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Hundreds Attend Conference at BU on Drug Use in Upstate New York

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Binghamton University’s Institute for Social Justice and Well-Being teamed up with the Drug Policy Alliance for an all-day conference Friday on drug use in Upstate New York.

“Drug Use in Upstate New York: Strategies for Change and Reducing Harms” brought together members of the medical field, drug experts, recovering addicts, and community members to learn from one another about the problems surrounding drug abuse.

“It’s about expanding services for folks who are still using, finding ways to incorporate the whole continuum of care for people who use drugs, and to make sure that every county and every community has access to all of them.” - Sheila Vakharia, Policy Manager at Drug Policy Alliance

Topics discussed included how to reduce harm in non-urban areas, strategies for moving local policy change forward, and the role of the criminal justice system.

“The overdose crisis is happening throughout New York State, and we really want the interventions and responses to be based in local strategies, and really have the space for different communities to come together and talk about what they’re actually saying and figure out if we can come up with solutions and strategies that work for communities.” - Cassandra Frederique, NYS Director at Drug Policy Alliance

Nearly 200 people attended the conference and broke out into small groups to strategize how to help people who abuse drugs in their community.