The New York State Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction hearing Chaired by Long Island Senator Phil Boyle heard compelling testimony from providers, prosecutors, detectives, parents and patients. All of whom are involved in the drug trade in one way or another and who were on hand to speak with Senator Boyle and Senator Betty Little on the impact of current laws on Heroine use in the region as well as how laws could be changed to more effectively target heroin and opiod use in the North Country.
Providing testimony at the hearing were, Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie, Shawn McKeen, who told a compelling story about his addiction and a friend whose addiction finally lead to hear death. Detective Matthew Bell spoke to the Senators representing the Plattsburgh City Police Department and the D.E.A. Adirondack Drug Task Force. Dr. Kathleen Camelo, MD is Director of the Center for Student Health and Psychological Services. Others in attendance included Michael Kettle, RN, BSN, CASAC, Director of Regional Services, Conifer Park, Joseph LaCoppola from Conifer Park, Franklin County DIstrict Attorney Derek Champagne, Beth Lawyer, Director of North Star Behavioral Health Services Citizen Advocates, Inc. and Dr. Charles Everly, Medical Director of the Emergency Room at CVPH. To his right during their presentation, Kenneth Thayer, Nursing Director Emergency Care Center at CVPH Medical Center. Also speaking were Connie Wille, Executive Director from Champlain Valley Family Center and Dr. John Schenkel, MD of Clinton County Addiction Treatment Services, along with Peter Bacel, a Counselor with friends of Recovery New York.
According to Dr Charles Everly The Medical Director for the Emergency Department at CVPH, The Second leading cause of accidental death in the United States is from prescription narcotics.. Deaths from opiod analgesics outnumber deaths from cocaine and heroine combined.. and sales of opiod analgesics to hospitals practicioners and pharmacies have quadrupled between 1999 and 2010..
The Senate Panel is tasked with identifying issues related to heroin use and abuse and to identify how the legislature can make changes to laws and to policies which could then benefit the entire community.. Shawn McKean told a story of his experiences… This is a compelling story about addiction and what addictions like heroin can do to people.. During this story, shawn tells a story of a girlfriend who dies from her addiction.. Shawn is not alone in asking for more acute treatment for heroine addiction… in fact some of the most riveting testimony comes from families who have been affected by the heroin addiction.. One especially gripping story comes from the LaDuke family in Plattsburgh Whose Son has admitted there is a problem but simply can’t get the help he needs.. Mostly because of loopholes in the current laws..
The LaDuke’s story is compelling to say the least, searching for help in a system supposedly designed to focus on recover but none can be found.. for a look at some of these issues we speak on the K&J show today with Dr Kathleen Camelo who is the Director of the Center for Student Health and Psychological Services at SUNY Plattsburgh..