Project Hope 2013

Project Hope

Situation Overview:
Addiction to prescription painkillers, especially among young adults, is growing at an alarming rate in western New York and around the country, and is now considered an epidemic.


Addiction is the largest preventable health problem in the US – affecting 16 percent of the population – more than heart disease, cancer, or diabetes

Vicodin and Oxycontin are the two most misused prescription drugs in the country

More people are addicted to prescribed opioids (somewhere between 2 million and 2.4 million) than to heroin and cocaine combined, and prescription drug misuse “remains the fastest-growing drug problem in the US

In western New York alone:

The rate of substance dependence or abuse among young adults aged 18-25 is 21.3 percent (one out of five)

Between 1995 and 2005, treatment admissions for abuse of prescription pain relievers increased by more than 300 percent

Fewer than 1 in 10 young adults with serious drug and alcohol problems receive treatment 2


Increase public awareness and provide education to the medical community via a Continuing Medical Education (CME) event in September 2013. The CME event will raise awareness of prescription painkillers, discuss best practices in the clinical setting, and provide information to resources in the community.

Increase public awareness through community-wide advertising and public relations campaign
Provide information and communicate resources available to parents, young adults, and schools

Continuing Medical Education Event on September 19, 2013; featured presenters include:
Dr. Andrew Kolodny, Chair of Psychiatry at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY
Avi Israel, Advocate, Save the Michaels of the World
Dr. Paul Updike, Internist, Pain Management, St. Vincent Health Center, Lovejoy, Catholic Health
Anne D. Constantino, President/CEO of Horizon Health Services
Dr. Michael Cummings, Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, UBMD
WNED – 30 minute feature documentary and supporting community education materials
Public awareness campaign including billboard advertising, PSA programming for TV, radio, print

Supporting materials for medical community


BlueCross BlueShield of WNY
Horizon Health Services
Save the Michaels of the World
WGRZ-Channel 2
Eric Mower & Associates
Lamar Advertising