Senator Ortt said, "Heroin use and abuse is cutting across all demographics to affect people of all ages, ethnicities, geographic regions, and social classes. Earlier this week, we saw Erie County hit a staggering number of overdose deaths within a 24-hour period from a lethal batch of heroin. Niagara County is no exception to losing loved ones to the deadly addiction cycle. This funding will strengthen treatment services, so we can help to prevent opioid-related deaths and lives from being cut short. These spikes are not just numbers, they're people, and we must do everything we can to help curb this epidemic."
Independent Living of Niagara County will use the funding to support its substance use disorder peer engagement program. The organization will hire at least two peer engagement specialists who assist addicts on starting their road to recovery. The specialists work with hospital personnel to connect individuals to treatment and support services after an overdose reversal or discharge from abusing other substances.