US Attorney Says Prescription Drug Abuse Is Epidemic In WNY

October 14, 2011 Updated Oct 22, 2013 at 4:13 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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US Attorney Says Prescription Drug Abuse Is Epidemic In WNY

October 14, 2011 Updated Oct 22, 2013 at 4:13 AM EDT

AMHERST, NY ( WKBW ) United States Attorney William Hochul set the stage at the Center for Tomorrow on the UB North Campus Friday to shed light on the issue of drug abuse.

Mr. Hochul was joined by Dale Kasprzyk, Resident Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Amherst Police Chief John Askey and the family of a young man who lost his battle with prescription drug addiction.

Hochul says the problem of prescription drug abuse is epidemic in WNY.

BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today “A Call to Action: Combating the Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic.” The one day summit, sponsored by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the New York State Attorney General’s Office, will examine the prescription drug problem from every angle. R. Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, will be the keynote speaker.

“Prescription drug abuse is the nation’s fastest growing drug problem, said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “It is an epidemic that is ruining the lives of our young, veterans, the elderly and many others.”

The summit is a first of its kind, multi-disciplinary examination of the prescription drug abuse problem that is sweeping across Western New York and the country. It will bring together experts from the medical profession, education, treatment and prevention, insurance, elective office, and law enforcement communities to examine the issue in depth and discuss potential ways to address the epidemic. Participants will also hear from those who have experienced the tragedy of prescription pill addiction first hand.

“National statistics indicate that approximately one in five high school students admitted to having taken a prescription drug without a doctor’s prescription. People 65 and older comprise only 13% of the population yet they account for one-third of all medications prescribed in the United States,” said Hochul. “For all of these reasons and more, I believe it is time to address the problem of prescription pill abuse in as comprehensive a manner as possible.”

In addition to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the New York State Attorney General’s Office, the summit is also supported by Alcohol and Drug Dependency Services, the Catholic Health System, the Drug Enforcement Administration, D’Youville College School of Pharmacy, Erie County, Independent Health, Kids Escaping Drugs, Purdue Pharmaceuticals, and the UB School of Pharmacy.