(Buffalo, N.Y.) – The first episode of the Buffalo Review will air Monday (2/8) at 9 p.m. on 91.3 WBNY-FM and will feature a discussion on public health.
The first half of the show will focus on the the misuse of opioid drugs in Erie County and the second half will feature a discussion on water issues in western New York.
Addiction to prescription painkillers is so prevalent in the Buffalo Niagara region that Erie County has created a special task force to combat the problem.
For example, in 2014, Erie County ranked first in New York State in the number of hospital admissions related to prescription painkillers and Niagara County ranked sixth.
Nationally, there were more than 8,200 deaths attributed to opioid drugs in the U.S. in 2013.
The program will feature two members of the task force, including Dr. Gale Burstein, a pediatrician and the Erie County Commissioner of Health.
Burstein is also an associate professor at the SUNY Buffalo School of Medicine and she is a former medical officer for the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
Avi Israel is a member of the opioid task force’s committee for public awareness, but drug addiction is something that has touched him personally.
Israel’s son Michael, who became addicted to prescription painkillers, committed suicide in 2011 and since that time he has been working to raise awareness about addiction.
Paula Madrigal, from the Weigel Health Center at Buffalo State, will also discuss her work with students concerning substance abuse.
The second half of the program will feature a discussion on water issues in western New York, in the wake of the Flint, Michigan water crisis after that city’s water has been found to contain high levels of lead.
A number of groups in Buffalo, including local churches and students at Buffalo State, have collected thousands of bottles of water to donate to the people of Flint.
As a result, some people have expressed concerns about the water supply in the Buffalo Niagara region.
This discussion will feature Dr. Melinda Cameron, a pediatrician and the director Western New York Lead Prevention and Resource Center, and John Nowak from the grass roots group Citizens United for a Clean Lackawanna Waterfront.