opioids

Onondaga County Health Department

As the heroin epidemic continues unabated, a paramedic who’s responded to drug overdoses for decades says it’s time to lift the stigma of addiction.  In this final part in our series, he says thinking differently might get more people the help they need…and save lives.

Director of Operations for TLC ambulance Lon Fricano says the more we talk about addiction and bring it out of the shadows, the stronger prevention and treatment efforts can be. 

narcan.com

There’s no question the overdose antidote Narcan has saved the lives of numerous heroin and opioid addicts across Central New York.  In the next part of our series on the epidemic, seasoned paramedics say it can be a blessing…and a curse.

For most of us, a near death experience from a serious health issue or an accident would force a change in lifestyle or behavior.  But Director of Operations with TLC ambulance Lon Fricano says for addicts who might have just overdosed on heroin, they feel they’re going to die if they don’t get that next fix.

healheroin.org

The scope and depth of the opioid epidemic in Central New York is almost impossible for many to grasp, unless you’re an addict or on the front lines.  In the next part in our series, WAER News caught up with a long-time paramedic who tells us what makes this crisis so pervasive.

Lon Fricano says he’s seen plenty of heroin overdoses during his more than three decades on the job, previously in New York City and as director of operations for TLC Ambulance in Auburn.  But, he says THIS is a different animal.

Scott Willis / WAER News

Syracuse Common Councilors Monday threw their support behind a month-long media blitz aimed at getting opioid addicts the help they need.  They also hope the “United to Fight it” collaboration will spur community discussion and action.

Family support navigator with the Prevention Network Jon Crandall says the epidemic is not fading…

"Onondaga County happens to have the highest rate of opioid overdose deaths  among all Central New York counties.  There have been 53 opioid related deaths reported since June 2017."

John Smith/WAER News

Officials say New York State has been the most aggressive to respond to the opioid crisis, but future policy changes might depend the most on professors, social workers and affected families.  That’s what state and local officials told students today from the Falk School of Social Work during the 19th annual Policy Symposium.  General Counsel for OASAS, Rob Kent urged them to take action if they have ideas to help people recover. 

John Smith/WAER News

Central New York Congressmember John Katko says he voted no to the House Budget this week because he stressed the elimination of the State and Local Tax deduction would have adversely affected property tax payers in the state.  However, he’s optimistic that House Republicans will work it out. 

Taylor Epps/WAER News

Thursday is International Overdose Awareness Day and the opioid epidemic issue is hitting Syracuse hard.  One local health organization used the day to point out how overdose reversing drugs can save lives.

If someone overdosed near you, would you be able to save them? This hypothetical could easily become a reality. Alexandra Punch of ACR Health says the heroin and opioid epidemic is growing in the Syracuse Community.

Onondaga County to Sue Opioid Drug Makers Over "Misleading Information"

Jul 27, 2017
CREDIT UPSTATE.EDU/POISON/NEWS/HEROIN-DATA.PHP / UPSTATE MEDICAL UNIVERSITY

Onondaga County Lawmakers are preparing to file a lawsuit against opioid drug manufacturers for what they maintain is misleading information about the drugs that has fueled the county’s opioid and heroin epidemic.  Syracuse University School of Law Professor Nina Kohn says even if the county shows the drug manufacturer’s engaged in deceptive behavior, the court could still find they’re not legally responsible.

Scott Willis / WAER News

Onondaga County’s health commissioner says recent rankings of the community’s overall health indicate our behaviors are more of a factor in determining health outcomes more than the availability and quality of care. While residents can make better choices, social and economic factors also come in to play. 

Commissioner Dr. Indu Gupta says the big picture is key when looking at a person’s overall health. 

"In public health we say ‘everything affects health,’ and then also ‘health affects everything.’"

John Smith / WAER News

SUNY Upstate is bringing together medical experts to figure out ways to help those Central New Yorkers suffering from opioid and heroin addiction.  A two-day symposium in Syracuse is delving into the multitude of issues and ways to prevent it altogether.  Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul says kids are often brought into the world with the problem, even locally. 

“What troubles me about this Onondaga area, Syracuse and Central New York, is that you have the third highest rate of babies being born now addicted to these substances.”

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