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.

 

Rochester-area opioid deaths increase again

Jul 3, 2018

Data released by the Monroe County Medical Examiner shows opioid-related deaths keep rising in the Rochester region.

The death toll from heroin and fentanyl climbed for five of the last six years, from 11 in 2011 to 287 in 2017, according to the report, and it has more than doubled since 2015.

“We’re failing,” said Mark Assini, the town supervisor in Gates. “Our methods and our efforts have to be doubled and changed, and we have to get our arms around this. Right now we have not.”

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So far this year, there were 462 reported drug overdoses in Monroe County; 68 of them were fatal.

A Rochester-based addiction recovery support group is expanding its efforts to respond to the ongoing opioid crisis.

Recovery Now NY is opening a new, monthly drop-in center in Irondequoit tonight where people struggling with substance abuse and their families can go to get learn about treatment and services.  It’s located at Glad Tidings Church at 1980 Culver Road.

The fact that rural, economically disadvantaged parts of the country broke heavily for the Republican candidate in the 2016 election is well known. But Medicare data indicate that voters in areas that went for Trump weren't just hurting economically — many of them were receiving prescriptions for opioid painkillers.

New York looks to expand access to medical marijuana

Jun 18, 2018

The New York State Health Department plans to make medical marijuana available to more New Yorkers.  Opioid use will be the newest addition to the list of qualifying conditions under the state’s medical marijuana program.

The health department characterized the decision as a step toward curbing the opioid epidemic, saying that medical marijuana treats the pain that opioids are meant to address while also reducing the chance of addiction and eliminating the risk of a fatal overdose.

Congressman Tom Reed declared his adamant opposition to the use of heroin injection sites recently.

The Southern Tier Republican says the proposal is made by “extremists on the left.”

"To me it’s just an extreme position that is dangerous to our communities given the nature of what we’re talking about, given the response and feedback I’ve heard from law enforcement officers, in regards to creating a culture attracting those that would push and distribute."

A New York State Assembly bill was submitted to allow cities to create their own heroin injection sites.

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