Inmates in the Niagara County Jail who are struggling with drug addiction will now have new medical treatment options to help fight their addiction, including medication that can help them on the path to long-term recovery.
But not all jails across the state are on board, leaving family members of addicts and those who've lost their struggle to lead the fight for change.
Marilyn Gentile of Cheektowaga lost her 25-year-old son Bobby Giovino to a drug overdose in January 2016.
"I found him dead, in his chair, in front of the computer," she recalled.
His death came a little more than 24 hours after spending 41 days in the Erie County Holding Center for stealing money from his mother's purse to support his habit.
”I had him arrested because he was in bad shape,” Gentile said. “I was afraid of losing him."
Gentile said her hope was to get Bobby back into the court system and get him the help he needed.
His dad, an Erie County sheriff's deputy, kept an eye on his son suffering from withdrawal, while his mom cut all contact.
"We were taught tough love,” she said. “Don't visit, don't accept phone calls."
After time served, Bobby's mom picked him up and brought him home.
"He thanked me,” Gentile said. “He said, ‘This is the best thing you could have done Mom. And, I got this.’ And I thought he was going to be on the road to recovery."
Bobby died of fentanyl poisoning.
"Time stops,” she said. “It's a vision you never lose. It's with you all the time. And it's an awful thing to see your child dead."
Gentile recently sat in on Erie County's public safety meeting advocating for the county to apply for medically assisted treatment, or MAT funding, to supply methadone and suboxone to addicts there.
She can't understand why Sheriff Tim Howard said after that meeting, he's against “prescribing the very same drugs that are causing this problem.”
"They're dying in the jail, they're dying when they walk out of jail. Where's the compassion,” Gentile said “Why does he not want to help them, instead of continually hurt them and have them run the risk of overdose and dying."
The Niagara County's Sheriff's Office did recently apply for MAT funding and was granted $50,000 to offer the FDA-approved treatment starting Monday.
Add that to the other medical treatments offered there, including male and female counseling sessions inside specifically designated pods, as well as family counseling once an addict is released.
"It can become fatal very quickly,” said Niagara County Sheriff James Voutour. “We're trying to do our best that when they do leave this facility that they do have the best chance for survival."
Avi Israel, whose 20-year-old son Michael shot himself to death in June 2011 battling an addition to prescription pills, has met with Voutour advocating the new treatment.
"It's like falling off the cliff,” Israel said. “To try to help people overcome this withdrawal will just mean more success in the long-term recovery."
He also said he can't understand why other jails across the state won't invest in treatment designed to stop the craving.
"Why not offer it, why not,” Israel said. “Government is going to supply it. The whole idea of trying to help people overcome this addiction is to keep them alive. And that's what we want to do. I mean once a person is dead, there's nothing really you can do for them."
While it's too late to help those like Bobby, Gentile said if the holding center had offered medically assisted treatment drugs, her son might still be alive today.
"There's studies that show that people who are treated in jails are less likely to die of overdose,” she said. “Why would you not treat these people that are suffering?"