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Fundraiser shines light on opioid epidemic in Saratoga Co.

September 30, 2016 11:24 PM

SARATOGA SPRINGS -- “We're just hoping to help someone avoid where we are,” said Kevin Provost.

Provost and his wife, Maureen, lost their son, Dan, 2 and a half years ago.

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He would have celebrated a birthday this Monday but died of a heroin overdose.

“He was ready he went through detox,” Maureen said. “Came out of detox and couldn't find another facility, an inpatient facility to take him,” she said.

The Provosts joined dozens for an art show and fundraiser Friday evening for The Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention Council of Saratoga County.

Executive Director Janine Stuchin said the opioid epidemic has a grip on the community.

“We have in this county at least 30 people a week who are having non-fatal overdoses but are being treated by emergency medical services,” Stuchin said.

Attorney Andrew Deluca, who hosted the event at his Saratoga Springs office, said he's seen a spike in the number of his clients who are addicted to heroin.

“A large reason for their crimes are because they're addicted to heroin,” DeLuca said. “And I see a lot of them being sent to state prison and once they get clean they're a different person,” he said.

The Provosts believe the biggest barrier to recovery is access to treatment.

“When an individual is ready to go in to enter the recovery phase they need to do it then,” Maureen said. “They can't wait the six weeks or eight weeks for, for a bed,” she said.

Prevention Council board member Brian Farr is 20 years sober and is hoping to change the conversation about addiction.

“…getting rid of the guilt and the shame and the stigma that people face and not just people suffering from addiction but their families as well,” he said.  

“Trying to do a small part I think is all we're doing but we need people to step up,” Ken said. 

Credits

Nia Hamm

Copyright 2016 - WNYT-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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