FingerLakes1.com Forums
Topic Options
#1451220 --- 06/19/14 01:24 PM Ithaca's Heroin Epidemic
newsman38 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 4772
Loc: Fourth Estate
'No Question It's Gotten Worse': A Look Inside Ithaca's Heroin Epidemic

Bill Rusen, the chief executive officer of Cayuga Addiction Recovery Services (CARS), has seen a dramatic rise in numbers of heroin-addicted clients. CARS serves a 21-county region that includes all of New York State west of I-81.

His organization assembled statistics for their client population between 2007 and 2012. In 2007 only 13.4 percent of them checked in with heroin or opiates as their primary addiction. By 2012 heroin users accounted for 48.1 percent of their intake population, an increase of 35 percent. The SAMHSA national survey showed that first-time users of heroin increased from 373,00 in 2007 to 669,000 in 2012. With nearly half the clients now primarily involved with opiates, CARS also saw an increase in the portion of their population in the 19- to 25-year-old bracket; it rose from 20.9 to 36.9 percent between 2007 and 2012.

Clinical Director Michelle Ellis has seen the portion of her clientele at the Alcohol and Drug Council with heroin as primary substance of abuse at admission to outpatient treatment rise from 5 percent in 2008 to 19.3 percent (so far) in 2014. Clients who are injecting drugs (mostly heroin) increased from 6 percent to 18.2 percent between 2008 and halfway through 2014. (A small portion of her clients are snorting heroin.)
In response to the explosion of use, New York State recently added 100 officers to the state police drug units.

According to an investigator in the sheriff’s department, the Ithaca Police Department has three or four people focused on narcotics investigations. (The Ithaca Police Department has one sergeant and two investigators on the Special Investigations Unit; narcotics is only one of their responsibilities.) The entire investigative unit in the sheriff’s department—they don’t have a dedicated narcotics unit—consists of five investigators, one deputy, and a lieutenant.

The IPD, state police, and the sheriff’s department work together closely, starting early on in most investigations.

According to the sheriff’s investigator, “All of us have the same knowledge and training, but we need help handling the controlled buys; we need someone to observe and document it.” At the local level, drug investigations move forward through traffic stops that identify people as driving while under the influence and in possession. While this method catches users, sellers are tracked down through informants.

Also on the front lines of the drug war—but on the opposite side from the police—are the drug users themselves. One former heroin user, who asked to be identified only as Vicki, spoke about her observations of the increase in heroin use in the Ithaca area, saying, “Oh my god, it’s an epidemic. No question it has gotten worse.”

Another former user, Chelsey, concurred, adding that along with the increase in the number of users has come an increase in the number of overdose deaths. She said, “Probably two dozen people I know have overdosed and died in the past few years.”

Tish, also a local recovering heroin addict, also spoke about the increase in overdose deaths. Earlier this year, Tish was hospitalized for “40 plus days” for a Staphylococcus aureus infection resulting from her intravenous heroin use.

“While I was in the hospital, eight people overdosed and died. Some weren’t from this area, but about five of them were.”

Updated: 1:15 pm, Wed Jun 18, 2014.
By Keri Blakinge

Top
FingerLakes1.com
#1496363 --- 03/08/17 10:08 AM Re: Ithaca's Heroin Epidemic [Re: newsman38]
newsman38 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 4772
Loc: Fourth Estate
Ithaca Police: 8 Suspected Heroin Overdoses in 2 Weeks

The Ithaca Police Department issued a plea to heroin users on Tuesday, asking users of the opioid drug to reach out for treatment.

IPD has responded to eight calls for people suspected of overdosing on heroin in the last two weeks, Officer Jamie Williamson said in a statement.

Those eight calls included one death “where the possibility that the person overdosed on heroin is being explored,” Williamson said.

“If you are addicted to heroin or if you know someone is addicted to heroin, please reach out for help,” Chief John Barber said. “There are a multitude of addiction recovery services in the Ithaca area that can and will help you.”

Police are investigating the possibility that the overdoses are related, Williamson said, although he noted that it is too early to draw any conclusions about whether the overdoses are connected.

In 2014, Ithaca Police investigated the possibility that two heroin deaths within four days were caused by dealers lacing the drug with a foreign substance such as fentanyl.

Barber also asked that people contact the department if they have information that could potentially aid police in investigating the sale or use of heroin.

By Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs

Top
#1496400 --- 03/08/17 04:57 PM Re: Ithaca's Heroin Epidemic [Re: newsman38]
Teonan Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/30/12
Posts: 4563
Loc: West End

It's a national epidemic. Ithaca is hardly immune.

Legal opioids. The real deal gateway drug to street junk.

Thanks Big Pharma.



_________________________
"Everything that has ever happened to us is there to make us stronger."
-John Trudell


Top
#1496453 --- 03/09/17 02:48 PM Re: Ithaca's Heroin Epidemic [Re: Teonan]
newsman38 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 4772
Loc: Fourth Estate
Originally Posted By: Teonan

It's a national epidemic. Ithaca is hardly immune.


Ithaca Times:

Part of the appeal for dealers coming to Ithaca is Tompkins County’s emphasis on treatment, rather than incarceration, [Kevin McKenna, who’s in his eighth year as an investigator with the Ithaca Police Department] said.

“Dealers can be arrested for felonies and potentially enter drug court, claiming they have an addiction. Once they complete drug court, their conviction is reduced, no time served,” McKenna said.

“This allows them to be on the street during the time they attend drug court, potentially doing what they were doing before they were arrested. [New York State] is also releasing prisoners sooner, dealers are included in this. They’re serving shorter sentences and being paroled—if approved—back to their communities, allowing them pick up where they left off.”

By Josh Brokaw reporter@ithacatimes.com Jun 22, 2016

Top
#1496456 --- 03/09/17 03:18 PM Re: Ithaca's Heroin Epidemic [Re: newsman38]
Teonan Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/30/12
Posts: 4563
Loc: West End

Also from the Ithaca Times article:

"It’s often said, and reported, that much of the recent heroin boom has to do with the increase in prescribed opioid painkillers from the late ‘90s into the mid-2000s, then the sudden restriction of that supply by state actions like the 2012 New York law called I-STOP, which created an electronic database for prescriptions and made fraud extremely difficult. That narrative generally hews to what was seen on the street by users over the last 10 years or so.

“There were a ton of people doing pills,” said “George,” who used and dealt heroin in Ithaca until the latter part of last decade. “Pill junkies were upper class, that martini crowd. They’d say ‘I’m not doing heroin’ and spend $80 on an Oxy.”

Oxycontin was easily accessible on the street, Herb said, with 80 milligram (mg) Oxycontins (the brand name for oxycodone) coming in for about $15 and salable for $50. He had access to maybe 200 80-mg pills a month, along with bottles containing 30 20-milliliter (mL) doses that cost $100 to $150 a bottle. The increase in access to prescription drugs also changed the character of the people using on the street, Herb said; knowledge about “natural harm reduction” passed down over the years was lost.

“When Oxycontin came out, you didn’t need to go to an old timer,” Herb said, “you could go to a doctor. Then, all of a sudden everyone had heroin.” Oxycodone was developed and put into clinical use after 1916; Herb’s speaking of it as “coming out” suggests a recent expansion of the use the time-release form of the brand name Oxycontin.

The difference between the peak of the street market in Oxycontin and today’s heroin market is in the consistency of supply."


Again. Thanks Big Pharma.
_________________________
"Everything that has ever happened to us is there to make us stronger."
-John Trudell


Top
#1496789 --- 03/19/17 03:20 PM Re: Ithaca's Heroin Epidemic [Re: newsman38]
newsman38 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 4772
Loc: Fourth Estate
Ithaca police report 3 suspected overdoses in 4 days: A minimum of 10 overdoses have been reported in Ithaca over the past two weeks or so, including at least one person who died.

Top