Sen. Seward to host forum on NY heroin epidemic

ALBANY, N.Y. — State Sen. Jim Seward, a member of the Joint Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction, will host a roundtable discussion with local health care professionals, addiction experts and law enforcement officials on Tuesday, Feb. 23 at SUNY Oneonta.

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The co-chairmen of the task force, Senator George A. Amedore, Jr., Senator Terrence Murphy, and a representative for Senator Robert Ortt will also take part in the forum aimed at gathering input from the community on the heroin epidemic in New York State.

This will be a follow up to a similar task force hearing held in 2014 in Oneonta. The testimony from the 2014 hearings across the state has been used in the creation of new state laws meant to improve treatment, education, prevention and aid for law enforcement officials.

“This will be an opportunity to review what is working in our communities and identify gaps in service as we explore additional measures to contend with this public health crisis,” Sen. Seward said in a press release.

The rise in heroin use has been partially attributed to the crackdown on the prescription drug black market. According to a 2013 report commissioned by the New York State Senate on heroin addiction- new tracking programs have made it harder to access prescription drugs–making heroin a viable substitute for those with opioid addiction.

The first in the series of statewide forums will take place from noon to 2 p.m. at SUNY Oneonta's Hunt Union Ballroom. The event is open to the public and will be available to watch live online.

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