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Opioids

In this special edition of Connections, we address the opioid epidemic in New York State. The conversation took place in front of a live studio audience at the WXXI studios. You can watch video of the broadcast here.

This hour, local leaders in healthcare and law enforcement provide an update on the state of the crisis in the Rochester and Finger Lakes region. Our guests:

In this special edition of Connections, we address the opioid epidemic in New York State. The conversation took place in front of a live studio audience at the WXXI studios. You can watch video of the broadcast here.

This hour, local individuals living in recovery share their journeys of hope and the challenges they've faced battling addiction. Our guests:

  • Brandon Scott, living in recovery for one year
  • Yana Khasper, co-founder of ROCovery Fitness, who is living in recovery
  • Sean Smith, co-founder of ROCovery Fitness, who is living in recovery

recoverynowny.com

People struggling with opioid addiction and the families and loved ones of those who may be addicted now have another resource in Monroe County.

Recovery Now is opening its fifth Gates to Recovery addiction and support services drop-in center, this one at 39 State St. in Brockport.

Executive Director David Attridge says anyone looking for treatment can come to the center to begin that process.

And the support services extend to families and loved ones of someone who may be addicted.

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

August was a month of extremes in Monroe County’s fight against opioids: The lowest number of overdose deaths recorded since the sheriff’s office started keeping track in January, and the highest number of Narcan uses to reverse an overdose.

The commander of the county’s heroin task force, Andrew DeLyser, said the month could be a statistical anomaly, and he said the numbers — even the decrease in fatal overdoses — are still cause for concern.

www.heroinaddiction.com

Fifteen new detox beds are coming to Monroe County, where advocates and families have long been calling for additional addiction treatment facilities.

The additional beds, funded by a $1 million state grant, will not quite double the 25 currently available in the county. The new beds will be administered by Helio Health, which changed its name from Syracuse Behavioral Healthcare in June.

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

Families and friends of people addicted to drugs marked International Overdose Awareness Day in Rochester by sharing messages of hope and support, and calling for more addiction treatment options locally.

Thursday's event at the city's Martin Luther King Jr. Park drew hundreds of people, including addiction recovery service providers and representatives of the city of Rochester, surrounding towns and counties, and the state’s Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services.

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

New York Senator Chuck Schumer took aim at the conception of the opioid epidemic as an urban concern Friday.

Standing in front of the one-story police headquarters in Holley, an Erie Canal village of about 2,000 people, the Democrat urged his senate colleagues to support an effort to bring “cutting-edge technology” to the fight against opioids across the state.

Schumer said the money the federal government is spending to fight the opioid epidemic is largely going to cities. That puts the public and law enforcement officers in rural areas at risk, he said.

Between the 25 cent milk and funnel cake, Narcan training will also be available at the New York State Fair.

This is the first time the opioid reversing drug will be available at the fair, with trainings every day, provided by the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.

Rob Kent is the General Council at that office, and says even though its unusual setting, New Yorkers need to be aware that “we’re in a major crisis here with opioids."

He says it’s just another way to get the lifesaving drug into the hands of more New Yorkers.

Gates Police

Local support groups working with people addicted to opioids distributed what they were calling “recovery first aid” kits to government officials Tuesday.

The kits contained contact information for a half-dozen groups that provide services ranging from overdose treatment to grief counseling. David Attridge, executive director of Gates to Recovery, unveiled the kits and presented them to Monroe County legislators at their August meeting.

Rochester Institute of Technology Center for Public Safety Initiatives

Researchers at the Rochester Institute of Technology released the region’s first-ever catalog of responses to the growing opioid epidemic.

Topics covered in the document include techniques for reversing overdoses, systems for prosecuting drug users and sellers, and strategies for addiction prevention.

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