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Buffalo’s Role in America’s Opioid Crisis

January 15, 2018

Recently, both the House and the Senate have held multiple Congressional Hearings focused on solving the opioid crisis in the United States.  

Buffalo, New York

Buffalo, N.Y., has been a pioneer in addressing the crisis by offering the first intervention court focused specifically on opioid and heroin addiction. The court offers addicts a chance to put criminal charges “on pause” in order to get a person into treatment faster, in hope of keeping them alive. The court requires participants to submit to periodic drug tests, adhere to a strict curfew, and check in regularly. Participants are also required to appear in front of a judge for 30 consecutive days during detox and 30 days of outpatient treatment in order to successfully complete the program.

After several months of the program’s inception, a recent article in The New York Times highlighted how the court has been effective for the participant who are staying the course.

“Since the project started last May, only one of its 92 participants has died from an overdose. It is too early to tell if the others will stay clean.” – This Judge Has a Mission: Keep Defendants Alive, Timothy Williams, The New York Times

More Infomation

To learn more about Buffalo’s opioid court, an NPR podcast offers additional stories of participants, as well as, this WIVB article. If you wish to contact an attorney to discuss the Buffalo opioid court call HoganWillig Attorneys at Law or email us at