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Substance Abuse Expert Speaks about Importance of Prevention

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By Alex Howard (twitter:@alexhoward99).
Jill Alfred-Hammond, a Substance Abuse Prevention Program Coordinator from Lourdes Hospital spoke today at the Binghamton Rotary Club regarding the ongoing heroin and opioid problem. She said that prevention is most important when it comes to opiate abuse, especially with adolescents who may experiment with opioid painkillers, as they can often lead to dependence, leading addicts to seek stronger, more addictive drugs, such as heroin.

"Because pain was to be managed, that may have been construed that it was to be eradicated. What I would like to see this country and state do, is provide funding for prevention, because we know that prevention really does work, and it's a cost effective measure." said Jill, regarding the policies towards heroin abuse in New York.

She also spoke about Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick's idea for supervised heroin injection facility, which she said could provide a "safe space" to heroin addicts where they can be surpervised, have access to clean needles, and taper off of the drug over time. She also referred to similar programs in use abroad, such as in Vancouver, BC. 2014, there were 26 deaths from heroin overdoses in broome county, but in 2015 that number has fallen to 11.