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Opioids

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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."

A new film follows the journey of three women in the Rochester area. They’re all mothers and they’ve all served time behind bars for opioid and heroin-related crimes. Opioids from Inside is a partnership between WXXI, Blue Sky Project and PBS World. It examines the challenging path to sobriety while also showing the painful effects of addiction on families and communities. On this edition of Need to Know, we learn more about the ripple effect of this crisis through the perspectives of those featured in the film.

It’s not everyday that you hear about a neighborhood, plagued with drug sales and use, coming together and saying: “We have had enough, no more!” That’s exactly what’s happening right now in the City of Rochester’s North Clinton Avenue neighborhood. It’s an area so synonymous with drug activity, some refer to it as “Heroin Alley.” On this edition of Need to Know, you’ll see it’s also a place working to forge a new path.

Opioid epidemic fueling rise in deadly heart infections

Apr 14, 2018
ideastream

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.


The people, the stories, the addiction. On a special edition of Need to Know we examine what you likely haven’t heard about the heroin and opioid crisis and the epidemic’s ripple effects impacting our region. It's part of our series Opioid Crisis: The Ripple Effect.

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.

North Clinton residents fight back in war on drugs

Apr 11, 2018
Martin Kaufman/WXXI News

No más.

That means “no more” in Spanish. And it’s what residents of Rochester’s La Avenida, or North Clinton Avenue, neighborhood are saying as they fight to reclaim their community.

The area has become ground zero for the opioid epidemic regionally, and local officials say users often flock to the busy street to buy drugs and sometimes use vacant homes to shoot up.


WXXI News partnered with ideastream in Cleveland and Oregon Public Broadcasting to bring you special coverage of the opioid epidemic in America. 

In this broadcast, Evan Dawson hosts a panel discussing pain management, prescription policy, and disparities in care related to the opioid crisis. Our guests:

  • Dr. Alisha Moreland-Capuia, M.D., executive director of the Avel Gordly Center for Healing, and assistant professor in psychiatry at the School of Medicine at Oregon Health and Science University
  • Dr. Crawford Barnett, M.D., pain management physician in the Department of Pain Management at the Cleveland Clinic, and clinical assistant professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University
  • Dr. Timothy Wiegand, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Michelle Marikos, Oregon-certified peer support specialist for chronic pain with Moving through Chronic Pain and Oregon Pain Guidance
  • Laura Garrison, vice president for development WXXI and The Little Theatre, who has experienced long-term chronic pain

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