Heroin: More local overdoses
YATES COUNTY-- The heroin epidemic facing the area continues, as authorities suspect the drug claimed another life this past weekend. The death came Saturday, Jan. 2, when Yates County sheriff's deputies responded to the report of an unresponsive 23-year-old male in the town of Starkey. Medical personnel were unable to revive the victim, and Yates County Sheriff Ron Spike said preliminary investigations suggest the victim overdosed on heroin. The sheriff noted this is the second recent death in the county possibly related to the drug since November of 2015, where a 17-year-old Dundee Central School student died from a heroin overdose. There have been two additional overdose cases since November where the victims survived.
"The recent overdose of heroin incidents, especially in the Dundee area indicates what an epidemic of abuse this deadly drug is, and its addiction power over young adult users," Spike said. "The devastation and emotional shock to families and friends due to this addiction is overwhelming for many. Yet individuals continue to sell this illegal poison despite several in jail currently as all of law enforcement continue our best efforts with criminal investigations and arrests. Heroin is cheap, addictive and deadly."
Just four days prior, the sheriff's department was able to revive a 22-year-old female in the town of Starkey. Sheriff's deputies responded to the call the evening of Dec. 30, 2015, with medical personnel administering Naloxone (Narcan) to counteract the drug and revive the victim. She was transported to Soldiers and Sailors Hospital in Penn Yan for further treatment, with the investigation confirming she had overdosed on heroin.
Nearly a week prior, Spike said they arrested Jillian Murphy, 22, of 3176 Pine View Dr., Penn Yan, charging her with criminal sale and possession of heroin Dec. 24, 2015. She currently resides in the Yates County jail.
A 30-year-old woman was found unconscious and unresponsive last November by Penn Yan police in her vehicle at the Penn Yan Central School District. She was administered Narcan and treated at Soldiers and Sailors Hospital. This incident occurred Nov. 18, 2015.
For those who wish to learn more about the heroin problem in the area, the Yates Substance Abuse Coalition will be sponsoring a Community Heroin Forum Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. This will follow a Narcan Training Session which takes place at 6:30 p.m. The forum will be held at the Dundee School Auditorium. The school was also host to a heroin forum last January, while Penn Yan Academy had previously held one in the fall of 2014.
There will be a representative from the Yates County Sheriff's Department speaking at the forum to address the current state of the drug issue in the county. Kris Sheik, parent of a person in recovery, will also speak about her experiences, while a representative from the Finger Lakes Addictions Counseling and Referral Agency (FLACRA) will speak about treatment options in the area. Information will also be provided to parents, friends and relatives about what they can do to get involved if they suspect someone is using heroin.