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Opioid addiction: "This is everyone's disease."

Posted at 5:41 PM, Jun 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-02 14:27:05-04

Drug addiction specialists will tell you the problem is everywhere effecting nearly everyone.

“The face of addiction changed a long time ago. It's professionals. It's teachers, it's lawyers, it's police, it's attorneys, it's all those professional people,” said Paige Prentice who is the Operations Vice President for Horizon Corporations. The non-profit offers a variety of services for those fighting substance abuse.

That's why Prentice isn't shocked to hear about Buffalo Police Officer Michael Moffett. “If you go out to our facility at Horizon Village, it looks like a college campus. That's what it looks like. You look around and you'll be like where are we? Is this a college campus? Is this a private school? No, this is a rehab facility.”

Moffett was revived a second time by Narcan, according to 7 Eyewitness News sources. He's currently on unpaid suspension from the force after an overdose in February.

Prentice said the problem with opioids and heroin alike is that they are easy accessible and inexpensive. But she said there are solutions. “There's a job for enforcement. We need law officials to do what they need to do to reduce the availability of the substances.”

She'd also like to see pain doctors and prescriptions tracked closely. That includes patients who have access to methadone: a drug used to wean someone off of heroin. Currently, there's nothing that shows whether a patient is simultaneously being prescribed opioids and receiving methadone treatments. Prentice believes those solutions would be steps in the right direction.

Horizon does have a referral program for employers who believe their employee may be battling addiction. For more information, click here.