Hornell, N.Y., April 23—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C,I-Big Flats) joined city of Hornell Deputy Mayor John Buckley on Saturday to host a public Town Hall on the local and regional heroin and opioid epidemic.
O’Mara and Buckley sponsored the Town Hall at the Hornell VFW Post 2250 (245 Canisteo Street). Saturday's panel also included Hornell Chied of Police Ted Murray, Trinity of Chemung CEO Ann Domingos, and 24-year-old Marissa Haight, a recovering addict using her experience to raise awareness and help others recover.
At the well-attended Town Hall, the panel discussed the continuing crisis and the range of complex challenges posed by heroin including addiction prevention and treatment options, drug-related crimes, and other community and public health and safety impacts.
O’Mara, a member of the Joint New York State Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction, said, “It’s important to keep hearing directly from the local front lines in fighting this statewide heroin crisis. This local input, which has been reflected in actions we’ve taken over the past several years as well as in this year’s state budget, will help us continue to target the necessary responses and keep our responses as up to date and effective as possible. I appreciate John Buckley’s commitment and leadership on helping the city of Hornell join the state and federal governments to help respond to this crisis with the most effective combination of law enforcement, awareness and education, and treatment and prevention."
The 2017-2018 state budget includes nearly $215 million to continue to enhance the state’s heroin and opioid addiction prevention, treatment, recovery, and education services. O’Mara said the initiatives continue to reflect input he and his colleagues have received at numerous local public forums they have conducted since 2014, including in Elmira and Penn Yan.
[UPDATE: Read and watch more from Spectrum News, "Recovering Addict Shares Impactful Success Story to Help Others", and, in the attached story above, from the Hornell Evening-Tribune]