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SUNY Oneonta Hosts Drug Forum

It's an epidemic that comes with stigma - but it can affect anyone. Heroin and opioid addictions can ruin families and oftentimes lead to death.

It's an epidemic that comes with stigma - but it can affect anyone.  Heroin and opioid addictions can ruin families and oftentimes lead to death.

"I wanted to be part of the solution not the problem anymore," says Mylea Buffo, former addict.

For seven years, she was addicted to opioids an heroin.  It all began with a prescription for her back pain.  But her addiction is not uncommon.

"Basically my first day working in the clinic I realized that there was a drug problem, a lot of patients who were seeking narcotics," says Judy Korik Weinstock, family physician.

Today political leaders, law enforcement officers, physicians and recovery specialists held a discussion forum at SUNY Oneonta.  The topic:  opioid and heroin addiction.  The goal:  to bring together all part of the process to find solutions.

"Coming together with all of these groups--with the law enforcement, with the doctors, with the treatment, with recovery with prevention--so we can look at this with a full community point of view is really important to us now," says Dr. Julie Dostal, Leaf, Inc.

And coming out of the forum was a real-life look at how people are falling through the cracks.

"That's the main thrust of where I think we need to go is to provide more opportunities for treatment earlier, lets intervene earlier is someone's life so we can save lives, save families," says Sen. James Seward, (R) 51st district.

But for some, today was her chance to save a life.

"I hope that children realize that they can be just like me, they're life can change filling one prescription," says Buffo.

And Senator Seward told Eyewitness News the senate task force hopes to put a set of recommendations in front of the senate by June 1 so they can get legislation passed by the end of session in June.

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