Albany Co. Sheriff’s Office town hall combats opioid epidemic

October 23, 2017 11:36 PM

ALBANY - “I had started using drugs when I was about 12 or 13 years old and I didn't stop using drugs until I was there about 20 or 21 years old,” said Eric Dyer. 

Now at 27 years-old, Dyer, who is an attorney with Barclay Damon LLP in Albany, is hoping to prevent other young people from making the same mistakes. 

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He shared his story at a Heroin Awareness Town Hall Meeting at Christian Brother's Academy in Albany. 

“It started with marijuana and eventually lead to prescription pain killers,” Dyer said. 

However, he was eventually able to enter into a 30-day treatment program that finally got him the help he needed.

“Not only the fact that it was 30 days so I actually had an opportunity to remain sober over a considerable period of time, but the follow up care and the individuals that delivered care,” Dyer said. 

Like Dyer, Nichole Charbonneau is also in long-term recovery. 

While working as a Family support Navigator at the Addictions Care Center of Albany she has learned the support she and dyer received is key. 

“I definitely have utilized the support groups in the past and even currently if I need to,” Charbonneau said. “And just talking with other people about this and getting the resources and help.”

Monday night’s event was sponsored by the Albany County Sheriff's Office. 

Sheriff Craig Apple is urging people to utilize New York’s Good Samaritan law and call officers for help if a loved one is addicted to opioids or heroin.

“What the good Samaritans law does is when we come we won't arrest anybody that's there we're just concerned about saving that life and maybe even pushing the other person into some treatment.>

If hearing dyer's story was not enough, the event also featured two mobile educational buses that demonstrate the damage heroin and opioids can do to your life, if you do not overdose first. 

“If you have the disease of addiction, you’re most likely, only things that are going to happen to you, is that you're going to wind up dead, in jail or going to a treatment center.” 

The event also featured a training with the opioid antidote, narcan.

For a list of heroin and opioid addiction services visit and click on links.


Nia Hamm

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