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.

Rochester Police/Twitter

The U.S. Attorney’s office says that seven people have been charged as part of a drug trafficking operation in the Rochester area.

And authorities say that ongoing investigation and the attempt to execute a search warrant is related to the incident on Burbank Street in Rochester on Monday where police shot and wounded  two men.

The U.S. Attorney’s office says the alleged drug dealers were involved in transporting and selling cocaine as well as being involved in violence that was part of the drug trade.


BUFFALO (AP) A 44-year-old Canadian man has been arraigned on drug-smuggling charges.

Federal officials in Buffalo say Harinder Dhaliwal of Ontario was part of a group involved in smuggling cocaine and marijuana across the U.S.-Canadian border between 2007 and 2011.

According to the indictment, Dhaliwal conspired with co-defendants Alvin Randhawa and Gursharan Singh to smuggle cocaine into Canada from the United States, and marijuana into the U.S. from Canada via several international bridges.


ALBANY (AP) New York state is using online videos to help people learn about drug addiction and treatment programs.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the series of 10 videos on Friday. They are designed to inform users and their loved ones about the signs of addiction, the types of treatment, how insurance can cover it, and where to get help.

ALBANY (AP) A New York state lawmaker who has sponsored bills targeting synthetic marijuana is calling on the NFL to require players to take drug tests for the substance.

State Senator Jeff Klein cited reports of NFL players using synthetic marijuana because existing drug screenings don't test for it.

Klein, who has sponsored state laws prohibiting the substance, says the NCAA has already added synthetic pot to its list of banned substances. He says the NFL should screen for the drug to protect players and send a signal to the public about its dangers.

What is it like to live near open-air drug markets? In parts of Rochester, it's the frustrating and dangerous reality.

Last spring, the Ibero-American Development Corporation created a video to tell the story of how drug markets affect people who are trying to build stronger neighborhoods. The video has been shared often, and Ibero wants to make sure the public hears the full context of what the video is about. Our guests:


  • Eugenio Marlin, president and CEO, Ibero-American Development Corporation (IADC)
  • Miguel Melendez, special projects director, Ibero-American Development Corporation (IADC)
  • Roberto Burgos, business owner on North Clinton Avenue
  • Leverett Copeland, community member

Presidential contender Chris Christie recently spoke at length about drug addiction during a town hall meeting in New Hampshire. His comments about the need for fairness went viral. Now the Obama administration's drug czar, Michael Botticelli, is essentially saying the same thing.

What does this mean for the future of treatment? What works, and what doesn't? Our panel explores it. Our guests:

COOPERSTOWN (AP) Police in Cooperstown are urging addicts to bring their drugs and drug paraphernalia to the police station in exchange for treatment, not arrest.

Police Chief Mike Covert announced the new policy on Facebook. He says it will go into effect on Thanksgiving.  
 Covert says addicts will each be assigned an "angel'' to guide them through recovery.

He says a local hospital is promising that drug users who come forward will be able to receive treatment promptly.

Outrage over the cost of a pill. You might have seen the story this week: a former hedge fund manager buys the rights to a pill that can save lives, then raises the price 5000% overnight. Daraprim has been around for 62 years, treating malaria and toxoplasmosis; AIDS patients in particular can benefit from the drug. When a company called Turing acquired the drug, the price jumped from $13.50 per pill to $750. Turing's CEO said that this is the cost of doing research, which could lead to better drugs. Critics have called this the worst kind of price gouging. Our panel discusses it:

  • Dr. William Valenti, Trillium Health vice president and lead physician
  • Dr. Jonathan Hager, primary care physician
  • Jane Dodds, Practice Administrator with Women Gynecology & Childbirth Associates, and a member of the Board of the New York State Medical Group Management Association

Connections: Healthy Friday - Increase in Heroin Use

Feb 20, 2015

About 10 years ago, use and abuse of prescription opioids surged. Today, the related drug of choice is heroin. Police say the drug is more readily available than in the past. We’re going to talk with a person who is currently going through recover treatment, and others about this dangerous trend.      

  • Mark Winsberg, MD, Clinical Director, Rochester Regional Chemical Dependency
  • Paul Jacoby, primary therapist, Rochester Regional Chemical Dependency
  • Colin
  • Jim Wesley, Drug Chemistry Supervisor, Monroe County Crime Lab