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West Seneca takes on WNY's heroin epidemic

Posted at 7:57 AM, Apr 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-21 07:57:26-04

West Seneca town leaders say now is the time to conquer the area's growing heroin problem.

According to Erie County, the an zip code in the Town of West Seneca (zip code 14224) is one of the suburbs with the highest number of opioid-related overdoses in the entire county. West Seneca lawmakers say no one is exempt from the problem.

"I, myself have gone to three funerals in the last two weeks," said Town Councilman Gene Hart. "Close friends who have lost children. Two were 20; one was 28. Very tragic."

Wednesday night, town lawmakers teamed up with the group "Save the Michaels of the World" to hold a forum where families could come get tips from experts on how to recognize signs of addiction. The meeting was held at the West Seneca Senior Center and was open to the public. Anti-addiction advocates at the event said the epidemic has grown out our reliance as a society on medication.

"Our society is a drug user. We go to the doctor and expect to get a pill to help us with whatever it is -- ailments, pain," said Avi Israel, founder of Save the Michaels of the World. "And that's how our kids grow up -- they're really not afraid of pills. And that leads to other things."