WXXI AM News

Opioid Crisis: The Ripple Effect

As part of a public media collaborative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, WXXI News and partners Oregon Public Broadcasting and ideastream in Ohio present a special series, Opioid Crisis: The Ripple Effect.

The reporting series looks at the people and issues indirectly affected by the opioid crisis and makes the case that the epidemic’s ripple effects impact many. 

You'll also find our continuing coverage of the crisis here. 

We want to hear what you have to say about opioid and heroin use in our community. Please click on this link to take a short survey.

 

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.

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