Heroin and Opiates – How CFLR is Making a Difference

April 10, 2014 by Judith H. Reilly

In response to a recent article on Heroin, I’d like to take a few minutes to tell you how Center for Family Life and Recovery, Inc. is making a difference in our community and transforming the lives of individuals and families, who need it most.

Approximately half of heroin users start out by abusing prescription painkillers; they are frequently the gateway to Heroin. More people die from painkiller overdose yearly than Heroin and Cocaine combined. Heroin is unforgiving, and the Mohawk Valley is not immune. Data collected by the Oneida County Department of Mental Health from our county’s outpatient treatment programs for 2013 reflected 1,738 individuals were admitted for drug treatment and about 25% were listed with opiates, as primary drug of choice. Since 2011, local figures have increased about 15%.

CFLR, Inc.’s Prevention Council staff are members of the Oneida County Alcohol and Drug Subcommittee. It is a platform that brings providers together to work collaboratively on substance abuse issues. CFLR, Inc. is a partner on the Oneida County Opiate Task Force, which has been formed to address the ongoing Opiate epidemic. The Task Force will collaborate in order to address and tackle the current Opiate problem that is impacting our community. CFLR, Inc.’s is the lead agency for the Oneida County Professional Training Coalition and works diligently to prepare community professionals for the issues and trends that they face.

CFLR, Inc. is proud to partner with the City of Rome’s Police Department to not only educate our community through prevention messaging, but also to provide support for those who are fighting addictions, and are on their recovery journey. In 2013, CFLR, Inc. collaborated with Communities That Care to purchase a RXMedReturn Unit, made possible through a grant from the United Way of Rome & Western Oneida County, to be housed in the Rome Police Station; through this effort hundreds of pounds of prescription medication was safely disposed of. Currently, CFLR, Inc. is working with the Department to address the Heroin/Opiate epidemic. In 2013 alone over 15,000 bags of Heroin were seized. In addition, police are reporting an extremely heavy increase in shoplifting among users, who are struggling to support their addiction.

HOPE is a Heroin Overdose Prevention Education program. The goal of this program is to reduce the incidence of Heroin abuse and overdoses through prevention and education efforts directed toward recovery. The overall mission is that this will provide a powerful message and educate all participating citizens to make good decisions that will positively influence the outcome of their lives.

In the end, even if you personally don’t know of someone affected by Heroin, you are being affected by it. CFLR, Inc. knows that together, we will make the changes necessary in our community. Here are four concrete steps that you can take to get involved: 1.) Look for information about the Heroin and Opioid Forum being held in Utica on Tuesday, April 15th from 5:00P.M. – 7:00P.M.; 2.) Get involved in CFLR, Inc.’s Project Recover a systematic, community-wide support network for individuals in all stages of recovery from substance use, mental health, and behavioral Issues and their families throughout Herkimer and Oneida Counties that is built upon S.A.M.H.S.A.’s four pillars of recovery: Home, Health, Purpose and Community; 3.) Join Communities That Care and get involved; 4.) Frequent www.whenthereshelpthereshope.com and review the Oneida County Professional Training Coalition schedule to become more informed.

For more information, or to get involved, please contact CFLR, Inc. directly at (315) 733 – 1709.

Posted by Morgen Irwin