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Public Education Campaign Highlights Dangers of Pain-Killers

painkillerskillThis morning at SUNY Buffalo State College, more than 50 organizations, including advocacy and treatment groups, pharmacies, doctors, families, media and higher education institutions gathered to kick off Project Hope.

The mission of Project Hope is to educate the community about the dangers associated with taking prescription pain-killers like oxycodone, hydrocodone, and meperidine. In Western New York, the rate of substance dependence or abuse among young adults aged 18-25 is 21.3 percent (one out of five).

The effort is being led by Blue Cross/Blue Shield and over 54 community partners such as media outlets, pharmacies, general practitioners, outpatient and inpatient treatment services such as Horizon Health Services, and many more.

The event featured a large pledge card that college students signed, agreeing not to abuse these drugs. You may have noticed several billboards which were donated by Lamar Advertising promoting an informational website: painkillersKILL.org.

Horizon Health’s Services President Anne Constantino was on hand to discuss the dangers of painkillers and addictions. She was joined by State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, David Anderson, president/CEO, BlueCross BlueShield of WNY; Avi Israel, family advocate; and Dick Gallagher, long-time anti-drug and high-school sports advocate; and Don Boswell, president, WNED-TV.

For more information, you can watch a video of an overview of the campaign which was featured yesterday on WKBW-TV Channel 7 News.

Watch the video.