Local Town Hall Addresses Opioid Epidemic in the Capital Region

posted by WGY News -

It's not getting any better. 

That was the message from Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple and local officials at a town hall meeting in Green Island Wednesday night. 

The topic, the on-going opioid epidemic and the toll it's taking. 

Twenty five confirmed overdose deaths this year, another 60 suspected, and 90 non-fatal overdoses.  

Apple says it's frightening.

“Not many days go by where I don’t get a call from a mom or a dad asking us can you lock up my son and can you lock up my daughter? At least I know her or she will be safe.”

Apple adds “It’s horrifying if you think about it, and a lot of people think it’s not gonna really affect them, it wouldn’t happen to us, we’re in a beautiful suburban town, it’s not gonna happen here, but it happens everywhere.”

Assemblyman John Mc Donald of Cohoes is a practicing pharmacist, and says what we've heard over the years about how drug abuse is all too true.

“The traditional story of the teenager or the person who’s addicted going into their grandmother’s house taking medicine out of the medicine cabinet, it’s real and it’s happening.”

Mayor Ellen McNulty-Ryan says one message she wanted to get out was that there is help available.

“Had a lot of parents that thought they couldn’t bring their kids and I said oh absolutely, and they said well we didn’t know if there’s things they shouldn’t hear and I say there absolutely is nothing they shouldn’t hear, but everything that they need to hear.”

The Mayor adds what really scared her was an incident last winter in which two police officers were exposed to fentanyl in a Dunkin Donuts bathroom and had to be hospitalized.

:I’m concerned about our first responders, I’m concerned of a child going into a bathroom after an incident like that, and nobody would know what was wrong with the child.”

Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo took part in a similar public heroin forum last night at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School.

Photo: Getty Images



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