Public forum about heroin, opioid addiction, held in Troy
TROY, N.Y. – The New York State Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction held a public forum in Troy.
The free public forum was held at Hudson Valley Community College from 9 a.m. until noon Wednesday.
The forum focused on overcoming addictions and featured a panel discussion with 17 elected officials, law enforcement, addiction and recovery specialists, healthcare professional and educators.
The event was in response to the growing heroin and opioid abuse problem in New York State and much of the Northeast. The panelists addressed the specifics of the heroin epidemic as it pertained to each member’s specific field, and the cause-and-effect relationship from one field to the next.
The forum was one of 14 that is serving as a think tank to combat the rise of the region’s most abused drug.
Senator Kathy Marchione was one of the lawmakers at the forum. She wanted to focus on how the government can help.
“With particular attention to say, ‘How can the state help?’ ‘What laws can we implement?’ ‘What laws might we need to change?’ ‘What money needs to go where in order to have a more effective handle?’” she said.
Panelists touched on various proposals such as more established addiction recovery programs within jail systems and a new approach to how doctors treat addicts as “disease-stricken” patients.
“I was very surprised to hear myself that doctors don’t want to treat addicts,” Marchione said. “I’m disappointed.”