Tragedy and Hope: Stories of Painkiller Addiction Educator Resources

In the last ten years, addiction to painkiller medications and prescriptions has increased 400% and taken hold in our communities. Every 19 minutes in our country, we lose a person to opiate addiction, which is no different than taking heroin.

WNED-TV’s production, Tragedy & Hope Stories of Painkiller Addiction, shares the experiences of young people from Western New York who are struggling with addiction recovery. Most of the young people are making progress towards wellness and they discuss their long term fight for recovery; others have not been as fortunate. By utilizing their personal stories backed by addiction treatment specialists, researchers and parent insights, the hope is to raise awareness and advocacy for this serious epidemic in our community. Prescription painkiller addiction has no gender, race, or social status symbolism; it can affect anyone, at any age.

Thank you for taking time to learn about this project and be willing to use these resources to make a difference in the lives of our youth. Our hope is that these materials bring awareness to this topic and offer resources for those who may find themselves caught between prescription painkiller addiction and a path to wellness. An essential part of combating this recent epidemic is awareness and education. The earlier children learn of the dangers of this kind of addiction the better.

The resources are intended to supplement the program. They are designed for a range of audiences including middle through high school students and those who come in contact with young people. The lessons and activities were created with the intent of showing all or some of the accompanying program Tragedy and Hope Stories of Painkiller Addiction. Although each set of materials has been designated for a specific audience, they were created with the understanding that they may be adapted as needed. Educators in grades 6-12 are encouraged to adopt them as they are presented in this guide, but they can be easily integrated as segments that may compliment their current subject matter content, levels of complexity, and curriculum.


Myth or Fact (grades 6-12) (whole lesson PDF)

Learning about Opioids (grades 6-12)(whole lesson PDF)

The Cycle of Addiction (grades 9-12)(whole lesson PDF)

Contemplating Nature vs. Nurture (grades 6-12)(whole lesson PDF)

Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness Campaign (grades 9-12)(whole lesson PDF)

The Brain on Autopilot (grades 9-12)(whole lesson PDF)

Decisions and Consequences (grades 9-12)(whole lesson PDF)

Commitment to Recovery (grades 9-12)(whole lesson PDF)


Download the entire Educator's Guide




Additional resources:




WNED|WBFO and The Buffalo News are collaborating to present a series of in-depth, individual interviews with candidates for the Buffalo Board of Education.  This year’s election has attracted significant interest from the community with over a dozen candidates expressing interest in the race.  The Buffalo Public School District is under pressure to improve failing schools and boost its graduation rates. It is one of the most contentious times for school leadership, as Schools Superintendent Pamela Brown faces intense criticism from stakeholders, overseeing 34,000 school students. The outcome of the Buffalo School Board election could change the balance of power and determine the fate of Superintendent Brown’s leadership.
The upcoming May 6 election is for the three Member at Large seats.  Each is for a five-year term. For more information about voting and upcoming elections, visit the Erie County Board of Elections website at

The candidate interviews were conducted by the following WBFO and The Buffalo News reporters:

Eileen Buckley
Senior Education Reporter

Tiffany Lankes
Education Reporter
The Buffalo News
Deidre Williams
Education Reporter
The Buffalo News

Mary Pasciak
Education Reporter
The Buffalo News
Sandra Tan
Education Reporter
The Buffalo News


The program will air on WNED-TV leading up to the election and the interview segments will be available on and

Listen to the interviews.


WNED-TV airdates:

Friday, May 2 from  8 – 10 p.m. 
Sunday, May 4 from 2 – 4 p.m.
Sunday, May 4 from 11 p.m. – 1 a.m.


Funding for this program has been made possible in part by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Published in Outreach & Education
Sunday, 22 December 2013 00:00

Making A Difference

In January of 2014, WNED | WBFO Buffalo-Toronto launched an initiative to recognize everyday citizens of Western New York who are committed to making a positive impact in their communities. “Making a Difference” was created to capture the stories of true champions who dedicate their time to worthy causes, emphasize the importance of volunteerism and encourage others to step in and lend a helping hand. The response was overwhelming, as over 300 nominations were received for this recognition. 

“Making a Difference,” aired Monday, February 2 on WNED-TV, and highlights eight very deserving individuals. Radio spotlights will also air throughout February on WBFO-FM 88.7.

Watch the whole program


“Making a Difference” is funded in part by First Niagara Foundation, a not-for-profit charitable foundation committed to supporting organizations that make a difference in our communities.

Aaron Bartley, Co-Founder of PUSH Buffalo (People United for Sustainable Housing) has long been a supporter of Buffalo. “You know, I think Buffalo is a city that you can really, um, romanticize and fall in love with.” He says. Even though he spent some years exploring other areas of the country, the Queen city – and a specific area kept calling him back. Why? The people needed his help. Read more


Sister Janet DiPasquale finds joy and fulfillment in helping young homeless teenage girls by running a program called TRY, or Teaching and Restoring Youth. Standing all of 5 feet tall, this tiny woman exudes a no-nonsense attitude combined with enormous spirit. She’s a woman whose purpose is to help those in need, and in her words, considers it a calling. Read more

Dr. Myron Glick has always believed in the power of family medicine, and what he can do as a family physician to help transform lives, especially the lives of the most vulnerable.  Having grown up in Central America, he imagined traveling back after attending medical school at the University at Buffalo.  Instead, there was undeniable need right here in Western New York. Read more


Ken and Kim Hansen of West Seneca, New York were devastated by the loss of their daughter Amanda due to carbon monoxide poisoning in 2009. While she was staying overnight at a friend’s home, a faulty boiler released deadly gas into the air. This tragedy has changed their lives forever, but ken has found a way to help others through his grief. Read more

Former NBA player Willie “Hutch” Jones, “Hutch” as he is better known, is one of those special Buffalonians who left to see the world, and returned more determined than ever to use his talents to help young people.  After enjoying a basketball career both here and overseas, Buffalo was calling him home. Read more


Greg is one tough kid with a really big heart.  Very early in his life, he was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis - a condition presents itself as tumors throughout the inside and outside of his body. Greg is now 13 years old and the largest encompasses his entire right leg. Read more


John Mika, a retired auto worker at GM for 30 years, went back to school and received his teaching degree. His hope was to begin a hybrid retirement as a substitute teacher. Upon entering classrooms throughout Western New York, and particularly in the city of Buffalo, John realized students and teachers were lacking basic supplies. He felt moved to find an answer to this problem. Read more


MarCe Zerrate, a native of Colombia, fled her country in 1999 in search of a safer and happy life in the United States.  Now, the Queen City is home – and MarCe dedicates much of her time celebrating cultural diversity by educating others about her own Colombian heritage. Read more


Learn how you can make a diference here.


Funding for  provided by
Published in WNED-FM Productions
Monday, 18 November 2013 20:39

Productions Landing Page

Published in Landing Pages

Follow regional wine trails, exploring history, natural beauty and quality wines along the way.

Published in Individual Shows