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Erie County's attack on herion addiction

Posted at 6:46 PM, Mar 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-18 12:02:07-04

Erie County legislators are declaring war against western New York’s growing heroin epidemic.

Erie County Executive, Mark Poloncarz is taking swift action by creating this crisis response plan. In his plan, he mapped out exactly how he believes the county should attack this growing issue.

Poloncarz wants to create a central screening, information and referral line for individuals and families, who are struggling with addiction. He said this would provide a central hub to link addicts with treatment.

“I think this is the solution for the immediate, but there is a lot more work to be done,” Erie County Executive Assistant, Jonathan Rivera said.

“Because it’s still kind of new in terms of coming to the forefront, we have to be sure that we taking the right steps forward,” Erie County Legislator, Lynne Dixon said.

The Republican county lawmaker said she has some questions about this proposed resolution. She agrees this is a serious problem that has to end.

According to Poloncarz’s office, since 2013 opioids have claimed the lives of over 500 Erie County residents. Overdoses are killing more people aged 25 to 64 than motor vehicles crashes.

“This is something that’s serious. It’s going to continue to be serious until we invest in fixing the problem,” Rivera said.

Erie County legislators will discuss this proposed crisis response plan resolution in April’s session, after their Easter break.