Police Warn Of Rising Heroin Use In Westchester

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WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Police are warning residents that heroin use is on the rise in Westchester, and that residents should be on the lookout for signs of heroin use among their loved ones.

"You may think it can't happen to your family, your friends, but the sad truth is it can and it is," said Robert Riley, president of the White Plains Police Benevolent Association, in a video message. He said that parents, teachers and young adults should be aware of their friends' and family members' activities. "Talk to them about the dangers, study them for behavior changes, ask questions, be vigilant."

There have been a number of heroin-related deaths and arrests in Westchester in recent weeks. Police suspect heroin may have played a role in the deaths of a Cortlandt man and a Buchanan man in late January. Police also charged five people with heroin possession last week in Ossining, and two Peekskill men were charged with selling heroin throughout Northern Westchester. A Montrose man was also sentenced to 40 years in prison this month for selling heroin.

Riley said that heroin is one of the toughest addictions to beat because it is so addictive and has a high relapse rate. He warned parents that addiction can start at home through abuse of unused prescription drugs. Many local Police Departments have drop-off boxes for unused prescription drugs, and he urged residents to use them to prevent any prescription drug abuse.

Riley also said that young people should be on the lookout for changes in their friends' behavior, and to talk to them and their parents if they are concerned about possible drug use.

"We know this won't be easy, but it's better to have a friend be angry while they get the help they need, instead of it being too late and they end up in jail, or even worse, dead," Riley said. "Let's remember, if you notice a change in someone, don't be afraid to say something. If we all work together, we believe we may be able to save lives."

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Comments (5)

NALOXONE:

I'm surprised that officials talk about rising heroin use in Westchester without mentioning three things: 1) prescription painkillers are the gateway; 2) we have a Good Samaritan law: call 911 when you see someone overdose and you won't get busted; 3) an antidote to heroin overdose exists and is avalable: Naloxone, brand name, Narcan

Leezlate@gmail.com:

Heroin has been on the rise for awhile now. It's just about an epidemic in every state. The saddest part is that it's about impossible to get help. Private insurance companies are denying the coverage and people can't afford it out of pocket . Medicaid patients get taken no questions asked but the people paying big money for insurance are getting turned down. Something needs to give with the insurance companies so we can get these addicts the help they need.

tjkoovalloor:

It is shameful that some of our politicians are trying to legalize all drugs. If all our children are trying to use heroin and marijuana our society is going back to the primitive age. So, politicians and lawmakers have to think about banning all drugs that cause damage to the brains, even if Medical Lobby encourage it for legalization. Prevention is better than cure.

lovingeorge88:

OK, prevention is better than cure. But once someone is afflicted, how can you justify denying them the best possible treatment for their illness? If you are worried about your children doing drugs then do your job as a parent to educate them and keep them away from it, but don't deny sick people their medicine.

flies.withbeaks:

The U.S. is a dealer and in the business of drugs. Prisons are filled with drug cases, IT'S A BUSINESS. What's prevention -- treatment is what's lacking. The entire country is on prescription drugs and Oxy and the economy is the reason for this increase. Mary Jane is leading us back to the stone age? From your comment, you've already arrived. You should write comedy.

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