The heroin epidemic impact on Albany County

September 13, 2017 11:42 PM

VOORHEESVILLE - From the start of the year through August 31st there have been 25 confirmed heroin overdose deaths in Albany County. 60 more await official toxicology results. 

"That's a big number for a county with a population of 304,000," Sheriff Craig Apple said.

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Another 90 reported heroin overdoses were not fatal. 

It's why a forum organized by the Sheriff's office at the Voorheesville High School was meant to provide parents and staff with more information. 

How do heroin addictions form, what are some tell tale signs and treatment options available.

"A lot of our schools that were dealing with they are receptive and they want us in there they want us talking they want the bus to come," Apple added.

A major component of raising awareness is bringing this bus to schools and showing students how easy it is to go from alcohol consumption, to prescription drugs and using methamphetamine. Without getting help you could end up here in a jail cell or worse in a grave.

"One of the reasons that I came here, I'm feeling right now that we have done great things for people that are not addicted but we're not doing great things for people that are addicted," Cheryl Nunmacher said.

Nunmacher's 29 year old son has been addicted to heroin for twelve years. 

He's been through rehab 30 times, and currently sits in jail for a fifth time.

She says it all started with an oxycodone prescription to treat an injury.

"My claim to fame is fixing kids that can't be fixed and I can't fix my own son," the special education teacher added.

Nunmacher doesn't know where else to turn and says she's completely lost hope.  

"It's never ending, so yes, I'm just waiting for my son to die. I am waiting for my son to die."

The forum wrapped up with a NARCAN training session led by Catholic Charities where NARCAN kits were distributed among those in attendance. 


Karen Tararache

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