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Trying to Halt the Heroin Epidemic

By Fox 40 Staff.
Officials say about 13-percent of people in Broome County suffer from substance use disorders. This led to 39 overdose deaths in 2014 alone.

Monday officials gathered at the Tri-Cities Opera Center in Binghamton to try to lower those numbers. They say this can be done by increasing rehab capacity and insurance options for rehab stays. They also say decreasing the stigma associated with addiction will encourage more people to get help.

Attendees wore silver ribbons as part of Overdose Awareness Day.
Penny Stringfield organized the event and lost a son to heroin. She says it's important to start taking action.

"If we all work together, we can do something. Instead of continuously saying, 'Oh yes we realize this is a terrible epidemic in our community, but there's really nothing we can do about it.' I have heard that many times from people, but I think anytime a group of people who really care and really want to make a difference get together, then we can make a difference," said Addiction Center of Broome County Board Member Penny Stringfield.

Several events will be held throughout september which is National Recovery Month in Broome County. These includes discussions, awareness through art displays and an open house at the Broome County Addiction Center.