Cobleskill forum to explore heroin use, prescription drug abuse
SCHOHARIE COUNTY Last month, a Cobleskill man was found sitting in a parking lot with a hypodermic needle and a small amount of heroin.
Earlier this summer, police in the village got suspicious during a traffic stop and wound up arresting two people after finding heroin, codeine, crack cocaine, crack pipes and hypodermic needles.
The Schoharie County Chemical Dependency Clinic is gathering experts to a forum next week to explore a critical question impacting the fabric of the rural county: “Is there a heroin problem in Schoharie County?”
Prescription and pain medications are another target of the community forum, according to a news release from the clinic.
Schoharie County Sheriff Tony Desmond said there have been several recent heroin arrests and the issue extends beyond Schoharie County.
Desmond said law enforcement personnel in Otsego County and the city of Oneonta met recently to discuss the surge in heroin arrests to the west of Schoharie County.
“Over in Delaware County, they’re seeing heroin, and I know that there have been arrests on I-88 here in Schoharie County, people traveling from the Capital District,” Desmond said.
“So it is a problem.”
This past spring, U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer called on more regulation for prescription drug, noting that there were more than 50 cases of prescription drug overdoses in rural Schoharie County in 2011.
Drug abuse, Desmond said, is extending well beyond urban areas where it may appear more common.
“When I first started out, heroin was a problem in the inner cities. Now, I see where it gets out into more of the suburban areas, maybe the more affluent areas, and maybe the rural areas,” he said.
The forum will include a panel representing the judicial system, the drug addiction treatment field, health care professionals and people in the community who are on the path to recovery, according to the clinic.
The forum will begin at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20 at the Cobleskill Fire Department at 610 E. Main St.