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Ithaca Heroin Use
ITHACA---(WENY) Drug addiction is problem that's all too common in many towns and cities across America. It's something that not only takes a physical toll, but has the power to destroy lives and rip families apart.
One drug in particular, Heroin, has been a problem for many cities across the country, but here in the Twin Tiers, the numbers of heroin users seems to be picking up.
It's so bad, it has been called a public health crisis in Pennsylvania where 22 heroin related deaths were reported Just last week.
And, according to Ithaca Police Officer Jamie Williamson, it's been a growing problem for them too. He says, "One of the biggest increases in drug abuse that we have seen in about four to five years, has been the abuse of heroine." According to Officer Williamson heroin use is most prevalent on the East Side of the city.
The problem is so bad that the City of Ithaca has implemented a needle exchange program, where anyone can enroll to get clean supplies and keep dirty needles off the streets.
It's a dangerous habit that can not only wreak havoc on your health, but land you in a lot of trouble.
Officer Williamson says, "You can be arrested, sentenced to several years in jail for just possessing just a very, very small amount of heroin. And that speaks volumes to the courts and the government's view point to just how dangerous heroine is."
To help alleviate the problem, the National Institutes of health have implemented National Drug Fact Week to deter kids and teens from ever picking up the habit.
Officer Williamson says, "We want people understand that drugs are illegal for a reason. They impact you in so many ways that you probably don't even realize right now, but you will very quickly see as soon as the drugs begin to take a hold of you and dictate the things that you do."
For more information on National Drug Facts Week, visit:http://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/public-education-projects/national-drug-facts-week