opioid

LtGovHochulNY / Flickr (File Photo)

New York State is getting $25 million in federal funds to help fight the opioid addiction epidemic.

Lieutenant Gov. Kathy Hochul says among other things, the funding will target a particular population: addicts in more rural areas where treatment is an hour or two away.

vadikunk / via Flickr

The Onondaga County Legislature is in the process of hiring legal counsel to sue opioid manufacturers and distributors over the costs of the heroin and opioid epidemic. Some legislators say opioid manufacturers lied about the addictive nature of their products.

Although they do not have a number yet, Onondaga County Legislative Chairman Ryan McMahon said whatever amount they end up suing opioid manufacturers for will never be enough.

Bret Jaspers / WSKG News (file photo)

The American Medical Association recently endorsed pilot facilities for supervised injection of drugs. It's a response to the opioid epidemic.

The city of Ithaca gained a lot of attention last year when it proposed a supervised injection facility. These already exist in Canada and eight other countries. People suffering from addiction can go to a site and inject or use their drugs under medical supervision. Advocates say they prevent overdose deaths.

Rescue Mission

The Syracuse Rescue Mission dealt with another surge of drug overdoses from synthetic marijuana in late May. It wasn’t the first time more than a dozen individuals overdosed on or near the Rescue Mission campus in one day, and it most likely won’t be the last. But it’s an added stress to an agency that’s trying to help homeless individuals get back on their feet.

Rescue Mission CEO Alan Thornton says these overdose surges generally happens when a bad batch of synthetic marijuana, also known as spice, turns up in the neighborhood.

-JvL- / Flickr

There was a flurry of activity — along with threats and ultimatums — on Monday at the state Capitol, but there were no agreements on major issues as the session draws to a scheduled close on Wednesday.

Victims of childhood sexual abuse remain hopeful that there could be a vote in the state Senate on a measure to extend the statute of limitations to age 28 for criminal proceedings and age 50 for civil proceedings.

Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins urged the majority coalition of Republicans and breakaway Democrats to allow the bill on the floor for a vote.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

The emergency room at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse is on alert after a rash of overdose cases involving synthetic marijuana in recent days

On May 24, there were 11 cases in the ER of people overdosing on synthetic pot, which is also known as spike or spice. The next day there were five more overdoses, and reportedly more in following days.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

New medication-assisted treatment programs are opening across central New York to keep up with the opioid epidemic. The demand for the treatment is so high that a group of clinics are coming together in an effort to get the programs off the ground

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

The opioid epidemic in New York state has spurred expansion of a Syracuse addiction center to include a methadone clinic. The center, Syracuse Behavioral Healthcare (SBH), is the site of one of only a few methadone clinics in central New York.

Methadone treatment, which allows patients to reduce or quit their use of heroin or other opiates, is highly regulated by the state and federal governments. This is the third facility approved to dispense methadone in Onondaga County.

Behaviors can be a form of communication for people who have dementia. This week, licensed medical social worker Whitney Hadley suggests steps that caregivers can take when their loved ones exhibit anxiety, confusion, repetition, aggression or wandering.

Hadley is associate program director at the Alzheimer's Association of CNY.

Also this week: the opioid crisis, and how to read nutrition labels.

Tune in this Sunday, April 16 at 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. on WRVO.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

As people continue to die from heroin and opioid addiction in central and northern New York, communities like Oswego County are offering new treatment programs to combat the crisis. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) hosted an opioid forum in Oswego Thursday night -- his first public event since Congress' failed attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. 

The Dwire and Finch campaign Facebook pages

Republican Assemblyman Gary Finch will face a rematch in New York’s 126th Assembly District as he runs for re-election against Democratic challenger Diane Dwire again. The two candidates share similar concerns on the big issues facing the district.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The opioid epidemic claims more victims than those who die of an overdose. Families, friends and loved ones are left living through grief singed with shame and judgment. But there’s now somewhere they can go to get help in central New York.

Quinnika Ayers of Syracuse lost her son Drequan Robinson last year to a lethal cocktail of MDMA, Zanax and fentanyl. He was a student at SUNY Morrisville, and was found unresponsive at a friend’s home after a party. Ayers says Robinson had a troubled youth, but felt he’d turned a corner—or so she thought.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

North Country residents struggling with heroin and opioid addiction have a new treatment option. A medication-assisted heroin treatment center in Watertown is taking its first patients.

Until last week, Credo Community Center in Watertown offered recovering heroin addicts only abstinence treatment – the cold turkey approach to overcoming their substance abuse.

Jim Scordo, Credo’s executive director, says he found it didn’t work for some.

Pamela Post

It's the last Wednesday of the month in the Downtown Eastside neighborhood of Vancouver -- the day when thousands of people living on the margins in this community get their monthly social assistance checks. The streets are full of activity, much of it drug-related.

This week: sleep disorders, opioids and Zika research

Sep 28, 2016

Thirty to 50 percent of adults have a sleep disorder, whether they know it or not. Many suffer without seeking treatment.

These disorders -- insomnia, restless leg syndrome, jet lag -- can worsen other health issues, like blood pressure, anxiety and cardiovascular disease, says Karen Klingman, PhD, an associate professor of nursing at Upstate University Hospital. Klingman specializes in sleep disorders.

This time, her baby has a sober mom

Sep 27, 2016
KellyELambertPhotography / Flickr

The heroin epidemic has rocked New York state. A lot of attention has gone to how to stop drug trafficking and help addicts. But the increased use of opioids has created another issue -- how to care for the children of those hooked on heroin.

Filling the "Void"

It’s hard to take care of a new baby, then add trying to get sober from a heroin addiction in the mix.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Onondaga County started a program this week at the Onondaga County Justice Center and the Jamesville Corrections Facility aimed at helping opioid addicts stay clean after they are released from jail. Now, some inmates who are also addicts will be offered a medication that takes away their craving for drugs.

Officials say almost one-third of the population at the Justice Center in downtown Syracuse is addicted to opiates, many of them no stranger to the holding facility.

As Jody Adams scrolled through Facebook in January, one post stuck with her. It was written from the point of view of an infant seeking someone to donate a kidney to his ailing mother.

A nurse for 12 years and the mother of six children, Adams says the idea of donating one of her healthy kidneys had never crossed her mind -- until she read that post. She didn’t want to imagine a little boy growing up without a mother, especially if she could help. It didn’t matter to her that she did not know the family.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Central New York is home to some new strategies meant to help victims of the heroin and opioid epidemic. The strategies include new kinds of support for families of victims, and for individuals recovering from overdoses.

Onondaga County’s new peer engagement specialist, Maria Sweeney, has started to make connections in central New York emergency rooms, to help individuals recovering from a drug abuse issue. She says often there is no one to offer support for recovery, once an addict is released from the hospital.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

The number of heroin and opioid overdoses continues to rise in central New York. According to the latest figures from the Onondaga County Medical Examiner’s Office, there have been 30 overdose deaths to date in 2016, compared with 52 all of last year.  The opioid epidemic is also starting to affect some of the agencies that deal with people addicted to heroin.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

W-18, a new synthetic opioid, may be on the scene in central and northern New York. ACR Health prevention director Erin Bortel said several overdose deaths in the North Country have raised suspicions.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) Friday joined local families and professionals who deal with the opioid epidemic to applaud passage of a sweeping piece of federal legislation meant to deal with that crisis.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

A nonprofit in Watertown will receive $1.7 million to open a resource center for recovering drug addicts and their families. PIVOT is one of six non-profits throughout New York state to receive funding to help stop the heroin crisis in their communities.

Anita Seefried-Brown, who works with PIVOT, said the center is a culmination of everything she and the community have worked for since heroin first hit Jefferson County hard.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

With the legislative session down to the wire, groups for and against bills — including expansion of Uber ride services and ethics reform — came to the Capitol to make their voices heard.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

Among the recommendations of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s heroin task force are a few ideas to improve access to treatment.

One idea would end prior authorization. That’s when patients must first get approval from their insurance before they’re admitted to treatment.

Rob Kent, general counsel to the New York State Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services, said the panel heard from a lot of people who wanted help with their addiction, but had to wait.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul wants to know what New Yorkers think the state can do to address the heroin and opioid epidemic. Hochul is traveling with a drug task force panel across the state, listening to local experts share their experiences.

“What we’re going through right now in New York is nothing short of a public health crisis,” Hochul said.

Speaking at Syracuse University, Hochul said the drug task force is putting together a plan to present to the governor and the legislature before their session ends in June.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Abuse of a common over-the-counter drug is the latest side effect of the heroin epidemic.

Loperamide, more commonly known by the brand name Imodium, is used by most people to treat diarrhea. But Upstate New York Poison Center clinical toxicologist Jeanna Marraffa says the drug is used by opioid addicts to get high, or to help with withdrawal symptoms. Marraffa says in large quantities it can activate some of the same receptors as opioids. The problem is, it can kill.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

When Melissa Ives was recovering from a brutal motorcycle accident, the opioid medication she was prescribed helped mask the pain. But eventually, those pills ran out so she turned to a cheaper alternative - heroin.

Watertown woman says goodbye to her 20s and heroin addiction

Apr 5, 2016
Brit Hanson / NCPR

It was a cold night in Watertown’s Thompson Park. The sun had already set and the park closed by the time Betsy Rogers and her mom arrived. They were there for what felt like a bittersweet celebration: Betsy’s 30th birthday.

 

She knelt on the ground shivering, trying to light a paper lantern. It had a red number 29 painted on its side. Darlene, Betsy’s mom, stood trying to shield them from the wind. For Betsy, the ritual was about more than turning 30 — she was also celebrating six months clean.

 

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