Advocates call for immediate action to end growing heroin epidem - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Advocates call for immediate action to end growing heroin epidemic

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ALBANY, N.Y. – Organizations and advocates came together in the Capitol Tuesday, calling for immediate action to put an end to the growing heroin and prescription drug epidemic they say is sweeping the state.

The use of heroin has become such an epidemic throughout the state, the New York Association of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers, also known as ASAP, brought different groups of people together on Tuesday to take decisive action against the deadly drug. 

ASAP's annual advocacy day event was held at the Legislative Office Building. The meeting brings treatment providers from across the state to the Capitol to discuss how to fight heroin through stronger prevention, treatment and recovery efforts.

Executive Director of ASAP John Coppola said the need for opiates is out of control. He wants New York's strongest voices to speak up and tackle the issue head on.

Locally, Albany County Sheriff, Craig Apple realizes the magnitude of the war against heroin, but he says the answer is not simply arresting low-level abusers.

Between 1990 and 2010, the number of consumers using prescription opiates has increased from 5 million to 45 million, according to Coppola. He said the numbers suggest a problem with addictive medication.

The problem comes when people can no longer fill the prescription and they are still looking for the euphoric feeling, which causes some to turn to heroin.

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