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.


freeimages.com/Rodrigo Valladares

Several Rochester area churches are planning a conference to provide support to faith leaders as they try to help members of their congregations affected by the opioid epidemic.

"Churches have always dealt with crisis and tragedy,” said Mike Hennessy, spokesperson for the Churches Combating Addiction Conference. “Even people who aren't going to church at the time turn to the church when there is a crisis. What I think is new is the volume of crisis and tragedy that this epidemic is bringing to churches."

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A group representing substance abuse treatment professionals is praising new proposals from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to crack down on the opioid epidemic.

John Coppola, executive director of the New York Association of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers, said Cuomo's proposal was "loud and clear" that addiction prevention, treatment and recovery must be a priority.


Monroe County has joined nationwide lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies that make, market and distribute opioid prescription drugs.

County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo made the announcement Wednesday morning, saying that through the action, the county will seek to recoup on behalf of local taxpayers the various costs it has incurred as a result of the opioid epidemic.

Finding hope, healing, and freedom for women stuck in the trap of trafficking, prostitution, and addiction. On this special edition of Need to Know, we examine the underbelly of this deadly cycle in our region. We also hear from those working in the trenches to empower women in communities throughout Rochester who feel lost and forgotten. And, a timely Call to Action for area political leaders the community-at-large.

RIT Center for Public Safety Initiatives

Researchers say improvements in the collection of opioid overdose data could save lives.

Faculty from the RIT Center for Public Safety Initiatives examined data reported in Monroe County for opioid-related deaths, emergency department visits, and the administration of naloxone.

They found inconsistencies in the numbers.

For instance, the New York State Department of Health reported 118 opioid overdose deaths for Monroe County last year, while the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office reported 169 such deaths.