Pubdate: Tue, 26 Apr 2016
Source: Buffalo News (NY)
Copyright: 2016 The Buffalo News
Author: Carl M. Baj


The Erie County Legislature has to be congratulated for looking to 
solve the current opioid crisis. However, its solution to create an 
addiction hotline falls short of addressing the problem.

An addiction hotline does not equate to saving lives. Anyone can do 
an Internet search or look in the phone book to find contact 
information about drug rehab programs in Erie County. What will the 
hotline accomplish?

The hotline will refer callers to programs that have waiting lists 
for inpatient services and to outpatient clinics. However, if you 
don't have insurance or the ability to pay for these services, you 
have wasted your time, not to mention $300,000 of county taxpayer dollars.

The state and county currently fund numerous programs in Erie County 
to combat the addiction problem. Maybe it's time to look at the 
programs that are not successfully addressing the problem and 
redirect funds to a solution that will work. Not a hotline.

In Erie County, the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance 
Abuse Services and the Erie County Department of Mental Health are 
charged with providing treatment programs that yield results. Maybe 
the investigation should start there?

We need to provide treatment that works to anyone in need, regardless 
of ability to pay. In the long run, if the services are not provided, 
people continue to die, related crimes continue to rise and we all 
end up paying for it.

Carl M. Baj

- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom