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Narcotics Anonymous to re-open face to face meetings as overdose numbers skyrocket

Other treatment facilities doing the same
Posted at 5:48 PM, Jul 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-08 18:12:12-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The COVID-19 pandemic is challenging for many of us, but for those with substance abuse issues, it's been a nightmare. It's lead to an 82% increase in overdose deaths in Erie County, according to Narcotics Anonymous.

"Time on your hands can be dangerous and it can be especially dangerous for someone in recovery. It creates a tension, a tension you can't even imagine in a household," said Colleen Babcock, Parent and Family Support Coordinator at Horizon Health Services.

There was a 305% increase in overdose deaths in WNY between March and mid-May, compared to January and February, according to James P. Kennedy, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York. N.A. and other treatment facilities have been offering virtual help, but it's not the same as in-person counseling.

"As a counselor you work with them to want to change and when you don't have that face to face, you lose a little of that ability," said Babcock.

That's why N.A. is re-opening some face to face meetings starting this weekend, as is Save the Michaels of the World, Inc.

"It's about bringing people together and continuing to provide hope any way we can," said Joseph Lapi, Director of Recovery Programming at Save the Michaels.

Horizon Health Services is working to do re-open their doors as well. Whether it's by phone or in person, help is out there.

"As a community, we need to as quickly as possible, try to get back on track," said Babcock.

For immediate help, call the Buffallo NA helpline: 716-878-2316.