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Overdose Prevention Task Force

Stay alive – test your drugs for fentanyl

Get free fentanyl test strips, xylazine test strips, and naloxone/Narcan:


Call 716-858-7695


Text 716-225-5473

Please allow 5-7 business days for above orders to be processed.

24-hour addiction hotline: 716-831-7007

75% of opioid related deaths in Erie County in 2023 involved cocaine mixed with fentanyl.

Established in 2016 under the name of the Erie County Opiate Epidemic Task Force through the Executive Order 14, the group reorganized in early 2024 as the Erie County Overdose Prevention Task Force (OPTF).

The Erie County OPTF provides a framework for organizations and individuals to collaborate, develop and implement best practices that build stronger clinical and community supports for people with substance use disorder, people who use drugs, and their families, and advocate for policies and systems changes that will save lives and prevent overdose deaths.

Quarterly meetings and regular workgroup sessions provide forums for data reporting and information sharing, planning and highlighting successful initiatives.

Click on image for a printable PDF version

Overdose Prevention Task Force Committees

The Overdose Prevention Task Force has five (5) committees that work collaboratively to support the community with interventions and public health strategies to reduce overdose and overdose fatalities. The committees’ co-chairs work cooperatively with each other to reduce duplication in efforts and as a method to offer the broader community support to reduce overdose.

1. First Responders

  • Law enforcement, volunteer and professional fire departments and ambulance services.
  • Co-chairs: Valentine Zimniewicz and Kenneth Peterson

2. Education, Advocacy and Support

  • Community advocates, community groups, consumers and family members that are engaged in promoting initiatives and strategies to reduce overdose.
  • Co- chairs: Barbara Burns and Kenneth Gaston

3. Healthcare Providers

  • Hospitalist, primary care providers, emergency medicine, OB/GYNs, community healthcare providers and others in the medical community
  • Co-Chairs: Dr. Gale Burstein and Dr. Jeffery Lach

4. Harm Reduction

  • Professionals, peer Navigators and community health workers who educate and advocate for access to harm reduction supplies, messaging and strategies
  • Co-Chairs: Jennifer Garrigan and Rebekka Lip

5. Treatment Providers

  • Representatives from Treatment agencies who work directly with people with substance use disorders. 
  • Co-Chairs: Julianna Everdyke and Jen Seib

Task Force Quarterly Meeting Committee Presentations 

Related Information 


Phone: (716) 858-2958