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WBEN Extra: Pain Killer Abuse

Forty Four percent of all teens say they have a friend or know someone struggling with painkiller abuse and addicition. Across the nation, one person dies from opiate abuse every 19 minutes.

WBEN and Entercom Buffalo are part of a Western New York initiative to draw attention to the problem and provide help.

COMPLETE COVERAGE:  Where to Get Help | VIDEO | Michael's Story

Exclusive WBEN Audio
Buffalo's Early News

Hear first hand from a parent, a counselor & and two local agencies dealing with the abuse of painkillers in Western New York., as part of the painkillers kill campaign from Blue Cross Blue Shield, Horizon Health Services and Entercom Buffalo.
An Overview from
Gretchen Fierle, Blue Cross Blue Shield
& Anne Costantino, Horizon Health Services
Parent Colleen Babcock
& Counselor Vicky Wideman and more from Fierle and Constantino

 Michael's Story

Avi Israel and his wife Julie have been campaigning for more awareness ever since he lost his son Michael to suicide and  painkiller addiction.

Hear his personal story of his child's addiction and the need for more WNY treatment programs.

VIDEO: Tragedy and Hope: Stories of Pain Killer Abuse
a preview of the upcoming documentary, on WNED TV , Oct 22, 7:30pm



Horizon Health Services

Horizon Health Services is Western New York’s largest provider of mental health, chemical dependency and recover support services.

If you or someone you know is struggling with prescription painkiller addiction, or if you have questions, please call 1-855-969-HOPE for 24/7 support.

Erie County Council for the Prevention of Alcohol and Substance Abuse

Erie County Council for the Prevention of Alcohol and Substance Abuse provides services to promote and support the health and wellness of individuals, families and communities through education and intervention.

Crisis Services of Buffalo

Crisis Services is dedicated to promoting the health and safety of the community through prevention, education, and access to community wide resources that are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Outpatient Drug Abuse Treatment Centers – Erie County

Erie County has several outpatient drug abuse centers that can provide the help and support you or your loved ones need for your recovery process.  Click on the link above to locate an outpatient drug abuse treatment center near you.

Please click here for listing of Drug Drop Off Sites

From PainkillersKILL.org:

Addiction to prescription painkillers, especially among young adults, is growing at an alarming rate in Western New York.

Painkillers like oxycodone and Vicodin are now the most common drugs involved in fatal overdoses among young people, and have the same active ingredient as heroin. Many who abuse prescription painkillers think of heroin as a low-class drug that they would never consider using. What they don’t realize, is that they are already addicted to a form of it.

Teens in particular have the false sense that prescription painkillers are safer to use than street drugs. In addition, they’re usually easier to obtain. Often times, they just open their parents’ medicine cabinet.

Understanding the risks of taking prescription painkillers and keeping them out of the hands of teens is the key to preventing painkiller addiction. If you or someone you know is struggling with prescription painkiller addiction, or if you have questions, please call 1-855-969-HOPE.

In order to address this epidemic, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York has formed a community outreach initiative to increase public awareness of prescription painkiller addiction, provide educational resources to schools, students, parents and community groups, and most importantly, to connect those in need with appropriate treatment resources. Entercom Buffalo is a media sponsor.

The campaign Painkillers Kill More than Pain has been launched, to spotlight the fact the top killer among teens is now overdosing.

Dick Gallagher, co-founder of Kids Escaping Drugs, says treatment centers to be built now. 

"You can build a Dollar General in two months, a hotel in a year, but it takes 3-5 years to develop a facililty to treat chemically dependent adolescents and young adults. That is absurd and it needs to change," says Gallagher. "We need to expedite treatment, make it available and accessible, not deny it because of bureaucratic regulatory requirements or lack of push and lack of urgency that we have in this room."

The stigma of getting help also has to go away says Ann Constantino of Horizon Health Services.

"People need to ask for help, not be ashamed. And as these families will tell you, there is no shame is seeking help, and you are not alone," says Constantino.


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Topics : Social Issues
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Locations : BuffaloErie CountyNew YorkWestern New York
People : Drug Abuse
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