our effort."

"We can be the generation that ends the opioid epidemic," he said.

It has the power to save lives by targeting opioid overdoses — something that kills more than 140 Americans every day. And now Narcan, the nasal spray that can pull a drug user back from an overdose, is being carried by all of Walgreens' more than 8,000 pharmacies.

Julie Eldred has been struggling with addiction to opioids for more than a decade and she says the criminal justice system punishes her for it.

Eldred, a part-time pet caretaker in Acton, Mass., was put on probation last year for theft. She knew staying drug-free would be tough — especially at first, when she was going through opioid withdrawal. But, she says, she didn't have much of a choice.

University at Buffalo

With modern medicine creating drugs that can be misused for addiction, and opioid drugs for medical care sometimes leading to addiction, many health-related professions are looking hard at prescriptions, prescribing practices and education.

National Public Radio

A Geneseo High School football player is in legal trouble for allegedly giving teammates the addictive painkiller OxyContin.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to give police and prosecutors new tools in the fight against the opioid crisis.

National Public Radio

A new state grant will help the University at Buffalo train physicians and nurses on how to medically treat people who are addicted to opioids.

While the numbers make it clear that an opioid epidemic is raging across the United States, the origins of that epidemic are subject to debate. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman - and 40 of his fellow state attorneys general - want to fully explore the role played by four major manufacturers of prescription opioids.

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