Patients from all parts of Western New York are now telling 7 Eyewitness News they are in crisis due to the Dr. Eugene Gosy situation - and there are rising fears that some of them may become suicidal as pain medications run out and primary care physicians refuse to take over treatment.
Reporter Ed Reilly talked with a patient in Fredonia who feels that life has become unbearable because of his pain.
"I can't take it anymore," sobbed Gary, who suffered near-fatal injuries after being jolted by a powerful electric current on a demolition job in Pennsylvania back in 1993.
"For twenty-three years, I have suffered and suffered. I've called pain clinic after pain clinic, and as soon as they hear I am a Dr. Gosy patient, they don't want anything to do with me"
Dr. Gosy took Gary on as a Workmens' Compensation patient, but the medications that were prescribed by Dr. Gosy are running out and leaving Gary with increasing pain and withdrawal symptoms.
"I've been thinking about suicide. I am not going to lie," said the 54-year-old man.
Gary's longtime friend, Leah, said the situation is causing her terrible stress as she has to constantly check on Gary.
"When I am not around, I'm worried that he is going to do something to himself, or he'll fall and hurt himself more."
Julie Franco, Coalition Coordinator for HOPE Chautauqua, an organization that deals with addiction prevention and education, said the Gosy patient crisis is falling on top of the already existing opiate epidemic.
"That is what is happening, too many people are getting prescriptions. We need to limit those on the front end so less people end up struggling as they are now."
For individuals feeling desperate, or having thoughts of suicide, Chautauqua County has the following contact numbers:
Chautauqua Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Council 716-664-3604
Chautauqua County Mental Hygiene Department 716-661-9044
24-Hour Crisis Hotline & Mobile Crisis Unit 1-800-724-0461
New York State HOPELine 1-877-846-7369