Health & Medical News

Alex Crichton

Treating opioid addiction as a crime isn't an adequate way to deal with this crisis.

That's according to the 16th Surgeon General of the United States, Dr. David Satcher, who returned today to the University of Rochester Medical School, where he completed his residency in 1972 and received an honorary degree in 1995.

He says treating the opioid epidemic like we treated the cocaine problem in the 1980s just won't work.


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

Director of the Siena College Research Institute Don Levy says there is no argument that this is an epidemic.

"When we said has it touched your life? Is someone in your family, is someone you are friendly with, someone you know from work, do you know someone who has died from an overdose...when you look and say how many people meet at least one of those conditions, its nearly six out of 10 New Yorkers, it’s an astronomical figure."

Kurhan / freeimages.com

A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association had researchers look into how the impact of diseases varies from state to state.

Ray Dorsey was involved with the study, he’s a doctor with the University of Rochester Medical Center, and says the top takeaway from the study is that the leading causes of death and disability are preventable.


The National Institutes of Health says approximately 4 in 10 adults and 1 in 9 children use some form of complementary or alternative medicine in the U.S.

And that data is 10 years old. The use of alternative methods such as herbal supplements, acupuncture, meditation, and yoga could be more prevalent today.

Opioid epidemic fueling rise in deadly heart infections

Apr 14, 2018

While statistics about overdose deaths from the opioid epidemic continue to dominate headlines, other debilitating and costly problems have been creeping up in the shadows.

Doctors across the country are increasingly worried about the rise of bacterial infections attacking the heart valves of IV drug users — a condition known as infective endocarditis.

Patients in Oregon embrace medical cannabis as opioid alternative — without guidance

Apr 14, 2018
Kristian Foden-Vencil/OPB

Dawn Faihtinger is in her 60s and lives in an RV at a park on the Oregon coast.

She’s been battling pain for nearly 50 years, ever since she was hit by a car as a teenager.

“I was in a coma for seven weeks,” she said. “I had a compound fracture of my right leg. Had my skull split open.”

Faihtinger later learned she had multiple sclerosis. She spent 15 years in a wheelchair and on heavy doses of opioids, including Oxycodone and fentanyl.

Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

Abuse of opioid drugs has cost the U.S. a lot of money in a number of ways. That includes a big impact on business, particularly the construction industry.

David Marshall

Opioids can have devastating consequences for the people who abuse them, affecting their health, safety and freedom – but it doesn’t stop there.

Drug abuse can ruin the lives of people who never touch the substances themselves.

Stephanie Forrester is 37, from Fairport. She has two kids: a son and a daughter. She said they grew up around her addiction.

Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

On a Thursday evening at Gates Town Hall, the parking lot is busy. Coffee is brewing and someone is cutting up a pan of homemade brownies. Boy Scouts in full uniform run to a meeting down the hall.

It doesn’t feel like a place where people are about to be trained in how to use potentially lifesaving medication. But everyone in this room has come here to learn how to administer Narcan, also known as naloxone, which blocks the effects of opioids and can reverse an overdose.

Even though the season has peaked, Monroe County is still showing new flu cases.  The latest numbers from the county health department show 6,608 confirmed cases of influenza for the season so far as of March 31st.

That is up 414 from the week before. And the latest numbers show an additional death related to the flu, bringing the total number of deaths so far to 16. 

The number of confirmed flu cases so far is more than the cases for the 2016 and 2017 seasons combined.