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Parents and children in Central New York are being urged to keep an eye out for heroin and fentanyl disguised as candy.  It’s turned up in the southern tier, where police have issued a public health warning about the drugs that look like sweet tarts candy.  The latest attempt to get kids addicted has the Prevention Network’s Beth Hurny almost speechless…

"It's sick.  I can't even...I'm so angered by the whole thing."

She says it goes beyond just hiding the drug.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

A statewide campaign visited Syracuse promoting safe spaces for people to use illegal drugs – in hopes of reducing overdose deaths and possibly curbing the drug use.  Angela Woody is with Vocal-New York, a group that works on drug policy, H-I-V AIDS issues, and mass incarceration.  She was in Syracuse with the Safe Shape Tour.  She says I-V and other drug users are shooting up or smoking in places that present a number of problems.

Scott Willis / WAER News

Onondaga County’s health commissioner says recent rankings of the community’s overall health indicate our behaviors are more of a factor in determining health outcomes more than the availability and quality of care. While residents can make better choices, social and economic factors also come in to play. 

Commissioner Dr. Indu Gupta says the big picture is key when looking at a person’s overall health. 

"In public health we say ‘everything affects health,’ and then also ‘health affects everything.’"

John Smith / WAER News

SUNY Upstate is bringing together medical experts to figure out ways to help those Central New Yorkers suffering from opioid and heroin addiction.  A two-day symposium in Syracuse is delving into the multitude of issues and ways to prevent it altogether.  Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul says kids are often brought into the world with the problem, even locally. 

“What troubles me about this Onondaga area, Syracuse and Central New York, is that you have the third highest rate of babies being born now addicted to these substances.”

Provided photo / Bonnie Russell, West Genesee Schools

The Superintendent of West Genesee Schools says the number of overdoses and deaths from the heroin and opioid epidemic has recently climbed back up in the community after a noticeable drop last year.   Dr. Christopher Brown hopes the help offered at Monday evening's addiction, recovery, and resource  can bring crime and addiction rates down.

The opioid and heroin epidemic is still as problematic as ever in Central New York as treatment options continue to expand.  That’s according to the Director of Behavioral Health at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse.  Last year, 325 patients were admitted to the medication assistive treatment program and the current census has 700 patients enrolled for treatment services which can span several years or decades.  Behavioral Health Director Monika Taylor is anticipating funding from the State Budget and at the Federal level.

Scott Willis / WAER News

Two suspects remain at large after they fired multiple shots at a sheriff detective’s vehicle during an undercover drug investigation Monday evening.  It happened at the Springfield Garden Apartment complex near Le Moyne College in DeWitt, the site of previous incidents and homicides.

Onondaga County Sheriff Gene Conway says detectives were just setting up surveillance for a covert purchase of heroin when...

Scott Willis / WAER News

Governor Cuomo’s statewide task force on heroin and opioid abuse stopped in Syracuse Wednesday to hear testimony from area treatment experts on what’s needed to address the epidemic.  The discussion revealed there are significant gaps in treatment.

Scott Willis / WAER News

  An 11-month investigation by Syracuse police, State police, and the State Attorney General’s Office culminated on Tuesday in the indictment of 72 people on charges of operating two drug distribution rings. Authorities believe they’ve disrupted major supply chains for heroin and cocaine.

Substance abuse is a growing problem in Onondaga County, and Crouse Hospital has the only dedicated treatment center. Crouse Spokesperson Bob Allen told County Lawmakers extra funding is needed to expand the facility. 

“The facility that we describe as 410, where the bulk of our programs are housed, we cannot physically take any more patients in that building.”

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