A Western New York opioid addiction treatment program is serving as a model for similar programs that other regions and states want to develop.
The Buffalo Medication assisted treatment and emergency referrals program or Buffalo Matters has expanded availability for treatment.
The network was founded by Dr. Johshua Lynch.
To date 14 hospitals including Erie County Medical Center, Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, Catholic Health and 30 clinics have joined the system and the list is growing.
"We can potentially give them a prescription for Buprenorphine right in the E.R. to get them through to their appointment," Lynch said. "Typically the patient gets their first choice of an appointment within about two days so this is a huge change all over Western New York."
At least 80 appointment slots per week are left open in the Buffalo Metro area to track and treat those suffering with opioid addiction.
The program was recently awarded $200,000 by BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, to expand within the region's eight counties.