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Opiate Awareness and Memorial Walk to be Held at Buffalo State

Opiate Awareness and Memorial Walk to be Held at Buffalo State

Event Held in Conjunction with National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

Posted: April 29, 2016

This Saturday, April 30, at 10:00 a.m., members of the Erie County Opioid Epidemic Task Force’s Family Work Group, along with the West Side Youth Development Coalition (WSYDC), will gather for an Opiate Awareness and Memorial Walk. This event, held at Buffalo State’s Cleveland Circle, is free and open to the public.

“This is a great event to remind our community that the opioid epidemic is real and that Erie County is working hard with its partners on a holistic solution to the problem,” said Erie County Health Commissioner Gale R. Burstein. “We realize the opioid epidemic is growing and one of the best things we can do as government is to help raise awareness about the problem through events like this.”

Coinciding with National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, the walk connects both individuals who have lost loved ones to an opiate addiction and those currently dealing with loved ones addicted to opiates to remind them that they are not alone. In addition, the walk seeks to serve as a reminder, in coinciding with Drug Take-Back Day, that everyone in our community has a role to play in helping to end the opiate epidemic.

From 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Cleveland Circle will serve as a drop-off site for National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. In order to not interfere with the drug drop-off event, participants are asked to park in spaces on Rockwell Road; in lot R-2, off of Rockwell Road; or Lots I-32 or I-34, off Iroquois Drive (download Buffalo State campus map); and not enter Cleveland Circle by vehicle unless they have prescription drugs for disposal. Buffalo State is also accessible by NFTA routes 3, 20, and 32.

Burstein, Erie County Legislator Patrick Burke, and William Wieczorek, director of the Institute for Community Health Promotion, will offer brief remarks reflecting on the challenges dealing with addiction bring to family and friends of the person with the disease.

Following the remarks, attendees will walk approximately two miles to reflect on and remember their loved ones, as well as to share resources and experiences. The walk will pass through the scenic grounds of the Buffalo Psychiatric Center and Richardson-Olmsted Complex, which are reminders of our region’s past challenges and victories in mental health care. Prior to the walk, local support groups providing assistance to both those struggling with addiction and to their families will be available to share information.

About the Erie County Opioid Epidemic Task Force Family Work Group
One of the seven work groups that make up the Task Force, the Family Work Group, chaired by Debra Smith of the Erie County Department of Probation, is composed of family members and loved ones of those currently struggling with addiction, as well as those who have already lost a loved one to opiate addiction. The Family Work Group’s mission is to support and participate in advocacy efforts and to develop an integrated support network for family and friends dealing with the effects of addiction in a loved one.

About the West Side Youth Development Coalition
The WSYDC is a substance use prevention coalition targeting the West Side of Buffalo and operates from Buffalo State’s Institute for Community Health Promotion. The coalition seeks to improve the health and well-being of youth living on the West Side of Buffalo. WSYDC is supported by the Drug Free Communities Program of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) and Office of National Drug Control Policy, a Partnership for Success Grant from the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), and Buffalo State.

For more information, contact Nathan Attard, coordinator for Partnership for Success Grant Community, at (716) 878-6137.

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