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Forum on drug crisis set next week at Batavia High School

BATAVIA – A Genesee County coalition committed to promoting healthy and safe choices through education and action is sponsoring a community forum next week focusing on the heroin/opiate epidemic that has been sweeping the nation.

The discussion, entitled “Pay Attention: Addressing Prescription Drug Abuse and Heroin Addiction in our Community,” is set for 1:30 to 3 p.m. Feb. 29 at Batavia High School.

Featured speakers will be William J. Hochul Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York, and Deanna Axe of Camillus, who founded Addicted to Hope after the heroin overdose death of her 24-year-old daughter last November.

“This is a problem that is happening, and we need to raise awareness,” said Anita Strollo, president of @ct Genesee. “It’s here, it’s serious and it’s devastating.”

The forum also will include representatives from local law enforcement, the medical profession, and the drug treatment/ prevention arena.

Attendees will be able to ask questions and fill out a survey to help the coalition determine a proper course of action to address prescription drug abuse and heroin addiction.

The forum is open to students and the public, Strollo said.

“We encourage involvement from all ages,” she said. “Since abuse and addiction crosses all age and socio-economic groups, so should be the awareness of and attack upon these growing problems.”