addiction

Why heroin is back

Jul 18, 2014

Heroin is the latest drug that is wreaking havoc in central and northern New York, and around the country. At a recent WRVO community health forum, WRVO a panel of regional experts discussed why so many people are becoming addicted to heroin and other opiates and what can be done about it.

As Brad Finn, the executive director of the Prevention Network in Syracuse says, heroin has always been around.

“Heroin when it came back recently is much more pure and it’s much less expensive than ever before.”

The New York State Gaming Commission is holding hearings on the issue of gambling addiction. It’s part of a process that will allow the building of up to seven new casino gambling resorts in the state over the next several years.

Among those testifying was James Maney, the executive director of the New York Council on Problem Gambling.

Maney, who’s organization is neither for or against gambling, says there’s no doubt the new casinos will increase the number of problem gamblers in New York.   

Last week the Food and Drug Administration approved a prescription device that can inject a fast acting antidote to heroin and other opioid drugs. It’s the latest response to a surge in opioid abuse. Heroin use has doubled between 2007 and 2012, and it’s no longer just an urban street drug; it’s now common in small town America.

For almost 40 of his 54 years, Jerry Jones has done drugs.

"At an early age, started with pot, drinking," Jones said. "It wasn't long after that where I started using other drugs, cocaine, speed, acid. I've done every drug under the sun."

Now that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is taking steps to move ahead with the legalization of medical marijuana in New York state, there are some who are urging caution. The concern comes from experts who deal with drug addictions every day.

During his State of the State address earlier this week, Cuomo said he would enact a plan allowing 20 hospitals to dispense medical marijuana to those suffering from cancer and other ailments.

New Yorkers have a chance to vote this November on whether there should be more gambling in the state.  Those who treat people with gambling addictions say it will likely result in more problem gamblers.

The New York Council on Problem Gambling is a not for profit, affiliated with the state agency on alcohol and drug abuse. It coordinates and publicizes treatments for New Yorkers with gambling addictions.

The deaths of two homeless people in Syracuse in the last week has put the spotlight on the people who live under bridges and overpasses of central New York. A memorial service for a woman who was found unconscious, and who later died, ended with calls for patience and help for the homeless.