Weekly Feature

2018-03-07 / Editorial

Initiatives to benefit fight against opioid addiction

Bee Editorial

Town and county officials this week took two important steps in the fight against opioid addiction.

The Town Board this week, led by Supervisor Brian J. Kulpa, in addition to the Town Attorney’s Office, agreed to institute a lawsuit against the manufacturers and distributors of opioid pain medication as well as key leaders hired by those manufacturers and distributors to allegedly mislead the public.

According to the town’s suit, the pain medication manufacturers deceive patients and the public “into believing, against all medical science, that opioids prescribed under a doctor’s care cannot and do not lead to addiction.” The result, according to officials, has been increased costs to Amherst and its taxpayers, as well as a negatively impacted quality of life for its residents and community. In the second effort against opioid addiction, on Monday, Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn and Kevin Hoffman, chairman of Crime Stoppers Buffalo, said there will be rewards of up to $2,500 for information leading to the arrest and/or indictment of opiate dealers.

Present for the announcement of the new program were Amherst Police Chief John Askey and Erie County Legislators Ed Rath and Thomas Loughran. Flynn contributed $20,000 in asset forfeiture money to Crime Stoppers Buffalo to launch the initiative and to help fight the opioid epidemic in Western New York. Crime Stoppers Buffalo has committed an additional $25,000.

Anyone with tips is asked to call the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 867-6161 with information on opiate dealers. Callers can remain anonymous. If information leads to an arrest and/or indictment, the tipster will receive a cash amount up to $2,500. The Crime Stoppers Board of Directors will decide the amount of cash awarded depending on the severity of the crime.

Flynn said he hoped that anyone with information on any drug dealer will be inclined to call the tip line. Crime Stoppers is also partnering with Crisis Services to assist any person suffering from an addiction. Crisis Services manages the 24-hour addiction hotline for Erie County, which provides immediate information and assistance in connecting people with addiction treatment services.

The line is monitored 24/7 by counselors who can provide support and guidance for those struggling with addiction. Call 831-7007.

The Bee commends town and county officials for their diligent work in the fight against opioid addiction.

Return to top