Heroin and opioid addiction is tearing families apart at rates never before seen. Some addicts are stitching their lives together with lots of help, while others are seemingly struggling as they look to get clean on their own. Spectrum News explored the issue in an hour-long documentary, The Cost of Heroin, which was followed by a live town hall with experts.


Opioids are a class of drugs naturally found in the opium poppy plant, including heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine and many others.

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, opioids are often used as medicines because they contain chemicals that relax the body and can relieve pain. Opioids can cause people to feel "high" and are very addictive.  According to the NIDA, heroin is one of the world's most dangerous opioids.

Where to get help

If you or someone you know needs help for a heroin addiction, the following phone numbers are resources available in Western New York:

Narcotics Anonymous Hotline - Buffalo: 716-878-2316

Narcotics Anonymous Hotline - Chautauqua: 716-240-5983

Narcotics Anonymous Hotline - Niagara Falls: 716-304-6880

Narcotics Anonymous Hotline - Niagara-Orleans: 716-478-6992

Narcotics Anonymous Hotline - North East WNY: 716-777-4172

Narcotics Anonymous Hotline - Central Allegany Mountain Area: 814-596-2614

Narcotics Anonymous Hotline - Northern Allegany Mountain Area: 585-307-2562

Erie County Addictions Treatment Hotline: 716-831-7007

Niagara County Crisis Services: 716-285-3515

Council on Addiction Recovery Services, Inc. (CAReS): 716-373-8040

Save the Michaels of the World, Inc.: 716-984-8375