heroin addiction

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WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Substance abuse took center stage at the Albany County Courthouse rotunda this morning.

A recent traffic stop that led to two arrests for heroin possession in Washington County, New York, near the Vermont border is bringing attention to an ongoing issue of the transport of illegal drugs over state lines.

A traffic stop by state troopers early Tuesday on Route 149, west of the Village of Fort Ann, led to two arrests on charges of heroin possession with intent to sell.

A nationwide initiative today is encouraging people to clean the household medicine cabinet of old drugs. People can go to local police stations, schools, and community centers to dispose of  unwanted medicines.   WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Christy Geffin, the program coordinator in the Northwestern District Attorney’s office in Massachusetts.

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy says the Senate Judiciary Committee will be holding a field hearing in Vermont on the fight against heroin and opiate addiction.

Matthew Kang, flickr

New York Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney held an emergency telephone town hall Thursday night to discuss the heroin epidemic and prescription drug problem in the Hudson Valley. He was joined by four speakers who offered insight into how they are addressing both the heroin and prescription drug overdose surge in the region.

“I am the heartbroken mother of a beautiful 23-year-old daughter who is a heroin addict. She started with heroin about three years ago. She never took prescription pills. She started straight with heroin.”

She wants to get her daughter some help.

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Massachusetts state police say 185 people have died of heroin overdoses during the last four months, but that does not include fatal overdoses in the state's three largest cities.

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A recent surge in heroin overdoses in Taunton, Massachusetts has shed light on an epidemic that has plagued the state and nation.

Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Edward Markey and White House Drug Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske met with local officials, first responders and parents of addicts at the Taunton Central Fire Station on Monday to discuss how to attack the issue.