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Community education on painkiller addiction continues in Williamsville

killmorethanpainOn Thursday March 27th, 2014 Williamsville North High school hosted two assemblies involving all students and faculty to discuss the dangers of Painkiller addiction.  The awareness assembly was brought together by a community wide initiative formed by BlueCross Blue Shield of WNY, Williamsville North Health Teacher Lisa Arroyo, Colleen Babcock of Horizon Health Services, Avi and Julie Israel of Save the Michael’s of the World, as well as local artist Max Collins to drive home the devastating effects painkiller addiction can have on our community members and loved ones.

BCBS of WNY formed a community outreach initiative in the fall of 2013 bringing over 54 partners together that were made up of businesses, schools, parents and students to educate people, especially the young, about the dangers of painkillers. Their initiative, painkillerskill.org has continued throughout the community and will now be entering our school systems to continually educate and spread awareness.

WNED is also a community partner in the campaign and produced a 30-minute documentary which shares the experiences of young people from Western New York who are struggling with addiction recovery.  Along with the documentary, WNED has also developed educational materials to be distributed as a package to local schools in order to bring awareness of addiction and prescription painkillers to the classrooms.   Both assemblies at Williamsville North and consisted of speakers from around the community featured in the documentary as well as counselors from Horizon Health Services who have had firsthand experience with this devastating epidemic.

Max Collins, a local Buffalo artist, has partnered with the campaign from the beginning where he developed murals all throughout Buffalo depicting the effects of painkiller addiction on families and loved ones in the community. In addition to the assemblies, Max visited Williamsville North and created two murals with the students that were featured at the assemblies.

For more information about setting up an educational assembly about drug abuse at for your school or organization, please contact Christina Pearl, Marketing, Community & PR Manager at 716.831.1800.  And if you or someone you know is abusing opiates, please give us call or use our confidential and free hope line.