(716) 886-8200

Adolescent Substance Use

adolescent substance use treatmentAdolescent Substance Use Disorder Treatment

Being a teenager these days isn’t easy – nor is it easy being the parent of a teenager. And with illicit substance use becoming more prevalent, the challenge has become even greater. Fortunately, according to the American Association for Family Therapy (AAFT), most adolescents who experiment with drugs do not progress to become adult drug abusers or addicts. However, adolescent substance use (alcohol, marijuana, opiates, and inhalants), even in small quantities, can have extremely negative consequences.

Adolescence can be a time of experimentation and risk-taking. As parents and caregivers, it can be difficult to discern what normal adolescent behavior is and what is becoming problematic.

What signs should call a parent’s attention to the fact that there is a problem? Common signs pointing to a problem include evidence of drugs and drug paraphernalia in your teen’s possession; behavioral problems and poor grades; emotional distancing and lying; isolation and depression; changes in their circle of friendships; hostile, irritable behavior; lack of interest in personal appearance; changes in eating and sleeping patterns; and dizziness and memory problems. More serious signs are more frequent use of alcohol or drugs such as cocaine, amphetamines, prescription opiates or heroin – which requires immediate attention and intervention.

When should a parent seek help? The simple answer is – the earlier the better, because the good news is that treatment works, especially when parents and guardians are involved.


One place that parents can seek outpatient treatment is BryLin’s Outpatient Substance Use Disorder Clinic in Williamsville. The Clinic offers specialized adolescent programming that is designed to meet the ever-changing needs of the adolescent client and their family. As part of the Adolescent Substance Use Treatment team, BryLin employs Masters Level Qualified Health Professionals who are dedicated to adolescent addiction treatment.

BryLin’s Adolescent Recovery Treatment Track has been specifically developed for the adolescent who presents with a Substance Use Disorder. This program provides support, intense treatment, education, and awareness for the adolescent client and their family.

The Clinic’s comprehensive group programming for adolescents and adults include:  Recovery from opiates, Introduction to recovery, Early recovery, Relapse prevention, Specialized adolescent groups, Young adult (18-25yoa) groups, Women’s and men’s groups, Meditation & relaxation in recovery, Co-occurring groups, Professionals groups, DWI Assessments and more.

Unique to BryLin’s Substance Use Disorder Clinic are the FREE Family Group sessions. The setting for these groups is designed to be educational and supportive for adult family members, and concerned others (18+), who have a loved one dealing with addiction. The group is run by a licensed professional, held every Monday from 6-7pm, and it’s tailored to the needs of those in attendance.

To learn more about BryLin’s Outpatient Adolescent Substance Use Disorder treatment or the free family group, please call (716) 633-1927.

(Source: Buffalo Healthy Living)

Remembering Those Lost to Opioid Addiction


A candlelight memorial service to commemorate the lives lost to opioid addiction is scheduled to be held at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 31 at LaSalle Park in Buffalo.

As part of International Overdose Awareness Day, loved ones of people who died from opioid overdoses are invited to bring an 8-by-10 inch photo, a pair of the person’s shoes and empty pill bottles to the gathering. The names will be read aloud at the ceremony and a bell will be rung in their honor. Participants can email a photo as an attachment, along with the name and dates of birth and death, to be printed for the event. The photos and information can be sent to to Debra Smith at debra.smith@erie.gov.

“This memorial provides the opportunity for participants to engage in a reading of names of those we have lost, share reflections, gather information on overdose prevention, addiction/recovery and family resources, and learn about advocacy efforts,” said Dr. Gale Burstein, Erie County Commissioner of Health.

Everyone is welcome to attend; especially those touched personally by the loss of a loved one or are currently dealing with the active opiate addiction of a loved one.

Invited or expected guests include:

  • Patrick Burke, Erie County Legislator, District 7
  • Lynne Dixon, Erie County Legislator, District 9
  • Joel Feroleto, Delaware District, Buffalo Common Council Member
  • Christopher Jacobs, NY State Senator, 60th Senate District
  • James McHugh, Group Supervisor, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  • Cheryll Moore, Medical Care Administrator, Erie County Department of Health
  • Ted Morton, Erie County Legislator, District 8
  • Michael Ranney, Commissioner of Mental Health, Erie County
  • Daniel Rinaldo, Drug Intelligence Officer, New York/New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA)

The event will be held at the pavilion bandshell in LaSalle Park. It is sponsored by the Erie County Opiate Epidemic Task Force’s Family and Consumer Support and Advocacy group.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an alcohol or drug related issue, you may need to seek help from a substance use disorder professional at the Behavioral Health Center  in Williamsville, NY.

Please contact the Outpatient Substance Use Disorder Clinic, for adolescents and adults, at (716) 633-1927 to schedule an initial appointment or to attend the FREE Family Group on Monday nights. You might also need to call Crisis Service’s 24-hour Addiction Hotline at 716-831-7007.

Source: The Buffalo News, Erie County, NY Department of Health

Depression and Suicide

Over 90 percent of people who die by suicide have a diagnosable mental illness at the time of their death. Depression is the most common of those mental illnesses. Although most people who are depressed do not kill themselves, untreated depression can increase the risk for possible suicide.

Depression Hurts

Major depression is a serious medical illness affecting 9.9 million American adults, or approximately 5 percent of the adult population, in a given year. Unlike normal emotional experiences of sadness, loss, or passing mood states, major depression is persistent and can significantly interfere with an individual’s thoughts, behavior, mood, activity, and physical health.

Major depression can occur at any age and it has no prejudices affecting all ethnic, racial and socioeconomic groups. The symptoms of major depression characteristically represent a significant change from how a person functioned before the illness, including: persistently sad or irritable mood; changes in sleep, appetite, and energy; difficulty concentrating; agitation; lack of interest in activities that were once enjoyed; feelings of guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness, and emptiness; and recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.


Suicides are frequently found in association with mental illness, particularly with individuals diagnosed with major depression, other mood disorders and substance abuse. According to a May 2013 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) press release, there were 38,364 reported deaths by suicide in 2010. The number of completed suicides in the US is equivalent to one death by suicide every 16 minutes. Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death for all ages and is the second leading cause of death among 25–34 year olds. 

Treatment Works

There are many types of treatment options available for major depression including exercise, psychotherapy, medication, and lifestyle changes. What works for one person might not work for another. The type chosen depends on the individual and the severity and patterns of his or her illness. Although depression can be a devastating illness, it is highly treatable. Between 80 and 90 percent of those suffering from serious depression can be effectively treated and return to their normal daily activities and functioning.

Connect With Others and Save Lives

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is the leading national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy, and to reaching out to people with mental disorders and those impacted by suicide.

The Out of the Darkness Walks are proof that when people work together, they can make big changes in our world. These walks take place in hundreds of cities each fall to raise awareness for this important cause.

The Movement
is Growing



Number of Community Walks:
Number of Community Walks:
Number of Walkers:


Number of Walkers


* Estimated

BUFFALO WALK – Event Details

Walk Date: 09/09/2017
Walk Location: Delaware Park – Buffalo, NY
Check-in/Registration Time: 09/09/2017 at 8:30 am
Walk Begins: 10:30 am
Walk Ends: 1:00 pm

For more information, please contact:
Contact Name: Carissa Uschold
Contact Phone: 585-202-2783
Contact Email: afspbuffalowalk@yahoo.com

You can learn more by checking out the Out of the Darkness Walk.

When you walk in the Out of the Darkness Walks, you join the effort with hundreds of thousands of people to raise awareness and funds that allow AFSP to invest in new research, create educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support survivors of suicide loss.

If you are thinking about harming yourself, or know someone who is, call 911 or go to a hospital emergency room to get immediate help. You can speak with a psychiatric registered nurse at BryLin Hospital, a private psychiatric hospital in Buffalo, NY, by calling 716-886-8200. Another option is calling the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) to talk to a trained counselor.

Untreated depression can increase the risk for suicide. Reach out for help. Treatment works. Speak with a health care or mental health professional to discuss your treatment options and what might be the best option for you. Contact BryLin Behavioral Health System at (716) 886-8200 for more information on depression treatment.

Out of the Darkness: Help Spread the Word about Suicide Prevention

Suicide Prevention Walk Comes to Buffalo

out of the dark beadss


Buffalo Out of the Darkness Community Walk

3875Walk Date: 09/09/2017
Walk Location: Delaware Park – Buffalo, NY
Check-in/Registration Time: 09/09/2017 at 8:30 am
Walk Begins: 10:30 am
Walk Ends: 1:00 pm

Register Here

Suicide causes more deaths each year than war, murder, and natural disaster combined. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and funding for suicide prevention. AFSP has set a goal to reduce the annual suicide rate by 20% by 2025.

AFSP holds community walks known as “Out of the Darkness Walks”  all around the country, incorporating nearly 200,000 people in over 350 cities nationwide. So far the Buffalo Out of the Darkness Community Walk  has raised almost $60,000 dollars in funding, and hopes to reach the goal of $135,000.

Whether you know someone personally who has committed suicide, struggled yourself, or just want to support the cause, participating in Out of the Darkness helps AFSP to invest in new research, create educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support survivors of suicide loss.color

Anyone who participates at the Out of the Darkness Community Walk and has been touched by suicide or mental illness will wear honor beads of all different colors. This helps to connect everyone and let them know how they personally connect with the cause, and each other.

It’s a great opportunity to bring the whole family, and even dogs are welcome! With a $10 donation, you’ll receive an AFSP Paws for Prevention bandana.

You can learn more by checking out the Buffalo Out of the Darkness Community Walk Facebook page ,
or you can immediately Register Here.


For a glimpse at what the Walk is like, you can watch this video of the Overnight walk in Boston, MA.

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, you can call Crisis Services 716-834-3131 or the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255.

Call BryLin at 716-886-8200 for more information on suicide prevention, crisis prevention, and mental health treatment in Buffalo.


Mental Health Awareness

Mental Health By the Numbers

*Source: NAMI

Millions of Americans are affected by mental health conditions every year. Here are some facts about the prevalence and impact of mental illness.

Prevalence of Mental Illness

  • Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year.
  • Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S.—9.8 million, or 4.0%—experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.2
  • Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 (21.4%) experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. For children aged 8–15, the estimate is 13%.3
  • 1.1% of adults in the U.S. live with schizophrenia.4
  • 2.6% of adults in the U.S. live with bipolar disorder.5
  • 6.9% of adults in the U.S.—16 million—had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.6
  • 18.1% of adults in the U.S. experienced an anxiety disorder such as posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific phobias.7
  • Among the 20.2 million adults in the U.S. who experienced a substance use disorder, 50.5%—10.2 million adults—had a co-occurring mental illness.8

Social Stats

  • An estimated 26% of homeless adults staying in shelters live with serious mental illness and an estimated 46% live with severe mental illness and/or substance use disorders.9
  • Approximately 20% of state prisoners and 21% of local jail prisoners have “a recent history” of a mental health condition.10
  • 70% of youth in juvenile justice systems have at least one mental health condition and at least 20% live with a serious mental illness.11
  • Only 41% of adults in the U.S. with a mental health condition received mental health services in the past year. Among adults with a serious mental illness, 62.9% received mental health services in the past year.8
  • Just over half (50.6%) of children aged 8-15 received mental health services in the previous year.12
  • African Americans and Hispanic Americans used mental health services at about one-half the rate of Caucasian Americans in the past year and Asian Americans at about one-third the rate.13
  • Half of all chronic mental illness begins by age 14; three-quarters by age 24. Despite effective treatment, there are long delays—sometimes decades—between the first appearance of symptoms and when people get help.14

Consequences of Lack of Treatment

  • Serious mental illness costs America $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year.15
  • Mood disorders, including major depression, dysthymic disorder and bipolar disorder, are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for both youth and adults aged 18–44.16
  • Individuals living with serious mental illness face an increased risk of having chronic medical conditions.17 Adults in the U.S. living with serious mental illness die on average 25 years earlier than others, largely due to treatable medical conditions.18
  • Over one-third (37%) of students with a mental health condition age 14­–21 and older who are served by special education drop out—the highest dropout rate of any disability group.19
  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.,20 the 3rd leading cause of death for people aged 10–2421 and the 2nd leading cause of death for people aged 15–24.22
  • More than 90% of children who die by suicide have a mental health condition.23
  • Each day an estimated 18-22 veterans die by suicide.24

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, you can call Crisis Services of Erie County at 716-834-3131 or the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255.

Call BryLin at 716-886-8200 for more information on suicide prevention, crisis prevention, and mental health treatment in Buffalo.


  1. Any Mental Illness (AMI) Among Adults. (n.d.). Retrieved October 23, 2015, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/any-mental-illness-ami-among-adults.shtml
  2. Serious Mental Illness (SMI) Among Adults. (n.d.). Retrieved October 23, 2015, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/serious-mental-illness-smi-among-us-adults.shtml
  3. Any Disorder Among Children. (n.d.) Retrieved January 16, 2015, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/any-disorder-among-children.shtml
  1. Schizophrenia. (n.d.). Retrieved January 16, 2015, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/schizophrenia.shtml
  2. Bipolar Disorder Among Adults. (n.d.). Retrieved January 16, 2015, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/bipolar-disorder-among-adults.shtml
  3. Major Depression Among Adults. (n.d.). Retrieved January 16, 2015, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/major-depression-among-adults.shtml
  4. Any Anxiety Disorder Among Adults. (n.d.). Retrieved January 16, 2015, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/any-anxiety-disorder-among-adults.shtml
  5. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Mental Health Findings, NSDUH Series H-50, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 15-4927. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2015). Retrieved October 27, 2015 from http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-FRR1-2014/NSDUH-FRR1-2014.pdf
  6. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Community Planning and Development. (2011). The 2010 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress. Retrieved January 16, 2015, from https://www.hudexchange.info/resources/documents/2010HomelessAssessmentReport.pdf
  7. Glaze, L.E. & James, D.J. (2006). Mental Health Problems of Prison and Jail Inmates. Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report. U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs Washington, D.C. Retrieved March 5, 2013, from http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/mhppji.pdf
  8. National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice. (2007). Blueprint for Change: A Comprehensive Model for the Identification and Treatment of Youth with Mental Health Needs in Contact with the Juvenile Justice System. Delmar, N.Y: Skowyra, K.R. & Cocozza, J.J. Retrieved January 16, 2015, from http://www.ncmhjj.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/2007_Blueprint-for-Change-Full-Report.pdf
  9. Use of Mental Health Services and Treatment Among Children. (n.d.). Retrieved January 16, 2015, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/use-of-mental-health-services-and-treatment-among-children.shtml
  10. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (2010). 2010 National Healthcare Disparities Report. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. Retrieved January 2013, from http://www.ahrq.gov/research/findings/nhqrdr/nhdr10/index.html.
  11. Kessler, R.C., et al. (2005). Prevalence, Severity, and Comorbidity of 12-Month DSM-IV Disorders in the National Comorbitity Survey Replication. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62(6), 593–602. Retrieved January 16, 2015, from http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=208671
  12. Insel, T.R. (2008). Assessing the Economic Costs of Serious Mental Illness. The American Journal of Psychiatry. 165(6), 663-665
  13. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, The Department of Health & Human Services. (2009). HCUP Facts and Figures: Statistics on Hospital-based Care in the United States, 2009. Retrieved January 16, 2015, from http://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/factsandfigures/2009/pdfs/FF_report_2009.pdf
  14. Colton, C.W. & Manderscheid, R.W. (2006). Congruencies in Increased Mortality Rates, Years of Potential Life Lost, and Causes of Death Among Public Mental Health Clients in Eight States. Preventing Chronic Disease: Public Health Research, Practice and Policy, 3(2), 1–14. Retrieved January 16, 2015, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1563985/
  15. National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors Council. (2006). Morbidity and Mortality in People with Serious Mental Illness. Alexandria, VA: Parks, J., et al. Retrieved January 16, 2015 from http://www.nasmhpd.org/docs/publications/MDCdocs/Mortality%20and%20Morbidity%20Final%20Report%208.18.08.pdf
  16. U.S. Department of Education. (2014). 35th Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 2013. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved January 16, 2015, from http://www2.ed.gov/about/reports/annual/osep/2013/parts-b-c/35th-idea-arc.pdf
  17. Suicide Facts at a Glance 2015 (n.d.). Retrieved October 23, 2015, from http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/suicide-datasheet-a.pdf
  18. Suicide Prevention. (2014, January 9). Retrieved March 24, 2015, from http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pub/youth_suicide.html
  19. U.S.A. Suicide: 2013 Official Final Data. (2015, January 22). Retrieved March 24, 2015, from http://www.suicidology.org/Portals/14/docs/Resources/FactSheets/2013datapgsv2alt.pdf
  20. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (1999). Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services, National Institute of Mental Health. Retrieved January 16, 2015, from http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/ps/access/NNBBJC.pdf
  21. U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Mental Health Services Suicide Prevention Program. (2012). Suicide Data Report, 2012. Kemp, J. & Bossarte, R. Retrieved January 16, 2015, from http://www.va.gov/opa/docs/Suicide-Data-Report-2012-final.pdf

– See more at: https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-By-the-Numbers?utm_source=awareness&utm_medium=website&utm_campaign=intoMH#sthash.AfUCRYBB.dpuf

8 Ways Carrie Fisher Shed a Light on Mental Illness and Stigma

This article originally appeared on Health.com.

Carrie Fisher may be most well-known for playing Star Wars’ Princess Leia, but she was a superheroine in real life too. The actress and author, who died Tuesday at the age of 60 after suffering a cardiac arrest, battled relentlessly against the stigma, and to raise awareness for the need for treatment.

Fisher was diagnosed at age 29 with bipolar disorder, an illness characterized by episodes of depression and mania. Throughout her life, she used her trademark humor and candor to shed light on the condition, and convey the powerful, life-changing message that there is no shame in a mental health diagnosis.

In honor of Fisher’s legacy, here are just a few of the times she spoke out and inspired us all.

On owning your diagnosis

 “I am mentally ill. I can say that. I am not ashamed of that. I survived that, I’m still surviving it, but bring it on. Better me than you.” —December 2000, in an interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC’s Prime Time Thursday

On the courage that mental illness requires

“One of the things that baffles me (and there are quite a few) is how there can be so much lingering stigma with regards to mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder. In my opinion, living with manic depression takes a tremendous amount of balls. Not unlike a tour of Afghanistan (though the bombs and bullets, in this case, come from the inside). At times, being bipolar can be an all-consuming challenge, requiring a lot of stamina and even more courage, so if you’re living with this illness and functioning at all, it’s something to be proud of, not ashamed of. They should issue medals along with the steady stream of medication.” — Wishful Drinking, her 2008 memoir about her mental illness and prescription drug addiction

On finding the humor

“I thought I would inaugurate a Bipolar Pride Day. You know, with floats and parades and stuff! On the floats we would get the depressives, and they wouldn’t even have to leave their beds—we’d just roll their beds out of their houses, and they could continue staring off miserably into space. And then for the manics, we’d have the manic marching band, with manics laughing and talking and shopping and f***ing and making bad judgment calls.” — Wishful Drinking

On surviving a severe manic episode

“I don’t really remember what I did. I haven’t watched the videos that people took. I know it got bad. I was in a very severe manic state, which bordered on psychosis. Certainly delusional. I wasn’t clear what was going on. I was just trying to survive. There are different versions of a manic state, and normally they’re not as extreme as this became. I’ve only had this happen one other time, 15 years ago, so I didn’t have a plan of action.” —September 2013, in an interview with People about the bipolar episode she had while headlining a Caribbean cruise

On chasing your dreams, despite your diagnosis

“Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.” ―April 2013, in an interview with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune

On why getting help is crucial

“Without medication I would not be able to function in this world. Medication has made me a good mother, a good friend, a good daughter.” —February 2001, at a rally in Indianapolis for increased state funding for mental illness and addiction treatment

On how to help a loved one with bipolar

“If you feel like your child or friend or spouse is showing signs of this illness, if you can get them in touch with somebody else they can talk to and share their experience with and not just feel like they’re being told they’re ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ or ‘stupid,’ then they can relate somehow.” —November 2004, in an interview with bp Magazine

On summoning courage

“We have been given a challenging illness, and there is no other option than to meet those challenges. Think of it as an opportunity to be heroic—not ‘I survived living in Mosul during an attack’ heroic, but an emotional survival. An opportunity to be a good example to others who might share our disorder.” —November 2016, in her Guardian advice column, “Ask Carrie Fisher

A Hopeful Solution..But Not a Saving Grace

A Hopeful Solution…But not a Saving Grace-Narcan: “Not a Morning After Pill”


The usage of Naloxone, or Narcan, an injectable opiate antagonist has risen with the rise in opiate related overdoses and substance abuse in Buffalo and WNY.  Training on how to administer the reactionary  measure to avoid death in the event of an overdose has been being offered to those beyond first responders such as EMTs, Police, and firefighters.

Due to the opiate epidemic in our region and nationwide,  those working in substance abuse treatment and addiction help, nurses, medical professionals, and even the general interested public are being made aware of how to successfully prevent death in the event of overdose.

Awareness of Naloxone is rising, and so is success. Narcan has brought positive attention to a very grim situation. Overdose revivals and saves are becoming more prevalent, but unfortunately the root of the problem sometimes overpowers the solution. A local Buffalo NY firefighter and first responder was sad to say how there is a certain misconception about Narcan that needs to be avoided.

“It’s not a morning after pill.”

Because time is so precious in the moments following an opiate overdose, Narcan is only successful if administered in a timely response. In some scenarios, emergency services are not contacted fast enough. Narcan can save someone from dying, but it doesn’t solve the problem at its source.

Drug Abuse Prevention and Addiction support are the most important factors in helping to solve this problem. If you or someone you know  in Buffalo or WNY suspects a problem with  addiction or substance abuse, please contact BryLin Outpatient Substance Abuse Clinic  at (716) 633-1927 for information on addiction treatment and help with opiate addiction.

addiction help buffalo addiction support buffalo

The Opiate Epidemic

Opiate Epidemic in All Communities Across Western New York


You can’t turn on the television or open a newspaper without hearing something about the opiate epidemic. According to county health officials, Erie County was on pace to record twice as many opiate related deaths in 2015 compared to 2014 data, when there were 128 fatal overdoses.

The Buffalo News reported back on February 9th that there was a deadly batch of heroin that had killed 23 people over an 11 day period. At that time, opiate-related deaths in Erie County for 2015 were expected to hit 264, possibly 300, when all of the toxicology tests were completed for the year.

See the full story in the Buffalo News │ Deadly batch of heroin has killed 23 in Erie County since Jan. 29

In the first 10 days of March of this year, heroin and other opiates are believed to have claimed as many as 10 lives in Buffalo. “We are at epidemic levels and there is no end in sight,” Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda said Thursday. “Sadly, it is probably going to get much worse before it gets better.”

See the full story in the Buffalo News │Buffalo records 10 heroin deaths in first 10 days of March

I think everyone would agree that something needs to be done to help these people who are struggling, many of whom are very young, from overdosing and dying. What can be done? Where can these people go for help? Unfortunately, one of the biggest barriers to people getting the treatment they need is themselves.

How do you get a loved one into treatment during this opiate epidemic?

When people are in the throes of addiction, especially opiate addiction, their world view becomes very small. Their world becomes surrounded by using, thinking about using, obtaining means to be able to use, going to buy the drugs to use, and how to avoid withdrawal, pain, and emotions at all costs. When all of your time and energy is consumed with this world, the world of addiction, you lose sight of all the other things that are right there in front of you like a supportive family/friends, treatment, help and hope.  The new normal becomes darkness without the ability to see light.

Here is some perspective from the addicted person’s point of view. When we tell someone that they need to get help, what are we really saying?  We are telling them to give up the world they know; the world where they feel “normal”. We are telling them to give up every facet of how they spend their day and to do it while being very uncomfortable and experiencing physical and emotional pain.

Think about that for a moment. Let’s look at our own day-to-day life and how we spend our time.  Now, imagine someone is telling you, ‘everything you have been doing is wrong and you can’t do any of those things anymore, just stop it’.  Do you feel you would be able to do that?  Would it be easy? Of course not! When we tell someone who is addicted that they have to stop doing the only thing they know, is it any surprise that they are resistant and scared?

The reality is, we cannot force anyone to accept treatment and recovery. The addicted person needs to make that challenging and scary decision themselves. That decision is to give up their way of life, as they know it, in the hopes that there is a better life waiting for them.

Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment In the Heart of Williamsville 

When that addicted person is ready to accept help, BryLin’s Behavioral Health Center has an Outpatient Substance Abuse Clinic that offers outpatient treatment for adolescents and adults at 531 Farber Lakes Drive in Williamsville. One of the unique programs offered at the clinic is free. It’s our FREE Family Group which run every Monday from 6-7pm. The setting is designed to be educational and supportive for adult family members, and concerned others, who may have a loved one dealing with addiction. This is a group run by a licensed professional and is tailored to the needs of those in attendance. Please contact us for more information.

So how do you help someone make the decision to give treatment and recovery a try?  Help them to see that their new “normal” is not their normal; that their lives were much different before their addiction and that world is still there. Help them to see beyond their small world view and show them hope. Don’t shield them from the consequences caused by their addiction. Don’t enter the world of addiction with them.  Stay in your world and keep reaching out to them, show them the path back to join you and a life free of addiction.


Jennifer Seib, LMHC, CASAC

Clinical Director of Outpatient Services

BryLin Behavioral Health System

Fatal Shooting by Cheektowaga Police Officer Suspected “Suicide by Cop”

Friends Explain Suspect’s History of Alcohol Abuse, Mental Health Struggles

The Cheektowaga Police Department were notified on the night of March 5 that a man with a stolen handgun may be in the Cheektowaga area. The man was identified to be Darrell Bosell, 34, who was accused of having a .45 caliber handgun, a magazine with 8 rounds, and 30 additional rounds.

Cheektowaga Police officers were able to track Bosell to the Best Western hotel on Genesee St., right across from the Buffalo Niagara airport. According to surveillance video released by the Cheektowaga Police, he had been drinking the entire day.

suicide prevention, alcohol abuse, depression treatment

Crime Scene Photo Of Gun Pointed at Officer by Bosell

Around 10:58pm, hotel security cameras showed Bosell exiting his hotel room with a gun in his hand. He was looking up and down the hall before exiting his hotel room door. He was heading towards the stairs, passing another hotel guest on the way who saw the gun in his hand. He exited the building through the stairs, entering into the parking lot.

As Bosell was walking across the parking lot, an officer was driving into the parking lot. Dashcam footage showed Bosell walking in front of the car’s hood. The officer spotted Bosell and tried to confront him. According to the officer, Bosell expressed aggressive behavior. Bosell saw the officer and aimed his gun at the police officer. To defend himself, the officer shot Bosell twice.

Bosell was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital, where he died from his injuries shortly after the incident.

According to an article from the Buffalo News, those close to Bosell had a history of alcoholism and struggled with mental illness. Friends of the man talked to the news about how “when he was sober, he was one of the kindest and most thoughtful people in his hometown, but when he drank in excess, which was often the case, he became a different person, one who could be dangerous to himself and others.”

One close friend in particular, Chris Hoffman, claimed he believed that Bosell had intentions of being shot by police. He and other heartbroken friends suspected this could have been an example of “suicide by cop.”

“I never thought he would do something like that. He must have wanted the cop to kill him,”

Hoffman went on to talk about how Bosell’s struggle with alcohol had been going on for a few years, which probably led to problems with depression, affecting himself, friends, and family. He was described as a generous man with a great heart who would help he and his family out with anything they needed, but it was clear that alcohol was taking it’s toll. He told the news that on numerous occasions he had heart-to-heart talks with Bosell, urging him to stop drinking,

“But whenever he showed up, he had a plastic cup filled with alcohol,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman told the News that Bosell had sought help to battle with his depression, having gone to a hospital to get on medicine for depression, but had stopped because he couldn’t afford the medicine.

See the Full Story from the Buffalo News | Man killed by police officer in Cheektowaga was troubled

This is yet another sad example of how abusing alcohol can lead to serious depression and worsen any existing mental health problems. So often we see individuals try to replace feelings of depression with alcohol and drugs, and it must be said that this never helps. Abusing alcohol and drugs only worsens the internal struggle of the individual and could lead to thoughts of suicide and in worst cases, like Bosell’s, a feeling of hopelessness that can become fatal.

If you or anyone you know is having thoughts of suicide, needs help with alcoholism, depression treatment, or just needs to talk to someone, please call or contact BryLin. It could mean saving someone’s life.

Heroin Epidemic Hits Buffalo Police Dept.

26 Year Old Officer Overdoses in South Buffalo


Just a week after Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz issued an emergency warning stating that heroin going around is laced with fentanyl, a 2 year member of the Buffalo Police Dept. overdosed while off duty.

The same men trying to help keep this deadly batch off the streets were forced to respond to one of their own last week, saving their comrade’s life with at least 2 doses of Narcan. Luckily the officer survived the overdose because of the quick response by first responders.

The heroin epidemic has climbed to almost 400 deaths in Erie county in just 2 years. Many believe that the amount of overdoses and deaths are caused by 2 factors, a deadly mix of heroin and fentanyl, and the abilities of Narcan to save someone in the event of an overdose.

“Addicts will go out looking for this bad dope. Then they will sit around with Narcan looking to wake a friend up if he goes unconscious. It’s insanity but it is true.” said an officer in an interview with The Buffalo News.

Though Narcan has saved lives, it is not a solution to the problem of substance abuse. Only through addiction treatment can someone cure this disease. Anyone can fall victim to opiate and heroin addiction, as the reality of a police officer using while off duty shows.

WGRZ reported Mayor Byron Brown’s stance on the epidemic facing WNY, and to avoid the common stigma attached to drug addiction.

Just in any setting, any situation, any business, any family….things occur, and when things occur in city government, they’re addressed immediately, and the proper steps and actions are taken,” Brown said.

Seek Addiction Treatment.

Those suffering from addiction need treatment as anyone with a disease does. Addicts can’t be looked down upon or excommunicated from society. They can recover with help. It was not reported whether or not the officer who od’d on heroin would be terminated, but Brown indicated that “city employees have the chance to acknowledge a substance abuse problem and enter an employee assistance program.”

If you know someone who may be showing signs of opiate or heroin use, please contact BryLin about substance abuse treatment. Addiction can be kept under control with the benefits of therapy and guidance, but is a disease that can turn worse and worse, until it’s too late. With the deadly substances going around – believed to be as much as 50% more potent than heroin – it is becoming the only option.