Forum on drug abuse and addiction held at local college - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Forum on drug abuse and addiction held at local college

Posted: Updated: March 11, 2014 11:37 AM

ALBANY, N.Y. - A forum looking to raise awareness of drug addiction and drug abuse was held Tuesday at the Albany College of Pharmacy.

The forum is a timely meeting, after Attorney General Eric Holder said the increase of deaths related to the drug is "Urgent and growing public health crisis."

Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple, who knows all too well about the heroin trend in the Capital Region, will be speaking at the event.

"You go down to NYC and get it for $4, $5, $6 a bag and come up here and sell it for $8, $9, $10 a bag," said Apple.

Last week, the Albany County Sheriff's Office seized more than 1,000 bags of heroin, a drug that's all too common with law enforcement.

"Unfortunately, last night we had an overdose right in the hill towns. It's far too regular now," explained Apple.

People are going to desperate measures to get their fix. On Monday, a Hillsdale man robbed a bank in Stockbridge Massachusetts. Christopher Blair, 35, admitted to police he was high at the time of the robbery and needed the cash to get his heroin.

In a video message, Attorney General Holder said that first responders should carry a drug with them that could reverse effects of an overdose. The administration says the number of overdose deaths involving heroin have increased by 45-percent between 2006 and 20-10.  

"Just our agency we had 16 attributed deaths, and that's a lot," said Apple.

Tuesday night's forum is at the Albany College of Pharmacy at 6 p.m. There will be speakers from the Addictions Care Center of Albany as well as the Albany County Sheriff's Office, plus several other local organizations to talk about the dangers and consequences of drug use.  

"We need to have resources in place to get these people help otherwise they go to jail, get back out, reoffend get back in or overdose. It seems like those are your two options, reoffend or overdose at this point," Apple said.

Other experts will address how the drug affects the brain, the rehabilitation process of treating the drug addiction and even hear personal stories from affected families and addicts and their road to recovery.


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