Statement from City Councilwoman Molly Clifford and Monroe County Legislator James Sheppard on "Facing Addiction" Announcement

We are both very pleased and grateful that Rochester has been chosen as one of 15 pilot cities from across the country by the national not-for-profit "Facing Addiction." Facing Addiction seeks to reform the public response to the addiction crisis via grassroots-driven campaign strategies.

As representatives on the Rochester City Council and the Monroe County Legislature, we have been working on stemming the shocking rise in drug addiction in Rochester. Nationally, one in every three homes is impacted by alcohol and drug addiction of some form. While the problem has grown exponentially, the response has not. We needed to take action and a leadership role in combating this plague of addiction.

Last year, we became active with the Monroe County Opioid Task Force, and sponsored community Narcan trainings to teach outreach workers, neighborhood activists and family members how to treat opioid overdoses until emergency responders arrive.  Along the way, we have met many terrific people from dozens of agencies who are working hard to fight addiction and support people in recovery. Among them were Carlee Hulsizer, David Attridge and the folks from RecoveryNowNY, who we joined to apply for this program. 

But being named a pilot city means our work is just beginning. In the weeks and months ahead, we will work to gather resources, strategize grassroots efforts, and bring greater awareness to the crippling addiction crisis. This is about our future, our families and our city.