The people of Rome, NY are concerned with the resurgence of heroin in the city; this, while the police department tries to bring hope to people who are affected.
"There’s a lot of things going on here in the city of Rome that are disturbing," said Rome resident Richard.
He’s talking about heroin.
The police department of Rome says that they are seeing a dramatic surge in the use of heroin, number of addicts, and seizures of the drug in the city of Rome.
"It's everywhere. It’s available virtually in any community that you walk into. If you know what to look for and where to go you'll be able to find it, " said detective commander Tim Bates
The detective that I talked to said that people aren’t jumping straight to heroin use though. They're getting prescription drugs from pharmacies like the one behind me and that’s leading them to heroin use later on.
“This drug does not discriminate. We've had victims younger and as well as much older, so it can affect anyone and it does,” said Bates.
That’s why he says it’s been so difficult for law enforcement to tackle.
“Arrests aren’t going to solve this problem. They'll help in certain ways, but we can’t arrest this problem away. "
That’s where their new program HOPE comes in. It stands for heroin overdose prevention and education.
The program is a place for both addicts and family members to get information about how to get help.
The education part of the program is going to also target kids. People I talked to today thought that was important.
“If it’s something that is educating and grabbing kids while they're young. Then, you know, I think that'll be a good thing. You know, you gotta do something,” said Wanda Stackhouse.
"A lot of young people today don’t have a moral compass. You know, they just fall into things they see in movies or they see the glamour and they just fall right into everything," said resident of Rome Richard.
While the police say this drug affects every age group they are focusing on educating kids while they're young because the biggest age group of users they are seeing is seventeen to twenty-eight year olds.
In two weeks the Rome police department is going to launch a section on their webpage romepd.com that will have all the information about the hope program for people seeking help.
Part of that section will have vouchers for free at home drug tests for parents and others to use to see if their loved ones are using drugs.