Lawmakers and recovering addicts crack down on heroin epidemic

George A. Amedore, Jr.

ALBANY - After a decade of popping prescription pills, Daniel Savona found the strength to free himself from the grips of addiction.

“I was tired of being tired. Active addiction is hell on earth,” said Savona.

Now sober for two and a half years, Savona wants to share his story with those who have the power to make a difference. So, he's speaking to the New York Senate task force that's working to crack down on the heroin epidemic.

“I consider it our AIDS epidemic of the 80’s. Until it has a face and a voice in legislation nothing is going to change,” said Savona.

A doctor from the Odyssey House testified that 420 people died from heroin and opioid overdose in 2013. At the Hope House in Albany, the number of young clients hooked on heroin and other opioids has jumped from five percent to 35 percent in just three years. Police say they can’t arrest their way out of the problem.

“We need to cut the head off that snake at some point,” said Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple.

“That’s why we need to have a four-prong approach to make sure we have the services provided for the ones who are hurting the most and that’s the families and the ones who are addicted,” said Senator George Amedore, R – Rotterdam.


Read the full article and view the video here.