Poloncarz Discusses Opioid Epidemic at Fair

Calls on President Trump to declare epidemic a national emergency; Trump declares national emergency

Mike Baggerman
August 10, 2017 - 3:58 pm

WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman

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HAMBURG, N.Y. (WBEN) - Along with enjoying the various foods, rides, animals, and other activities at the Erie County Fair, County Executive Mark Poloncarz said on Thursday that attendees at the fair can learn how to battle the opioid and addiction epidemic at the fair.

"Erie County Departments have multiple locations in the marketplace building including our department of health which is offering counseling and discussions," Poloncarz said. "You can get free training on how to use naloxone (narcan). It's very important that we bring this out to the public because of the issues associated with the opioid epidemic."

Poloncarz said that as of August 4, there have been 233 deaths - 90 confirmed - related to the opioid epidemic in Erie County this calendar year.

"We also know a number of suicides directly related to the epidemic."

Poloncarz also commended President Trump for convening a bi-partisan commission to discuss the epidemic and review its issues. At the time Poloncarz spoke, shortly before 1 p.m., he called on the president to declare a national emergency for opioid abuse, which Trump did just a couple hours later.

"Your declaration would empower your cabinet to take bold steps and would force congress to focus on funding and empower the executive branch even further to deal with the loss of life," Poloncarz said. "The president has it in his control to do this which would give his department more power and it will tell congress we have to act."

LISTEN: Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz talks the opioid epidemic at the Erie County Fair:

 

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