Pilot opioid program in Cheektowaga set to expand countywide

BUFFALO – Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz announced that the county’s Department of Health and the Cheektowaga Police Department will partner to help get overdose victims into treatment quicker.

The initiative was announced at the county executive’s State of the County Address Thursday afternoon at the Buffalo Museum of Science.

“Any time an individual overdoses and is saved with Narcan, the police and a peer counselor from the Health Department will follow up with that person the next day to ensure that they are getting into treatment. This partnership will save lives,” said Mr. Poloncarz.

Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale R. Burstein says the pilot program was started in September of 2017 and has assisted 11 people, around 50% of victims identified.

“Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), including Methadone and Suboxone, are the most requested treatments to date by this cohort.  At the 30 and 60-day time points, 10 individuals have stayed connected to care.  Additional police departments are coming onboard daily,” said Dr. Burstein.

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