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The Best Gifts from Schoharie County

Showing posts with label heroin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label heroin. Show all posts

Board of Supervisors Hears Report on Youth Drug Addiction

Written By Editor on 10/25/16 | 10/25/16

On Friday, October 21st the County Board of Supervisors heard a report from Norine Hodges at the Schoharie County Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, or SCCASA. She presented as part of the organization's twelve year strategic plan intended to take place between 2006 and 2018.

Over the last ten years the group has been attending local schools with the goal of reducing alcohol and drug use by 85% during the twelve years. The organization works with the Cobleskill-Richmondville, Schoharie, and Middleburgh Central School districts to monitor the amount of substance abuse and other key factors affecting young people. It also works with Jefferson and Sharon Springs on other programs to prevent drug addiction.

The agency has worked on a number of programs, including staff trainings, parent training, and adult presentations. Currently, there is one full time and two part time staff members, with flat state funding since 2006. Hodges asked the County Board to request more funding from the state.

According to Hodges' presentation, approximately 45-50% of students believe in positive factors that help prevent drug addiction. She was proud to present that this year represents the first group of students graduating that went K-12 through the program.

The statistics are stark. In 2006 almost half of local 12th graders had friends that used drugs. In 2013, the most recent statistics available, that number had fallen to 29.4%. There was a similar story with 8th graders that used alcohol in the past 30 days. In 2006, that number was 31%. In 2013 it was 14%. In 2006 66% of 12th graders had used alcohol in the previous month, with 51.5% using it in 2013.

Hodges cited heroin as a major issue for the area. She said that opiod treatment "restructures the brain." She referred to opiate addiction as a "cognitive disease." She also mentioned a twenty year cycle of opiod drug use in the County that overlapped with the age of Oxycontin. Hodges said that in many ways, doctors were penalized for not prescribing painkillers.

New anti-opiod drugs help, Hodges said, but often the problem are parents that are addicted. Their children are often in foster care. Such cases have doubled in Schoharie County. She would like to increase communication between doctors and treatment options. There are currently two drug drop-off stations in the county, including one at the Cobleskill Police Station. Typically, the group collects a hundred pounds of meds per pickup. She also cited concern about sharps, including needles, around the area.

Supervisor Leo McAllister of Cobleskill recommended presentations at every town meeting. Supervisor Larry Bradt of Carlisle complimented SCCASA and asked where the drugs were coming from. Hodges replied that the former drug center in the area was Schenectady, but recently has been Syracuse. Both agreed that sealing the border with Mexico would help the problem. Hodges said that another investigator would help handle the problem. Ultimately, the supply would keep coming but Hodges said that important action could be taken to lower the demand, as well.

"We're at a crossroads," she said.

Supervisor Chris Tague of Schoharie said he was "impressed by the staff" of SCCASA. He asked what the Board could do to help. The Board members agreed to send a letter to the state requesting more funding for the agency.

County Board Adds Investigator to Combat Heroin, Asks Cuomo to Declare State of Emergency

Written By Editor on 9/18/16 | 9/18/16

The County Board of Supervisors made two major steps to combating the rising tide of heroin abuse in Schoharie County. Sheriff Tony Desmond implored the board members to provide funding for a new position to fight heroin's spread.

Sheriff Desmond requested that the board hire an investigator. The Personnel and Finance Committee earlier decided to defer a decision until more information was found. The Committee requested this delay to determine if other factors were needed, including  Mental Health, Social Services and Probation.

The Board members voted to give Sheriff Desmond authority to hire the investigator. Supervisor Bill Federice from Conesville asked if the county should request additional support from the state. He then read a draft letter for Governor Cuomo to attack the heroin epidemic in similar scale as the state did Hurricanes Irene and Sandy.

The letter, sent to the Schoharie News, describes the issue as, "Heroin addiction and the crime which comes with it has become the number one issue in upstate New York." There is a request for, "Immediate and substantial increases in resources for drug counseling, rehabilityation, mental health assistance, law enforcement, first responders, and especially drug education in our school."

Supervisor Federice's letter highlighted many issues faced by local governments: "Many of our communities are struggling with an ever increasing tax burden on our citizens while trying to meet the tax cap. This is unsustainable."

The letter closes with an forceful tone: "Anything less than an all-out commitment by New York State will prove to be insufficient."

The entire Board of Supervisors signed the letter, which will be sent to the Governor.

Heroin Overdose Medication Training September 20th

Written By Editor on 9/15/16 | 9/15/16

The Schoharie County Alcoholism and Substance Abuse is holding a training for the medication Narcan. Narcan is intended to treat heroin overdoses. The event will include a wider discussion about heroin and substance abuse.

The training will take place next Tuesday from 6-7:30pm at 114 Lark Street in Cobleskill. For more information please call 234-8705.

For more information please check out the SCCASA Facebook page.

Middleburgh Man Sentenced to Six Years for Selling Heroin

Written By Editor on 9/9/16 | 9/9/16

A Middleburgh man was sentenced to six years in prison for dealing heroin. Scott Kossow, 31, was arrested last October for selling drugs. At that point he was charged with three counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree.

Kossow had been arrested with another Middleburgh resident in 2013 for heroin possession. He had been charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, possession of a hypodermic instrument and criminal use of drug paraphernalia in the second-degree.

Kossow was sentenced by Schoharie County Judge George Bartlett. He had been arrested after an investigation by the County Sheriff's Department and the NYS Police New York State Police Community Narcotics Team.

Sheriff's Office Opens Confidential Drug Tip Line

Written By Editor on 9/8/16 | 9/8/16

The Schoharie County Sheriff's Department has been a lead player in combating the flow of narcotics into the area. Sheriff Anthony Desmond and deputies have held a firm line against the spread of heroin.

Following a number of major heroin-related headlines, the Sheriff's Department is implementing a dedicated Tip Line for residents to call regarding their concerns. The confidential line is intended to open a dialogue with those that may see potential drug issues happening in their community or neighborhood. The number is (518) 295-2295.

The move happened as a new support group to combat addiction has been formed in the county. More information can be found at the Sheriff's Department's Facebook page.

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