Wednesday, March 04, 2015 - 10:16:07 AM

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Officials Analyze Heroin Use

It's been in the headlines and unfortunately, in the lives of too many in the community - it's the heroin epidemic.

Wednesday in Owego hundreds who deal with clients who may be users tried to find ways to curb the rising use of the drug. The speaker from the Upstate New York Poison Center says two reasons heroin use is on the rise is that the price of the drug has plummeted to compete with synthetic drugs. And it's also less expensive than prescription drugs, especially pain killers people may have become dependent on.

"Every day you read about or know someone, whether it's a friend, or relative, or neighbor who has had some type of run-in with heroin, whether it's an overdose or has actually died from heroin use," said Heather Morgan, Public Health Educator at the Tioga County Health Department.

"There seems to be this strong desire right now toward escapism - what can we do to ease the pain? So I think you have to focus on what's causing the pain in our society to begin with. Secondly, we have to get them into treatment. If you have a family member who is showing signs of addiction or verbalizing it, they need to get into treatment," said Michelle Caliva, Administrative Director at Upstate New York Poison Center.

Caliva says signs of heroin use can include a disinterest in keeping up appearances, more absences from work or school, and even stealing from family and friends to support the habit. She says it takes long-term, committed inpatient and outpatient care to overcome the addiction.



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